Tag Archives: APA


Planes, Trains, and Hotels – Oh My!

Getting to APA Convention in Denver, CO & Where to Stay Once You’ve Arrived


So you’ve decided to attend the 2016 APA Convention in Denver, Colorado – that’s great! The next steps in your journey are deciding how to get to Convention and where to stay once you arrive.

How do I get there?

  • Fly – For those traveling from farther away, flying may be your best option. Denver International Airport (DIA) is the major airport serving Denver. From here you can take a taxi or shuttle, take local transit, or rent a car to get to your accommodations. Use travel search engines, such as flighthub.com or kayak.com, to compare flight options.
  • Ride a BusGreyhound and other private bus lines travel to Denver and arrive at the Bus Terminal (1055 19th St), which is close to the RTD’s Market Street Station (local transit).
  • Take a Train – Trains will arrive at Denver’s Union Station, where you can get transit schedules, passes and maps. Amtrak has routes that travel to Denver from many locations across the US, but depending on where you’re coming from, these routes can take a significant amount of time – so plan accordingly!
  • Drive – If you opt to drive to Convention, APA members and affiliates have discounted rates with the rental car agencies Alamo, Budget, Avis and Hertz. Plus, carpooling is a great way to save money if you’re traveling in a group. If you do plan to drive, don’t forget to factor in the cost of parking for the duration of your stay.

Where should I stay?

For those of you wishing to stay where the action is – the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center Hotel and the Sheraton Denver are both convention facilities and will be hosting a variety of APA, APAGS and Division events. Keep in mind that these options may be more expensive, so you may wish to find a roommate or two to make the convenience more affordable!

There are many other accommodations within minutes of the Convention Center in downtown Denver. These can be searched using Google Maps. Some of the closest options are:

If you’re looking for lower cost alternatives, you might consider renting a condo with friends instead of staying at a hotel. Some options are AirBnB, Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO), and Vacation Rentals. Again, Google Maps is a good way to figure out if an accommodation is within walking distance (or transiting) distance to the Convention Center.

Check out our post earlier this month A Comprehensive List of Student Travel Awards to Attend APA’s 2016 Convention for more info about potential ways to offset the cost.

Lastly, remember to check the APA website closer to April 15th for more detailed information regarding travel and accommodations.


Reasons to Attend Convention 2016 (Denver, CO)

Going to APA Convention is an important graduate school experience (and not just to add another line or two to your CV!).  We all know the drill with presenting our research and beefing up our CVs, but Convention has much more to offer! Here are some of my top reasons to attend Convention.

  1. Permission to Dabble!

Graduate school is an odd combination of being indoctrinated by your advisor and learning to critically evaluate everything you think you know (or are told).  Sometimes our focus becomes pretty limited by our long-days and late-nights working on our own research – for me White racial identity development among academicians in psychology.  Convention provides opportunities to branch out and see what the rest of psychology is up to!  My Convention guilty-pleasures (i.e., not related to my own research) are sessions on mental health disparities, feminist roundtables, and racial injustice advocacy.  I encourage you to find your own guilty-pleasures and indulge!

  1. Networking

An APAGS Member met Dr. Philip Zimbardo at an APAGS Food for Thought Breakfast.

Really, networking could be reasons 1- 5.  Regardless of where you are in your program, networking is crucial. As a second-year doctoral student, I met my future internship training director at Convention. I’m not saying that I matched solely because of this happenstance meeting, but I’m pretty sure I left a favorable impression! Now as I am transitioning to my first job-search as a psychologist, having THOUSANDS of potentials psychologists in one place feels like a dream! I am also always on the lookout for a celebrity psychologist sighting, so that I can have a fan-girl moment…

  1. Any Excuse to Get Out of [INSERT COLLEGE TOWN HERE]

Graduate students who have the luxury of going to school in New York City, Southern California, or Miami may not feel my pain, but I can always use an excuse to get out of Lexington, KY.  While the Horse Capital of the World boasts a cheap cost of living and mild winters, I find myself needing a break from the college town milieu.   Convention is a great way to double dip – professional development and mini-vacation!  Denver has a lot to offer budget-minded graduate students, such as several microbreweries, Colorado Rockies games, and several day-hikes right outside of the city.  Don’t forget to take some time for self-care and enjoy Denver!

  1. Sessions for Students, by Students

Faculty always say that they vividly remember the plight of graduate school… right before they give you a 48-hour deadline of reworking a manuscript and then go home for the evening at 5pm… However, faculty can forget all too soon that graduate students have unique struggles and concerns.  The APAGS Convention Committee provides student-focused programming in response to student feedback and needs.  In Denver, APAGS has prepared programs for stats-phobic students (Stats Phobia: Learn How to Learn Stats [and Work past Beginners Anxiety]), students who moonlight as parents (or maybe the other way around; Two P’s in a Pod: Balancing Parenthood with Psychology Training and Careers), and students from a variety of diverse identities and backgrounds (Connecting with our queerness: Four contemporary takes on being an LGBTQ(A) psychologist & Conducting Research on Marginalized Identities: When Research is “Me-Search”).  For the full APAGS Convention schedule, be on the lookout for the APAGS Convention Booklet that will be released closer to Convention or visit the APAGS Convention website!

