Author Archives: Stephanie Winkeljohn Black

APAGS Convention Tracks – Diversity

APA 2016 bannerThis year, the APAGS Convention Committee has put graduate student programming at Convention into tracks: Diversity, Professional Development, Science, and Internship. We’ve done so with an eye for how certain programs and talks might go together, so that students can set their goals for convention (e.g., get the skinny on how to research efficiently) and feel assured that they hit all the talks.

Get more information on the Professional Development track or the Science track.

My self-care activity throughout grad school has been hiking. For that reason, my mind is making connections between our APAGS tracks and hiking routes. Imagine each track as a particular hiking path. Sometimes they intersect with other paths, and sometimes you can hop between paths based on your needs. In fact, the hiking analogy can be extended further! Hydrate during convention, pack good footwear (lots of walking), and tie up your food at night so that grizzly bears hungry grad students cranky advisers student loan collectors don’t get into it.

Third track: Diversity

Length: Really, this path is (and should be) never-ending. Think of the sessions below as highlights along the way.                                                                           Preparation: Peruse APAGS Guide for LGBT Grad Students, read through the Living at the Intersection posts to get yourself thinking.

  1. Conducting Research within a Social Justice Framework: From Research Question to Publication (also in Science)
  2. Conducting Research on Marginalized Identities: When Research is “Me-Search” (also in Science)
  3. Syrian Refugee Crisis: Psychologists’ Responsibility for Human Rights and Mental Health
  4. Connecting with Our Queerness: Being an LGBTQ(A) Psychologist (also in Professional Development)
  5. Two P’s in a Pod: Balancing Parenthood with Psychology Training and Careers (also in Professional Development)
  6. Exploring the Intersectionalities of Advisor-Advisee Relationships in Psychology Doctoral Programs (also in Professional Development)

Happy trails!

Editor’s Note: Each day this week we will highlight a different APAGS Program Track. Find out which track is right for you! Also, check out the full schedule of APAGS programming.

APA 2016 banner

APAGS Convention Tracks – Science

APA 2016 bannerThis year, the APAGS Convention Committee has put graduate student programming at Convention into tracks: Diversity, Professional Development, Science, and Internship. We’ve done so with an eye for how certain programs and talks might go together, so that students can set their goals for convention (e.g., get the skinny on how to research efficiently) and feel assured that they hit all the talks.

Check out my previous post that highlights the Professional Development track.

My self-care activity throughout grad school has been hiking. For that reason, my mind is making connections between our APAGS tracks and hiking routes. Imagine each track as a particular hiking path. Sometimes they intersect with other paths, and sometimes you can hop between paths based on your needs. In fact, the hiking analogy can be extended further! Hydrate during convention, pack good footwear (lots of walking), and tie up your food at night so that grizzly bears hungry grad students cranky advisers don’t get into it.

Second track: Science

Length: Straight shot to some sweet pubs and science-nerdiness                            Preparation: Read up on internships leading to unexpected career paths, and how to dive into research 

  1. Alternative Career Paths with a Doctorate in Psychology (also in Professional Development)
  2. Conducting Research within a Social Justice Framework: From Research Question to Publication (also in Diversity)
  3. Networking with a Purpose: Making a Plan, Building Relationships, and Maintaining Connections (also in Professional Development)
  4. Late Breaking Poster Session
  5. Conducting Research on Marginalized Identities: When Research is “Me-Search” (also in Diversity)
  6. Reviewing for a Journal as Graduate Students: The Whys and Hows
  7. Individual Development Plans for Students and Postdocs (also in Professional Development)

Happy trails!

Editor’s Note: Each day this week we will highlight a different APAGS Program Track. Find out which track is right for you! Also, check out the full schedule of APAGS programming.

APAGS Convention Tracks – Professional Development

APA 2016 bannerThis year, the APAGS Convention Committee has put graduate student programming at Convention into tracks: Diversity, Professional Development, Science, and Internship. We’ve done so with an eye for how certain programs and talks might go together, so that students can set their goals for convention (e.g., get the skinny on how to research efficiently) and feel assured that they hit all the talks.

