Tag Archives: mentoring

APAGS Ambassadors play a warm up game during orientation in Toronto, August 2015 .

What’s It Like For a First-Timer to Attend APA Convention?


This Denver, Colorado skyline awaits 2016 Conventioneers.

APA Convention is a great way to connect with your peers and with established psychologists. There are so many opportunities for networking, learning, and growth . Convention will be in Denver, Colorado from August 4 through 7, 2016.

We want to help you get there by providing funding through five APAGS Convention Travel Awards, each worth $500 in reimbursement. Additionally, we offer registration fee waivers for all APAGS member first-authors at Convention (learn more in our FAQ). Other directorates in APA (such as Science), along with several divisions, also offer special funding opportunities.

The deadline to submit a poster or program proposal is Tuesday, December 1 at 5pm EasternDon’t miss your opportunity to present at Convention and get connected!

One of last year’s travel grant winners — a doctoral student at Auburn University — shared her experiences with me about the process of applying for funds to attend the APA Convention in Toronto.

Heather Dade: Why did you decide to apply for our Convention Travel Award? 

Anne Conroy: I was excited at the opportunity to attend sessions, devote time to my professional development, and explore new surroundings.  I was going to get the opportunity to assist with my first symposium, and I was going to view the posters of my colleagues and friends.

Heather: We’re happy you applied. Tell me what you first thought about Convention when you got to Toronto. 

Anne: My excitement was somewhat replaced by a feeling of anxiety. I was overwhelmed by the size of, well, everything: The Convention guide resembled a phone book, and there was a sea of psychologists spread in every direction who seemed to know what they were doing.  How was I going to get the most out of this experience?

Heather: What did help you get a handle on this Convention? 

Anne: Attending the APAGS orientation and connecting with other APAGS ambassadors helped me feel less overwhelmed and made the convention seem more manageable.  As the conference progressed, I started to see familiar faces in the vast sea of psychologists and psychologists-in-training, which gave me reassurance that I would not be forever lost in my attempts to navigate from session to session.  I enjoyed conversing with my fellow APAGS ambassadors, many of whom were also attending their first APA conference.  We bonded over our mutual bewilderment at the sheer magnitude of the conference, along with our desire to make the most of the experience.

APAGS Ambassadors play a warm up game during orientation in Toronto, August 2015 .

APAGS Ambassadors play a warm-up game during orientation in Toronto, August 2015 .

Heather: Anne, how did you figure out how to fill your time at Convention?

Anne: In determining my schedule, I decided to attend several of the APAGS sessions, with the hope that attending programs geared toward graduate students would give me useful pieces of information to apply upon returning home.  I attended a session entitled, “Set Goals, Say No, and Still Graduate,” where I was able to create a timeline for completing my dissertation proposal, broken down into small, digestible pieces.  I was thoroughly pleased when I left the session, as I had a workable, reasonable time frame to present to my adviser!  I plan on applying the strategies learned in that session to other academic pursuits, including data collection and dissertation defense.

Heather: Did you go to anything else at Convention that you liked? 

Anne: Another APAGS session that provided me with incredibly beneficial information was the Internship Workshop.  While I am still at least one year away from applying for internship, I found the information to be useful in dispelling my fears around internship essays, selection of sites, and the like.  I took copious amounts of notes regarding how to communicate my personal and professional identity to site directors, along with tips regarding scheduling interviews and how to avoid being overwhelmed by the process.  I was so impressed with the APAGS programming at the convention that I encouraged other members from my program to attend APAGS sessions.

Heather: What would you say to another student who was considering applying?

Anne: I received numerous benefits beyond the monetary prize, including gaining valuable pieces of information that will serve me well as I continue my education and gaining contacts to whom I can reach out with questions.   I encourage all who are interested in applying to do so for next year’s convention.  You won’t regret it!


Getting a Tenure Track Position

While there are many jobs that psychologists can do well after graduation, tenure track professorships are among the positions that many students aspire to. Getting a tenure track faculty position right out of your doctoral program is not easy, but it can be done. Here, five new assistant professors in counseling psychology share tips on what they believe helped them be successful during the job application process last year. These (now) assistant professors were asked, “What made you competitive for a tenure track job?”

