Tag Archives: APAGS

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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.


Convention 2016 ! APAGS Food for Thought!

newbreakfastConvention is a great experience! One of the best parts of it is the chance to meet with some of the most famous psychologists in the world. This year APAGS is proud to present its Food For Thought  breakfasts featuring very dynamic and impactful psychologists who you do not want to miss.

Each morning (Thursday-Sunday 7:30-8:50am) the APAGS suite will offer free breakfast for graduate students and the opportunity to hear from prestigious psychologists.

Our first FFT (Thursday, August 4) will feature Dr. Anneliese Singh, Associate Professor at The University of Georgia and co-founder of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and Trans Resilience Project. Dr. Singh, featured in a fantastic Tedx talk, will be our first speaker, and one you do not want to miss! Dr. Singh’s research, practice, and advocacy has centered on the resilience of transgender people, transgender people of color, transgender youth, survivors of trauma, immigrants, South Asian survivors of child sexual abuse, and social justice and empowerment training.

Our second FFT (Friday, August 5) will be highlighted by Dr. Michelle Fine. Dr. Fine is a distinguished professor from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Dr. Fine’s work integrates critical psychological theory with feminist and post-colonial theory, participatory designs, qualitative and quantitative methods and strong commitments to research for social justice. Her primary research interest is the study of social injustice, when it is resisted, and how it is negotiated by those who pay the price for social inequalities. Dr. Fine is a dynamic and inspiriting speaker who was featured at the Big Ideas fest where she led with the question “To whose souls are we accountable?” in the process of innovation. This talk and her commitment to social justice are just two of the reasons you will want to arrive early to get a seat for Dr. Fine’s FFT talk!

Our third FFT (Saturday, August 6) will feature Dr. Mona Amer.  Dr. Amer has been recognized for her leadership in addressing the mental health needs of Muslim and Arab Americans, and was awarded the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Award for Distinguished Graduate Student in Professional Psychology. She currently serves as an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, and Egyptology at The American University of Cairo (AUC), and was the recipient of the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award. For the past 10 years, Dr. Amer has worked on developing cultural competence training programs for practitioners serving Muslim clients that have been administered in the U.S. and U.K. You can catch a glimpse of Dr. Amer’s innovative speaking style by viewing her excellent talk at the Rise Egypt Conference where she spoke about the role of evaluation in social enterprises. Dr. Amer is a passionate speaker who we are excited to learn from at our third FFT!

Our fourth FFT (Sunday, August 7) will be highlighted by APAGS Leadership. These leaders are individuals who will discuss what opportunities allowed them to become leaders, and how they are working to build a better future for psychology by serving as a united voice to enrich and advocate for graduate student development! APAGS is currently committed to a strategic plan to end the internship crisis, develop powerful training opportunities for scientists, and create a culture of leadership in psychology. This talk will encompass a great deal about ways to increase your efficacy as leaders in psychology and efficacious scientists in a changing climate of graduate education!

APAGS is proud to host Drs. Singh, Fine, and Amer, and we hope to see you all at the APAGS suite bright and early for breakfast!

United Nations Event

Ninth Annual Psychology Day at the United Nations: From Vulnerability to Resilience: Using Psychology to Address the Global Migration Crisis

From the deserts of Syria to the mountains of Central America to the coast of Thailand, the United Nations High Commission estimates that there are more refuges and internally displaced people today than at any time since World War II.  Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has described this not as a crisis of migration, but as a crisis of solidarity.  On April 29th, hundreds of psychologists, crisis workers and planners from academia, nongovernmental organizations, and transnational organizations from around the globe gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss psychology’s contribution to the migration crisis.

Social justice and human rights were at the heart of this meeting, the latest in an annual series of U.N. Psychology Days.  This series has served to highlight the relevance of our field to the world’s most pressing problems, a relevance that was highlighted in opening and closing speeches by the co-hosts, the Ambassadors to the U.N. from El Salvador and Palau, two nations facing very different types of migration-related crises.  In a series of panels in between these speakers, the presenters focused on increasing attention to, and awareness of, the impact of forced migration on youth and children, and the importance of cultural context in understanding and ameliorating the impact of the migration crisis.

United Nations Event

  • The first panel focused on the role of cultural integration in the process of resettlement. Refugees and migrants find themselves in new and often very different cultures from the ones they left, and obstacles to integration may deprive them of opportunities to succeed – while depriving the welcoming nations from the opportunity to gain advantage from the skills, knowledge, and diversity of immigrants.  The panelists pointed to various models and approaches for the cultural integration of migrants, ranging from settlement houses to various modes of psychological crisis integration that can help ease the process of cultural integration.
  • The experiences, and unique challenges for migrant children and youth were the focus of the second panel, which highlighted the importance of supporting the needs, rights and well-being of minors who have rarely made a choice, themselves, to enter the process of migration. A resilience-focused approach was described by the panel as being paramount to understanding the impact of the process on this survivor population.  Other presenters focused on the impacts to mental health of the refugee journey, and highlighted the lack of mental health services available to minors, the obstacles to their accessing the services that do exist, and the role of language, culture, separation, and resilience in these young survivors.

Following the presentations, participants gathered for a less formal reception, where panelists, aid workers, psychologists – and students – could discuss the issues of the day, and form new relationships based on common interest and a dedication to advancing the role of psychology and mental health in addressing one of the world’s most pressing problems.

As a student, and a member of APAGS, UN Psychology Day was an uplifting experience: though the issues we discussed were challenging, seeing the body that represents the world’s nations put psychology at the heart of its discussion of those issues was inspiring, as was the opportunity to meet so many people who are working passionately to address and resolve the migration crisis.  Next year, the UN will host its tenth annual psychology day – I hope to see you there!

Samira PaulSamira Paul is completing her second year as a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy, Washington DC.  She is the Diversity Chair for the District of Columbia’s Psychological Association, and the Advocacy Chair for the Maryland Psychological Association Graduate Students.


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!