The APS Student Caucus (APSSC) organized several exciting and informative events for student members from across the globe at the 2018 APS Annual Convention in San Francisco. The events included networking opportunities, award addresses, and sponsored sessions detailing how to succeed in graduate school, find and keep jobs in a competitive professional marketplace, and become a published journal author.
APSSC programming began with a networking social on Thursday evening attended by over 250 students. The following morning, the Naked Truth sessions began with “The Naked Truth Part I: Getting Into Graduate School,” designed to provide students with information about navigating the graduate school application process. Preparation and intentionality throughout the application process were overarching themes. Alexis Brieant (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) chaired this session with a panel of five current graduate students: Debrielle T. Jacques (University of Rochester), Christal Davis (University of Missouri), Timothy Valshtein (New York University), Akshay Jagadeesh (Stanford University), and Meghan Vinograd (University of California, Los Angeles). The panel discussed their personal and professional backgrounds, which cut across clinical, developmental, neuroscience, and social psychological science. Each of the panelists emphasized the importance of narrowing one’s research focus and population of interest, finding a mentor, preparing for the GRE and interviews, and determining program fit.
Emily Hokett (Georgia Institute of Technology) led the next session, “The Naked Truth Part II: Surviving Graduate School” aimed at offering advice about how to maximize the graduate school experience and propel students into productive careers. Danica Kulibert (Tulane University), Monica Molina-Acevedo (University of Arizona), Lauren Drandoroff (Rosalind University of Medicine and Science), and William J. Brady (New York University) comprised the panel of current graduate students who discussed how to avoid early career pitfalls; maintain balance in a demanding work environment; manage relationships with peers, supervisors, and professors; and market oneself as a professional. Brady in particular underscored the need for students to use their time efficiently and intelligently, especially when it comes to finding time to write. Molina-Acevedo stressed the importance of speaking up and questioning unclear guidelines and expectations.
A group of researchers, scientists, and leaders fielded questions about entering the job market during the third session, “The Naked Truth Part III: Navigating the Job Market after Graduate School,” chaired by Carolyn Davies (Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital). The panel included Andrea Niles (University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Francisco), Kristin Laurin (University of British Columbia), Jennie K. Grammer (University of California, Los Angeles), and Aidan G. C. Wright (University of Pittsburgh). Throughout the session, panelists detailed how they succeeded during their own job searches along with what to consider when deciding between industry, the public sector, and academia. Moreover, the speakers discussed the nuances of required experience and expectations for the interview and application timeline. Students were advised to identify their research “story” and to incorporate past experiences and future goals to support that “story.”
The fourth session of the day, “The Naked Truth IV: You’re Working Where?,” was led by incoming APSSC President, Amy M. Rapp (University of California, Los Angeles), and focused on the benefits and challenges of taking a career outside of academia. Sarah Laszlo (Neuroscience Lead, Google X), Ryan Stoll (Founder, Obeo Wellbeing), David V. Yokum (Director, The Lab @ DC in the Executive of Office of the Mayor of Washington, DC), and Cameron Sepah (Entrepreneur, Residence at Trinity Ventures) described their range of career choices and experiences, such as leaving a tenured professorship and starting a company. The conversation was full of conflicting opinions, heated debates, and valuable advice from psychologists influencing both top companies and government offices.
“How to Get Published: Guidance from Journal Editors” was the final session on Friday, moderated by outgoing APSSC President, Amy Heard Egbert (Loyola University, Chicago), and was one of the most highly attended APSSC student events throughout the conference.
The panel included three prominent research scientists and journal editors: Jonathan B. Freeman (New York University; Associate Editor, Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin), Ute-Christine Klehe (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen; Past Editor, Journal of Applied Psychology), and Deanna M. Barch (Washington University in St. Louis; Associate Editor, Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging). The panelists discussed how to create a list of targeted journals, what delays and stops an article’s path to publication, how to professionally engage with reviewers and editors, when to speak up about an article rejection, and the importance of integrating reviewer and editor feedback.
Saturday’s APSSC student event programming began with the RISE Research Award and Student Research Award addresses. The RISE Research Award recognizes outstanding student research on socially and economically underrepresented populations, all of whom were selected by a panel of their peers. This award aims to increase awareness of the need for diverse perspectives in psychological science. Winners included Andrew Joseph Paladino (The University of Memphis), Jiyoung Park (Yonsei University), Alesha D. Bond (Georgia State University), and Alyssa Palmer (University of Minnesota). The Student Research Award address, led by Brooke Slawinski (Michigan State University), acknowledges outstanding APS student member research with the opportunity to present their projects at the APS Convention. This year’s winners were Minseo Kim (Central Michigan University), Maria St. Pierre (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research), Fang Hong (Boston University), and Alice Kathmandu (Stanford University).
The final APSSC event at the 2018 APS Convention, “Champions of Psychological Science,” was chaired by APS William James Fellow Barbara Landau (Johns Hopkins University). This annual and highly anticipated event offers students the opportunity to learn from and network with some of the world’s foremost psychological researchers and innovators. This year’s champions were APS President-Elect Lisa Feldman Barrett (Northeastern University), APS William James Cattell Fellows Richard E. Mayer (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Janet Shibley Hyde (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and APS Fellow Keith Payne (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Students spoke with and received advice from the researchers in an informal setting.