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APAGS-CSOGD Chair Julia Benjamin reacts to receiving "Proud and Prepared."

APAGS Releases a Brand New Guide for LGBT Graduate Students

“Proud and Prepared: A Guide for LGBT Students Navigating Graduate Training” was printed in limited release last month, and is now available to all members and affiliates of APA for free download!

APAGS-CSOGD Chair Julia Benjamin reacts to receiving "Proud and Prepared."

APAGS-CSOGD Chair Julia Benjamin reacts to receiving a copy of “Proud and Prepared,” which her committee worked on tirelessly for several months.

This exclusive resource guide was produced by the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (CSOGD). Despite the popularity of the committee’s first edition — it had been downloaded and shared thousands of times — it was nine years old. The new guide places emphasis on more subgroups of the LGBT community and offers  broader discussion of this community’s modern training concerns. It also embeds dozens of in-depth quotes, pictures and candid perspectives from real students on a multitude of topics.

Authored by current graduate students from a diversity of backgrounds, training programs and viewpoints, “Proud and Prepared” aims to capture the energy and vitality of LGBT graduate students to the profession. Artistically, the guide was designed in-house by talented APA staff and showcases our dynamic content in a colorful 67-page package.

Go ahead and take a sneak peak

Check out some of Proud and Prepared’s awesome new sections:

  • Assessing Your Program’s Climate
  • Self-Disclosure in Graduate School
  • The Importance of Social Support
  • Mentorship and LGBT Students
  • Tips for Transgender or Gender Variant Students
  • Tips for Bisexual Graduate Students
  • LGBT Advocacy and Confronting Discrimination
  • Conducting LGBT Research
  • Resources for LGBT Students
  • APA’s Ethical Codes of Interest to LGBT Students

If you are looking for relevant information related to climate, mentorship, self-disclosure, research implications and much more, download the full guide (PDF, 3.3MB)  for further reading. Your APA Member login is required. If you are not a member, consider joining today.

Become a mentor or a mentee this August. (Source: User John-Morgan on Flickr. Some rights reserved).

Addressing the Need for Mentoring Among LGBTQ Graduate Students

How are the mentoring needs of LGBTQ graduate students unique?

For LGBTQ graduate students, challenges such as program climate, coming out, establishing a support system, confronting microagressions and heterocentric attitudes in coursework, advocating for the inclusion of LGBTQ issues in ones program, and conducting LGBTQ-related research can uniquely influence the graduate school experience (“Proud and Prepared…”, 2015). Studies looking specifically at mentoring relationships and needs among LGBTQ graduate students highlight a plethora of societal, environmental, and contextual factors which influence LGBTQ graduate students’ academic and professional development, and emphasize the specific need for LGBTQ mentors (Matheney, 1998).

Become a mentor or a mentee this August. (Source: User John-Morgan on Flickr. Some rights reserved).

Become a mentor or a mentee this August. (Source: User John-Morgan on Flickr. Some rights reserved).

Social support, such as that found in a mentoring relationship, is one key factor shown to positively influence the career development of lesbian women and gay men (Morrow, Gore, & Campbell, 1996). Lin (2001) found that gay and lesbian protégés found more perceived support from gay or lesbian mentors than heterosexual mentors. Nearly all of the LGBTQ+ graduate student participants in a study by Lark and Croteau (1998) reported pursuing a LGB-affirming mentoring relationship but having difficulty finding one, which participants expressed as a serious disappointment. Participants cited wanting the expertise of mentors concerning LGB perspectives in clinic work, LGB research strategies, LGB professional advocacy, LGB career planning concerns such as identity management and disclosure on resumes or in interviews, providing models of successful out LGB professionals, and having someone with similar experiences with whom to disclose situations of discrimination (Lark & Croteau, 1998). Although these needs can, and certainly should, be addressed by faculty and practitioners of any sexual orientation or gender identity, the need for LGBTQ graduate students to have a mentor who also identifies as LGBTQ—and the tendency to seek mentors of similar sexual orientation or gender identity—shouldn’t be overlooked (Nauta, Saucier, & Woodard, 2001; Russell & Horne, 2009).