The IDP: A Career Plan That Doesn’t End with Your First Job

Sometimes graduate school and postdoctoral training can feel like being in a long, dark tunnel. At the end is the escape. All you have to do is square your shoulders, pump your arms, and keep making progress towards the light at the end.  Once you burst through, you will find yourself basking in the happy, warm glow of…. Your. First. Job.

But a job isn’t a career.

You want a career – a progressive increase in responsibilities and daily activities that are rewarding, have impact, and make use of your current skills and the new ones you’ll gain along the way. You want a path, not a tunnel.

How much time have you really spent career planning?

One often neglected aspect of graduate school and postdoctoral training is career planning. A goal of your training should be about developing that career path – or more accurately, developing both a path and yourself.  You need to thoughtfully research the type of career options that interest you and that are available. Next you develop the skills, knowledge, abilities, and competencies to land those jobs along your career path.  Luckily you’re not alone and this career plan has a proven process. It’s called an Individual Development Plan, or IDP.

What’s an IDP?

An IDP is a career resource – designed by you – that helps map out your career path. I could spend more time explaining what they are, or how creating formalized plans in postdoctoral training improves outcomes, or how both NSF and NIH require career development plans for trainees.  But consider this, from 2009-2014 there was a 20% increase in psychology doctoral degrees.  Over that same time tenure track faculty positions did not keep up with PhD production. But, wait. The good news is, NSF says that the number of jobs that require science & engineering skills is outpacing the new job creation in the total workforce. This means that there are probably more job options and career paths than you thought.

It all starts with knowledge of IDPs and then yourself. But before you start, here are some helpful tips to help you along your IDP Journey:

  1. Get the big picture first, then attack each step:  Resist the urge to just jump in and spend next weekend doing nothing but career exploration. Make a schedule to watch our five videos and go back and re-watch.  Next spend maybe a week (or two) assessing your skills, and searching for a mentor.  Re-watch the videos as many times as needed to feel ready to move to the next step.
  2. Make a schedule:  Make a regular time to do IDP work – every Wednesday right after a lab meeting, or every Friday after your last patient or client.  Or the first Sunday of each month, when all is still and quite and peaceful.  Whatever works for you, but make it a priority.
  3. IDPs are both curricular and extracurricular: We stress that IDPs shouldn’t pull you away from your current training and work obligations.  Quite the contrary – they help you integrate career opportunities day-to-day, and plan for those you need to find outside the lab, clinic, or office.  A plan will balance your demands and help you progress.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started!

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Garth Fowler, PhD, Associate Executive Director of Graduate & Postgraduate Education and Training in the Education Directorate at the American Psychological Association.


Students, Join Division 31 for FREE!

Did you know that Division 31, the State, Provincial & Territorial Affairs division of APA, provides FREE membership to students?  Along with appreciating anything with the ‘FREE’ moniker, there are several reasons why students, especially those interested in advocating for their profession, might join Division 31:

  1. Receive information about new initiatives affecting our profession (Psypact, ASPPB specialization, laws for Applied Behavioral Analysis, APA-PO, etc.)
  2. Serve on a student taskforce to address these issues  
  3. Be a part of conversations about how your SPTA can help with student debt, securing accredited internships, and more
  4. Network with professionals already in practice through listserves and at conferences
  5. Get a jump start on a career in private practice by gaining exposure to business of practice, licensure laws, reimbursement rates, and other issues

Get more information about  Division 31 and  check out their Student Taskforce blog.

8 Habits That Make Millennials Stressed, Anxious, and Unproductive

Article originally posted on Forbes.com by Caroline Beaton


“According to the American Psychological Association (APA), millennials experience more stress and are less able to manage it than any other generation. More than half of us admit to having lain awake at night during the past month from stress.

“Not surprisingly, millennials are also more anxious than older Americans. The APA reports that 12% of millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder—almost twice the percentage of Boomers. On a non-clinical scale, a BDA Morneau Shepell white paper discovered that 30% of working millennials have general anxiety, while a 2014 American College Health Association (ACHA) assessment found that anxiety regularly afflicts 61% of college students.

“Anxiety not only harms our wellbeing but also sabotages our productivity. The ACHA assessment found that the top two tolls on students’ academic performance were stress and anxiety. Two-thirds of millennials interviewed by BDA  attribute declining work performance to anxiety.

“Sources of millennial anxiety may include a tough job market and student debt as well as psychological causes I’ve covered previously such as ambition addiction, career crises and choice-overload. But even our day-to-day behaviors can incite anxiety.”

Finish the story!

Head to Forbes.com to read the full article on eight common habits that instigate stress and compromise our potential.