Tag Archives: APAGS

Ian Gutierrez, APAGS Chair

An introduction from the new APAGS Chair

IanAs the new APAGS Chair, I will have the privilege of representing graduate students within the American Psychological Association beginning August 8th. By way of introduction to those of you who may not know me, I wanted to share a few thoughts and reflections in advance of the beginning of my term.

I am a very political person. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of community organizing, the necessity of labor rights, stronger protections for working people, and the critical importance of creating a more just society that offers opportunity for all, regardless of race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

For me, becoming a psychologist necessitates being politically minded. Just look at the world we live in: The post-war order that secured peace and stability in Europe is under siege; Iraq and Syria are engulfed in intractable civil wars; and terrorism continues to claim the lives of innocent civilians around the world. At home, women still earn only three-quarters of what equally-qualified men earn; African-Americans disproportionately suffer the injustices of mass incarceration, and others find that a routine traffic stop by a police officer may have life-threatening consequences; rural and impoverished communities have been torn apart by the opioid and methamphetamine crises; many Americans remain unemployed or underemployed in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis; student debt has ensnared millions of Americans in a financial trap from which they find it impossible to escape; Americans continue to lead the Western world in gun deaths, most of them the result of suicide; and, as a result of these and other developments, racism, sexism, and xenophobia have found new political purchase in our social and cultural landscape.

Professional psychology likewise faces enormous challenges. The findings of the APA’s Independent Review (i.e., the Hoffman Report) have undermined the public’s faith in our profession’s most prominent institution. The “replication crisis” has prompted serious challenges to longstanding claims made by many research psychologists. Psychologists remain excluded from the Medicare definition of a physician, barring psychologists access to resources critical for supplying the public with quality mental health care. Despite the proven effectiveness of psychotherapy, too many Americans still lack access to the care they so desperately need.

Psychologists must be involved in finding solutions to all of these problems. Yet, for students, this can be overwhelming. “The world has its problems, but I just need to finish my dissertation.” “I am concerned about the challenges facing our profession, but right now I just need to match for internship.”  I have heard these and other similar statements many times.

Graduate school can be difficult, and many obstacles must be overcome to complete a doctorate in psychology. Believe me, I know just as well as you do. However, I strongly believe that we are living in a significant period in both our nation’s history and that of our profession. Maybe you’ve asked a parent what they did during the Summer of Love or what it felt like to see the Berlin Wall come tumbling down. I believe that great changes are taking place in our lifetimes, right now, that demand our presence and action. More importantly, they demand our skills, knowledge, passion, and talents as psychologists in training. Ask yourself: Years from now, when your family asks you what you did when the world changed in 2017, what do you imagine yourself saying? Where were you standing?

Where are you standing?

Even though there are enormous challenges facing our society and our world, I remain confident that the world of tomorrow will be better than the world of today. I have that hope because I have seen the future. The future is us. The maturity, vision, energy, and character of our generation is unparalleled, and I know that because I have had the privilege of hearing so many of you share your dreams and ideas. Already we have accomplished so much, and we’re just getting started.

As APAGS Chair, I promise to do my very best to show APA and the field of psychology the energy and promise that you bring to the table. I believe that the student voice is critical to the future of our profession and our society, and I will give everything I can to ensure that the student voice is heard. In turn, I ask that you keep bringing your energy, creativity, passion, and vision to your research, your practice, your education, your advocacy, and your activism. The future is counting on us.

I am an open book. You can follow me on Twitter at @IanAGutierrez.

Author Bio:

Ian A. Gutierrez, MA, is a graduate student at the University of Connecticut pursuing his doctorate in Clinical Psychology and the 2016-2017 Chair of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS). His research focuses on the development of belief systems over the life span.

Editor’s Note: Interested in becoming a part of APAGS Leadership? There are many ways to get involved!

 

Why Policy?

US Capitol Rotunda

U.S. Capitol Rotunda, Source: Flickr, user sidkid

“Why policy?”

