2014 Annual Convention in DC: Funding Strategies for Students

Posted in Graduate School

MP900289068[1]Summer is fast approaching, which means our Annual Convention is just around the corner! If you have not made plans yet to attend Convention in DC this August or are still debating going, I’ll make the decision easy for you. GO! Seriously, this is an amazing opportunity to connect with other graduate students and researchers. You can learn about the internship application process and attend programming within the divisions you are a part of or check out a new division! DC is also an amazing city to explore and soak up a bit of culture.

If I have not convinced you to attend yet, check out the programming that APAGS has planned for you this year! The APAGS Convention Committee has created four programming tracks unique to graduate students: Internship; What they Don’t Teach You in Graduate School; Clinical; and Academic. You don’t want to miss these great programs! Be sure to mark your calendar for the APAGS Social on Thursday, August 7th at 6pm – this is a fun, laid back time to meet other graduate students and your APAGS leaders!

So by now you should be convinced that you cannot miss Convention in DC this year (if you aren’t convinced then you didn’t click the links above. Go do that and come back. I’ll wait for you.), but I know you are concerned about funding. Rest assured you are not alone. There are a number of ways to make Convention fun and affordable! Here are a few suggestions for funding your 2014 trip to DC.

Student Funding Options

  • APA and APAGS offer a number of student travel funds. Unfortunately, the deadline for those has passed this year, but have it on your radar for next year (hello Toronto!).
  • Join division listservs! Divisions often have student funding awards so don’t just let them slip into your spam folder. Make sure you read all the instructions and give yourself plenty of time to submit a thought-out and complete application; they often require a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
  • If you are an international student, there is a $500 travel award with a May 1 deadline.
  • Check with your academic department and graduate student association for travel awards or reimbursement opportunities, particularly if you are presenting at Convention.

DC on the Cheap

  • Lodging can be one of our greatest expenses while traveling to conventions. DC has a number of hostels that offer an inexpensive way to sleep. Check out vacation rentals and split a house/apartment with other graduate students! This is a great alternative to a hotel because you would have the option to save some money by cooking some meals at ‘home.’ For inexpensive and sometimes free lodging, also check out www.airbnb.com and www.couchsurfing.org.
  • Seeing DC does not have to be extremely expensive! Many museums are free or discounted for students. Make sure you take your student ID with you wherever you go and just ASK about specials for students!! Check out Washington.org for some free and nearly free attractions.
  • Food will be a bit expensive. Bring some food with you or go to a grocery store when you first arrive. Stock up on some fruits, granola or protein bars, and nuts. Food at the convention center will be expensive and time between sessions is short. Make sure you are prepared with a few grab and go options that will keep you energized.
  • Subscribe to Groupon emails for DC and get a few deals before you go!
  • If you are driving, fill up your gas tank outside of DC where gas is much less expensive.

Register Early! Registration is now open!! Be sure to register before June 30th for $70 (APAGS member rate). After that, registration increases to $80 and then $90 after August 5th.

I can’t wait to see you in DC this August!! Be sure to say HI at APAGS events!

Christine Jehu
Convention Committee Member
The University of Memphis, Counseling Psychology

New support videos for LGBT college students on Youtube

Posted in Graduate School

The APAGS Committee on LGBT Concerns produces short Youtube videos on topics that frequently arise for graduate students related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender topics. Just last week, the committee debuted two new videos. Check them out below and visit the committee’s training video page for two others.

Seeking support as an LGBTQ student in college – Discusses how LGBTQ students can feel comfortable in college and find various sources of support on and off campus.

Navigating discrimination as an LGBTQ student in college  — Discusses stigmatization and discrimination that LGBTQ students might face on their college campuses, and offers different ways students can address them.

5 reasons I/O psychology graduate students should get involved in APAGS

Posted in Graduate School
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APAGS Committee – Fall Business Meeting 2013

1. We’re stronger together.

Like other divisions, APAGS consists of psychologists (or soon to be psychologists) who are concerned with improving the field of psychology.  However, unlike other divisions who have one or two student representatives, APAGS is full of representatives for students.  APAGS is recognized within APA as an important, valid voice and we can achieve more through our combined efforts than a single student representative within a division can individually.

2. The wheel has already been invented, so jump on board.

APAGS has been established as part of APA, the premier national psychological association with relationships and connections to media outlets and government entities. Utilizing an already visible organization such as APAGS to address issues and concerns is easier and more effective than creating new networks and connections.