My self-care activity throughout grad school has been hiking. For that reason, my mind is making connections between our APAGS tracks and hiking routes. Imagine each track as a particular hiking path. Sometimes they intersect with other paths, and sometimes you can hop between paths based on your needs. In fact, the hiking analogy can be extended further! Hydrate during convention, pack good footwear (lots of walking), and tie up your food at night so that grizzly bears hungry grad students don’t get into it.

First track: Professional Development!

Length: The longest track, this is the main path that connects all the other tracks together                                                                                                         Preparation: make a mentorship goal, what to wear

  1. Connecting with our Queerness: Being an LGBTQ(A) Psychologist (also in Diversity)
  2. Two P’s in a Pod: Balancing Parenthood and Training (also in Diversity)
  3. Stats Phobia: Learn How to Learn Stats (and Work Past Beginner’s Anxiety)
  4. International Roundtable (also in Diversity)
  5. Shadow of Debt: Student Debt in Psychological Training
  6. Networking with a Purpose: Making a Plan, Building Relationships, and Maintaining Connections (also in Science)
  7. Alternative Career Paths with a Doctorate in Psychology (also in Science)
  8. Exploring Intersectionalities in Advisor/Advisee Relationships (also in Diversity)
  9. Individual Development Plans for Students and Postdocs (also in Science)
  10. Unlocking Your Leadership Potential: Keys to Future Success as a Leader in Psychology, by the APAGS Leadership Institute

Happy trails!

Editor’s Note: Each day this week we will highlight a different APAGS Program Track. Find out which track is right for you! Also, check out the full schedule of APAGS programming.

This guy knows to save their critical remarks about the presenter’s outfit until they get back to their lab next week.

Professionalism at Convention, as Told by Animals

Editor’s note: Here are a few simple tips from APAGS Convention Committee member, Stephanie Winklejohn Black to help students keep it professional at Convention.

 1. Mind Your Drinking

Socials are often where connections are made for jobs, post docs, and research collaborations. They can be a lot of fun and really stressful. You may imbibe a bit more than you should because you just really like Pinot Noir (especially when it’s free) or because you’re nervous about Networking (Big N). Either way, becoming tipsy among your current and future colleagues can be nothing short of disastrous.

Less adorable when the dog is a graduate student on or nearing the job market.

Less adorable when the dog is a graduate student on or nearing the job market.

Tips to Reduce the Risk:

  • Some socials give out drink tickets to each guest, which helps to limit access to free alcohol. Leave your cash at home to avoid spending – and drinking – more at a cash bar.
  • Eat before you head to a social. Budgets are tight for students at conventions, so I usually pack granola bars, trail mix, and apples in my suitcase that I can snack on throughout.
  • Less is more. Listen. You might be a tank when it comes to drinking at home with friends. But keep in mind convention is busy and you’ll be tired, stressed, and at a high altitude. All of these impact how you’ll tolerate alcohol

2. Mind Your (and Others’) Time

I will own that I tend to be old-fashioned (LOVE Downton Abbey), so this may not be important to everyone. But there’s something to be said for arriving to talks – especially small, panel-based discussions – on time. If you do enter a talk late, stand toward the back to avoid climbing over folks who are already seated. Be remembered for your insightful questions at a talk, instead of tripping over someone’s leg and book bag on your way to an empty seat in the middle of a row!

You just know this guy is going to ask a question during the Q&A that was totally covered in the presentation!

You just know this guy is going to ask a question during the Q&A that was totally covered in the presentation!

This one is especially hard for me – but resist the urge to use your phone during a presentation. Presenters work hard on their materials, and looking out to a sea of blue lights can be disheartening.

3. Mind Your Surroundings

Convention is huge, which is awesome! It also means that attendees will scatter throughout the city for convention week. When you are out on the town, be aware of what you’re discussing and how you’re discussing it. Professionals from your division, or an employee at that postdoc you want, could be sitting at the table next to you.

This guy knows to save their critical remarks about the presenter’s outfit until they get back to their lab next week.

This guy knows to save their critical remarks about the presenter’s outfit until they get back to their lab next week.