I have been asked this simple, two-word question more times than any other question in the past year. Back in September, I began working as a graduate-level policy scholar for the Public Interest Government Relations office at the American Psychological Association. As this opportunity coincided with my fifth year of doctoral studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, I have often had to explain my hectic schedule upon meeting new individuals. Research and academia, most will understand, as those things fit seamlessly into the doctoral studies mold. But then comes the follow-up question: Why policy?

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Learning the Ropes: Attending Convention for the First Time as a Graduate Student

APA Convention can be overwhelming with tens of thousands of psychologists and graduate students descending on a new city with the purpose of staying current with our work and networking! These tips will help you to plan for convention, survive (and thrive!) while attending, and debrief afterwards.

Before Convention:

  • Now is the time to register!
  • Find some other grad students to room with to save a few bucks!
  • Also, keep an eye out for any airfare specials if you will be flying to Denver.
  • Once the conference program is out, start to plan your days at Convention.
    • Start with APAGS program; it’s specifically geared towards the needs of graduate students
    • Use keywords to search the electronic program and find sessions that you’re interested in attending.
    • Plan to attend talks on your research interests, but also step outside of your comfort zone and go to a talk on a topic that you may not be exposed to in your own program.

During Convention:

  • Network! Find other psychologists and graduate students who are doing work that you are interested in. Bring business cards so that you can exchange them and keep in touch after the conference.
  • Attend APAGS events to specifically network with other graduate students.
    • The APAGS Social is always a hit! Don’t miss out!
    • APAGS also provides free food at the Food for Thought Breakfasts each morning. What a great reason to wake up early, right? This is also a great time to hear talks by amazing psychologists. Be sure to check the program for the line up!
  • Attend talks that align with your research or clinical interests, but also attend something that is new to you.
  • Get out and see Denver! As a graduate student, how often do you really get to travel? Take advantage of the opportunity to explore this cool city a bit.

After Convention:

  • Relax! You might need to take a day or two to recharge. Convention can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
  • Follow up via email or maybe even social media with the people that you met at convention.
  • Start thinking about Convention 2017! Do you want to present your work? Do you want to be an APAGS Ambassador or maybe even apply to be a member of the APAGS Convention Subcommittee?

ASPPB response to APAGS Thoughts on EPPP Step 2

I have received a response to the previous post about the EPPP Step 2. With permission, I am sharing here. I welcome your thoughts and comments below or you can email me directly. Please title the email: EPPP-2 Blog.

Thanks,
Christine


 

Dear Dr. Jehu:

ASPPB appreciates the time and effort you took to communicate APAGS’ thoughts about the development of the EPPP Step 2.  We would like to respond to your comments in an effort to continue the dialog with APAGS about the EPPP Step 2.  We hope you will share this response with the APAGS membership and other colleagues as you see fit.

ASPPB’s mission is to enhance and support our member jurisdictions (that is the psychology licensing boards in the US and Canada) in fulfilling their goal of public protection.  We believe that the development of the EPPP Step 2 is a necessary and critical step in serving that mission and will prove to be a very helpful tool in protecting the public and in advancing our profession.  As the APA Board of Education Affairs recently stated,

“Embarking on this important initiative not only reflects recommended practices but also helps to enhance the profession of psychology and advances the trust society places in the profession.”

In your statement, you commented,

This exam may feel like a massive surprise to students and Early Career Psychologists. Unbeknownst to many of us, our field has been moving toward competency assessment since the Competencies Conference in 2002 and subsequent publications highlighting the importance and value in competency assessments (e.g. Rodolfa, Bent, Eisman, Nelson, Rehm, & Ritchie, 2005). During the 2013 updates to the APA Commission on Accreditation’s Guidelines and Principles, the APAGS Committee provided a comment that supported the development of competencies based assessment, but had concerns about cost, the process of assessing competencies, and the fair implementation of a new exam to psychology license applicants.

We appreciate that you have provided a context to the EPPP Step 2, by discussing the competency movement in psychology.  As ASPPB has discussed the EPPP Step 2, we have tried to state that this examination was not developed in a vacuum, but rather it is another step in this competency movement in psychology.  As most know, the competency movement in psychology is well documented in the education and training literature.  For those unfamiliar with the movement, we have a brief overview of the competency movement and how it relates to the EPPP Step 2 on our website.

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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.