3. Network tMC910216362[1]o get work.

Getting involved in APAGS governance provides the opportunity to interact with important and, in some cases, famous psychologists. Becoming personally acquainted with some of the most notable psychologists of our day can only help your career by providing mentorship, pointing towards job opportunities and supplying you with impressive recommendations.

3. Want an edge? Get a broad view.

Participating in APAGS exposes you to other areas of psychology besides I/O. Understanding other issues in the general field of psychology gives you a more comprehensive view of the field as a whole. Broader involvement provides access to developments and innovations that may be directly applicable to your area of interest, giving you an edge when it comes to advancements in the field and might even inspire you to be innovative yourself.

5. APA is an organization too.Office

Just because APAGS is full of psychologists doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Solutions to systemic and organizational problems are still needed and I/O psychologists are highly qualified to deal with these problems. By getting involved with APAGS, I/O psychology students can get hands on experience with systemic work, making changes in large organizations and, at the same time, improve the field of psychology.

Free Videos on Demand: Report Writing, Primary Care Practice

Posted in Graduate School, Training Issues

New from APA’s Education Directorate – two free training videos for students, one on report writing and the other on primary care practice. These videos will be particularly relevant to trainees in clinical, counseling, and school psychology programs:

  1. Psychological Report Writing: Resources, Research, and Strategies. This video introduces the challenges, problems, research, and resources associated with report writing. The primary focus is on six core principles of an optimal report. Each of the principles are accompanied by clear, specific strategies on how they can be achieved along with case and report examples. Presenter: Gary Groth-Marnat, Ph.D., ABPP, ABAP.
  2. Competencies for Psychological Practice in Primary Care. This video familiarizes viewers with the recently developed Competencies for Psychological Practice in Primary Care along with examples of how these competencies are demonstrated in the primary care setting.  The workshop concludes the benefits and opportunities to advance primary care psychology practice through the use and dissemination of thee competencies. Presenters:  Barbara Ann Cubic, Ph.D., Christopher Hunter, Ph.D., Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and Nancy Ruddy, Ph.D.

To view these videos, click the links above, add them to your cart, and then proceed to create an account. Once registered, you will see the videos in your “Available Products” under “My Dashboard.”

If you watch one of these videos, let us know what you think in the comments! We just might reward one lucky commenter with an  APAGS internship workbook or APA spiral-bound style guide.

Improving Life for People with Schizophrenia Using my APAGS Grant

Posted in Graduate School

Imagine you had a hard time learning from a behavior that brought rewards. This very dilemma is a reality for people with schizophrenia.

If you know something about Skinner’s contributions to reinforcement learning, you know that human behavior is shaped by outcomes. Quite simply, behaviors that result in positive outcomes (rewards) should increase in frequency over time, while behaviors that result in negative outcomes (punishments) should decrease over time.  But imagine for a second that you had a hard time learning from a behavior that brought rewards. Would you be more likely to engage in that behavior in the future?

This very dilemma is a reality for people with schizophrenia. Such individuals have difficulty learning from behaviors that result in rewarding outcomes and in turn, engage less in those types of behavior. Decreased social engagement is the most common manifestation of motivational impairment in people with schizophrenia and a leading cause of disability in this illness — even though the mechanisms underlying this problem remain unclear.

Through the generosity of APAGS’s Basic Psychological Science Research Grant [next deadline: 12/3/14], participants in my study will use a novel social reinforcement-learning paradigm to interact with virtual players. To investigate learning, virtual player behavior will be designed to result in either positive (rewarding) or negative (punishing) social outcomes.

My proposed research seeks to investigate the following questions:

  • How do people with and without schizophrenia learn from social interactions with positive and negative outcomes?
  • Can utilizing a social partner’s emotional display facilitate learning from social interactions?

Hopefully, results will increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying decreased social engagement among people with schizophrenia. My goal is improve the quality of life and social well-being of people with schizophrenia through tested interventions. Given that motivation is also a prominent feature in depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, these findings may also shed light on potential targets for a transdiagnostic approach to treatment.

Tim Campellone picFor more information on this project, please feel free to contact me at tcampellone@berkeley.edu or visit our lab website.

Editors note: This post was written by Basic Psychological Science Research Grant winner Tim Campellone, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at University of California, Berkeley.