How does APAGS help address the needs of LGBTQ graduate students?

The APAGS LGBT Graduate Student Mentoring Program is designed to address the needs of LGBTQ graduate students in psychology by matching them with an LGBTQ-identified advanced graduate student or professor who shares similar interests, experiences, and goals. Mentors and mentees are provided monthly discussion prompts, a closed listserv to create a venue for dialogue, access to resources (such as webinars) relevant to LGBTQ graduate students, and opportunities to connect at APA Convention. As one mentor in the program reported:

“…I have felt very grateful to be part of the APAGS LGBT mentoring program. My PhD program has no open or out faculty members and I am one of two openly gay students. As a result, the sense of aloneness and isolation as an LGBTQ student and practitioner has periodically overshadowed my training and education process. Through this mentoring program, I was able to receive professional guidance and genuine relational support from a seasoned LGBTQ psychologist…who could also relate very personally to the social pressures and professional challenges of being a minority graduate student, as well as working as an openly gay psychologist.” –Brian

Interested in becoming a member of the 2015-2016 APAGS LGBT mentoring program—either as a mentee or mentor? Applications for the program are now available through the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity website, and should be submitted electronically by August 15, 2015. Pairs will be formed on or around September 1, 2015.

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Mary T. Guerrant, M.S., a doctoral student at North Carolina State University and member of the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. It originally appeared in “Perspectives on Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns,” a newsletter publication of APA Division 35 (Psychology of Women) Section IV (LBT Concerns). It is reposted here with generous permission.

9 Mentorship GIFs I Wish Someone Had Shown Me in Grad School

Finding a quality mentor is one of the most — maybe the most — important thing you can do in graduate school.  A good mentor can make your career fly like an eagle, or plummet like a rock.  But, despite the importance of mentorship in career building, we receive no training on what to look for when selecting a mentor.

Here are nine things that I wish someone had told me about mentoring during grad school, to help you find the mentorship you need.

1. Your ideal career should guide your mentorship choices.  What do you want to do? Find someone that already has your ideal job and ask them to mentor you.

star wars animated GIF

source: insanely-good-brownie.tumblr.com

2. Just one isn’t enough. No one can do it all, so build a team of mentors. Each mentor will have strengths and weaknesses; learn from their strengths, and supplement their weaknesses.

source: rooneymara.tumblr.com

3. It should be reciprocal. Mentorship is a two way street. If it isn’t reciprocal, it isn’t mentorship. Be mindful of keeping both sides of the relationship balanced, and beware if your mentor is the one unbalancing it.

scratching animated GIF

source: littleanimalgifs.tumblr.com

4. Don’t deify. Mentors are just people. They don’t know everything.  They will make mistakes and need feedback on their performance too… unless your mentor is Morgan Freeman… that dude is amazing.

god animated GIF

source: www.gifbay.com

5. Don’t fall for brands. Famous people/popular mentors are often busy already. Find someone who can spend time working with YOU.

hbo animated GIF

source: veephbo.tumblr.com

6. Don’t fear the peer. Other students will have great insights and will probably be open to sharing their knowledge with you. Ask for their advice, and help them out too.

wall animated GIF

source: tumblr.forgifs.com

7. Letting them push you is a good thing. A good mentor sets a high bar for you. But they should also do whatever it takes to make sure you reach it.

yoda animated GIF

source: mcbrayers.tumblr.com

8. They should be an inspiration. Find someone who makes you excited, even when the work is hard. They should motivate you to become a better professional, and hopefully also make you a better person.

excited animated GIF

source: http://piinkwinemakesmeslutty.tumblr.com/post/38713052048/how-i-feel-when-im-in-new-york-city

9. Don’t be shy. The worst thing someone can say when you ask them to be your mentor is “no.”

the office animated GIF

source: www.reddit.com

Want to learn more about how to find and keep a good mentor? Come to the program on mentorship at APA Convention in Toronto, Thursday August, 6th from 2-3:50 in Convention Centre Room 716A.

What do you think? Do you have other advice you would like to share? Comment below!

Editor’s Note: Daniel Reimer, MA, is Chair of the APAGS Convention Committee and a doctoral student at the University of Nevada – Reno.