We’re Psyching the Vote for APAGS Member-at-Large, Membership Recruitment and Retention Focus! During the month of April, APAGS members can submit an elections ballot for elections for APAGS chair-elect and four members at large (link contains position descriptions and official bios). Members will get an email with voting instructions on April 1. This post is the third in a series of six between now and March 31 in which candidates voluntarily answer our questions in 200 words or less, to give voters some insight into what they will bring to their prospective positions.
Our question for APAGS Member-at-Large, Membership Recruitment and Retention Focus:
What is the value of staying a student member of a large umbrella organization like APA, especially when there are many niche organizations one can be part of, and when APA makes many of its member resources freely available to the public?
Roseann Fish Getchell responds:
Each graduate student has the potential to find value in the unique benefits of becoming an APAGS member. I want to share my own motivations for joining the APA as a graduate student focused on investing in my future as a professional psychologist to reflect how we can all find our own niche. 1. Connection: I have had the opportunity of meeting amazing students who are truly making a difference in their communities across the country. We have shared common interests, goals, and passions within groups like the Advocacy Coordinating Team–I admire them and am encouraged by them every day. 2. Mentorship: The number of students, staff members and psychologists who genuinely care about building the future of our profession is overwhelming. Whether I am meeting a psychologist at a convention/conference, reading an article in an APAGS blog, or connecting with a committee member, the opportunities for mentoring are endless. 3. Leadership: With the help of incredibly supportive APA staff, the majority of APAGS is organized and run by student volunteers who are engaging in dynamic leadership. There are so many ways to get involved! Visit my website, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages for more information!
Keri Frantell responds:
While I think it is incredibly valuable to be involved with niche organizations, being a part of the larger APA organization allows a few unparalleled opportunities: specifically for networking, emphasizing a well-rounded understanding of the field, and offering a chance to learn and share with diverse perspectives. Due to costs, both financially and with time, we often have to choose divisions that support our interest areas carefully. I have many interests outside of my specific division areas that are vital to my identity as a psychologist. Being a part of APA allows me the opportunity to connect with other professionals beyond my few selected niche areas, and to find connections and similarities with people who I otherwise might not ever meet. When conceptualizing ideas, research areas, and even clients, I know that I find it can be easy to become entrenched in a single, familiar area. APA offers a chance to connect with diverse perspectives, increasing my understanding of important issues. I love to connect with others to learn and grow as a professional. Membership in APA allows us to become well-rounded professionals while offering support in connecting to those with similar or dissimilar interests.
Whitney Stubbs responds:
I was a student member of APA long before becoming active in any real sense. It was not until my first APA conference in 2014 that I truly felt a part of the APA community. I have vivid memories of this conference, particularly my interactions with members of the Division 40 student affiliate organization, ANST. Not only did I feel welcomed and accepted into this new community, I felt inspired and supported. In retrospect, this point marks when my professional identity truly began to develop, and I began to seek out mentorship and professional opportunities to meet my training needs. Being a part of a community of bright, motivated, and passionate individuals has pushed me to grow, both personally and professionally, and has helped me realize that I could truly make a difference within our field. When I reflect on the benefits of membership, particularly active membership, I think about supportive community, personal growth, professional development, and networking. I also think about the diversity of opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and pursue common goals that aren’t always offered by smaller professional organizations. For me, it is the relational piece, beyond the intellectual, that makes active membership so beneficial.
Be on the lookout Tuesday, March 29th for our next post in this series and be sure to vote when you receive your APAGS electronic ballot on April 1! — APAGS Staff.