I want to end by saying that being professional at convention doesn’t mean you have to be a robot, or can’t be authentic or funny. If you enter spaces at and/or near the convention with consideration for yourself and others you’ll be good to go!

vision-community

Finding a Mentor @ APA

vision-communityWhat is a mentor?
I’ve had several mentors in my grad school career, but I don’t always realize it. The number is often higher than what I typically think, because, like many of us, I tend to think of mentorship as a formal relationship with someone who is more senior in terms of age or authority. The first that comes to mind is an academic advisor, a dissertation chair, or a clinical supervisor. It’s important to remember that some mentoring relationships are between folks who are fairly equal in age, position, or other status; the mentorship can also be rather informal (e.g., meeting a colleague or peer for coffee). As APA’s guide for mentors and mentees sums it up, a mentee is simply someone who learns from another.

Why should I look for a mentor?
I turn to different mentors for different things: how to manage work-life balance, thinking about academia and family, how to respond to a particularly snarky reviewer letter, how to return low grades and difficult feedback to my students. Some mentors give me concrete advice and assist me in developing skills, others model how to cope with stress and validate my work boundaries of saying “no” to extra tasks. Speaking as a woman, finding lady-mentors in the field has been extremely helpful: most of us tend to feel more motivated and identify more with mentors who share similar qualities and identities as us. More than this, the research shows that mentoring works. Those with mentors tend to do better and feel better on the job compared to people without mentors (Clark, Harden, & Johnson, 2000; Elman, Illfelder-Kaye, & Robiner, 2005).

This raises the (valid) issue: what if you don’t have a reliable mentor in a particular space or job? Navigating jobs and academics as a graduate student is made more difficult without guides. That is why being intentional about networking with potential mentors at APA can be so important.

Being Intentional: Looking for Mentors @ APA
If you are like me, you are rather introverted. The term ‘networking’ makes you want to crawl into your snuggie and watch five episodes in a row on Netflix (see my post in the coming weeks on networking!). Mentally prepare yourself:
Reflect. What support do you most need at this stage in your training? What type of mentor (formal, informal; clinical, academic) would be most beneficial, and what do you need from them?
• Don’t forget to think horizontally! Remember that mentors can be other students. Making connections for academic, social, or emotional support and feedback with a student outside of your home program can lend you new perspectives on things.
Set a plan. Look through the Convention programming to see where you could best network to begin a mentoring relationship. This includes APAGS programming (check out the Food for Thought programs!).
Remember your manners. A lot of people like to mentor in a variety of ways, but the bottom line is they are still providing you with their time. It’s up to you to initiate contact and to be up front about your goals. APA has made a handy chart (which also shows the do’s and dont’s for mentors, if you want to see how the other half should operate!) for you to consult.
Don’t take it personally. Some people are just so awesome we all want them to be our mentors (I’m looking at you, Dr. Brené Brown). To be that awesome takes a lot of time, and so sometimes a potential mentor may say they cannot develop a mentoring relationship with you.
Resources:
This post mostly focused on a brief overview of what and how to look for in a mentor at APA. Here are some great, graduate student-oriented resources on mentoring relationships:

Getting Mentored in Graduate School, by W. Brad Johnson and Jennifer M. Huwe. This is a book written by a mentor-mentee duo and they use their own experiences to write the chapters.
Sticky Situations in Mentoring, a blog post by gradPSYCH staff Jamie Chamberlin. The post takes readers through how to identify problems in a mentoring relationship and how to switch mentors if necessary.
Building Mentorships for Success, a blog post by Melissa Dittman, gradPSYCH staff.

I hope to see you in August in networking mode!

References:

  1. American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Mentoring (2006). Introduction to mentoring: A guide for mentors and mentees. http://www.apa.org/education/grad/mentoring.aspx
  2. Clark, R.A., Harden, S.L., & Johnson, W.B. (2000). Mentoring relationships in clinical psychology doctoral training: Results of a national survey. Teaching of Psychology, 27, 262-268.
  3. Elman, N.S., Illfelder-Kaye, J., & Robiner, W.N. (2005). Professional development: Training for professionalism as a foundation for competent practice in psychology. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36, 367-375.

Editor’s Note: Stephanie Winkeljohn Black is a student at the University of Louisville and a member of the APAGS Convention Committee.