Tag Archives: Travel

APAGS on the Road! California: 9/20 and 9/21

APAGS is coming to California in one week to offer a half-day workshop for students and recent psychology graduates.

In sponsorship with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and The Trust,  we will present sessions to help students and recent grads grapple topics such as:

  • Building a private practice — identifying different types of private practice, discerning what types of practice you might envision for yourself and developing a plan to start that practice.
  • Loan forgiveness — brief overviews of the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and NIH Loan Repayment Program.
  • Psychological services in the digital age — applying key ethical principles to evaluate risks, benefits and appropriateness of using electronic communication and social media in professional practice.
  • Preparing for the EPPP — best practices for studying for the licensure exam.

Advance registration is $15 before Sept. 15, 2014. On-site registration is available for $20. Follow these links to register:

See you in California!

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Untold Secrets of Navigating Convention

Cover BSo you’ve registered for the convention and booked your flights and hotels. You have tried to look at the monster programming book but are feeling overloaded and overwhelmed. What is a grad student to do? Have no fear! The APAGS Convention Committee has some untold secrets to navigating convention!


  • Although it seems daunting, the programming book and the APAGS How to Navigate Convention materials are your friends! Spend a few hours looking over things that are interesting. The APAGS materials are a great focus on what graduate students specifically may be interested in attending.


  • Interested in learning about the internal workings of the divisions? Div CoverConsider going to one of their business meetings. You can learn a lot about current topics and become more aware of potential opportunities for graduate students.


  • MPj04025130000[1]Free food is everywhere at convention! For example, graduate students can come to the APAGS suite for the Food for Thought breakfasts where they can enjoy breakfast while conversing with some of the field’s most influential psychologists. This year we have Dr. Robert Levine, Dr. Mitchell Prinstein, and Dr. Robert Sternberg. Students can also find free food at some of the presentations. Keep an eye out for large groups of people!


  • Speaking of free, if you go to the exhibit hall, you are sure to bring back many free pens, pads of paper, post-its, and other goodies.


  • If you only know a couple of presentations you are interested in, be sure to ask the audience members around you what other presentations they are attending. Better yet, ask the speakers of the presentation what other speakers they are looking forward to seeing. This will give you some good ideas for other presentations that might fit your interests.


  • Posters presentations at convention are often looked over and not attended well. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk with other graduate students and professionals at these poster sessions. The programming book lists the presentations according to topic. These presenters will be glad to talk with you and who knows, you may work in a great networking or collaborative opportunity!


  • If you are a presenter for a poster or paper, be sure to collect audience members’ information if they are interested in following up with you and your research. Again, do not waste this great potential for networking by not having a central location to keep people’s information.


  • The easiest way to relay your own information to others when networking is to bring your own business cards. This way you do not have to write down your long email and name each time; just give them your card!


  • Although you came to D.C. to work on your presentation sMP900441060[1]kills, networking, or just to see other professionals, make time to explore the city! This may be the only time where you can visit some of Washington D.C.’s historic sites and museums. Some of my favorites are the Lincoln Memorial, The Smithsonian, and The Crime and Punishment museum.

We hope this list helps you out in navigating convention. Please consider coming by the APAGS suite and the APAGS booth to say hi and introduce yourself while in D.C.!


Five Reasons to Go To Convention

Going to Convention is an important graduate school experience. There are lots of benefits, and not just for the reasons your professors tell you!

1- Exposure to a wide variety of content

Yes, this is one of the reasons faculty say that Convention is important, but it’s true; Convention gives you the chance to hear perspectives of other psychologists who you don’t see every day.  You might even have the chance to hear one of your psychology idols present.  If you see a presentation you like, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the presenter.  More than likely they will be happy to talk about their line of research and point you in the direction of additional material you will find interesting.

2- Networking

The APA Convention boasts the largest concentration of Psychologists in North America (probably).  What better place to hunt for future employment?  Whether you have your dream job in mind or you need to work out what your dream job is, Convention is the place to do it.  The phrase “network to get work” always sounded cliché to me… until I landed a job because of conference networking!

3- Get Experience Convention-ing

Do you feel like a tiny fish in a huge ocean when you go to conferences?  Are you intimidated by the sheer size of the Convention Program book? It sounds like you have Convention Anxiety Disorder (DSM VII, pending), a common condition for many Convention attendees.  You’ll spend the rest of your career attending one kind of conference or another, so what do you do?  Why not come to Convention, one of the only conferences that has programming for students, by students specifically designed to ease you into Convention?  Check out the APAGS Making the Most of Convention session (for tips and tricks about navigating Convention), or the Flying Solo Social (for students attending Convention alone to connect with each other).  You’ll be a seasoned Convention-er in no time.

4- Excuse for a vacationMP900441060[1]

For busy graduate students, the excuse to travel to another city can be a mini-vacation (without the guilt of being away from your computer; Convention attendance counts as professional development after all).  Convention is always in a big city with lots of interesting local sites to go visit, especially this year.  There will be plenty to see in DC and many of the sites are free.  Take some time before, after, or even during Convention to explore a little.  If you register for Convention you will receive the APAGS Survival Guide which will outline many recommended sites and their pricing.

APAGS 2013 Social at the Hotel Modern in Honolulu, HI

APAGS 2013 Social at the Hotel Modern in Honolulu, HI

5- The APAGS social

And now the real reason to come to Convention!  The APAGS Convention Committee and staff always work incredibly hard to throw an awesome social for graduate students- and, not to brag, but we nail it.  Hanging with old friends, meeting new ones, letting loose and having a good time is always the best part of my Convention. This year is sure to be legendary- located at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on August 7th. Be sure you don’t miss it!

Join the APA Student Twitter Team!

For those of you going to 2014 Convention in Washington D.C., APAGS would love to hear about your experience. As a member of the APA Student Twitter Team, you can share your thoughts and impressions about your experiences while at Convention. If you are at a session you find interesting, why not let other Convention attendees know? If you just met a psychologist whose research you admire, then share your excitement!

Example tweet. This could be you!

Example tweet. This could be you!

Throughout Convention, tweets from team members and others using the #APA2014 and #APATwitterTeam hashtags will be displayed on a large tweetwall for all attendees to see.

Perks of being a Twitter Team member include:

  • an exclusive ribbon
  •  an invitation to a social event with food and a chance to win some great prizes (GoPro camera, tablet, and more)!

All you need is an open and active Twitter account. To apply, please click here.

APA in Cuba

Buy the ticket, take the ride. A phrase coined by a very good friend and an itinerant traveler in his own right, the words and underlying meaning were never truer than on my recent trip with APA to Cuba.

When I first received the email alert back in February with subject line: “Psychologists to travel to Cuba,” I was excited beyond words and a bit resigned to the fact that my efforts to save money (I had just decided to give up my apartment in downtown Palo Alto and move back in with my parents) would be temporarily put on hold: there was no way I could miss this trip.

As an undergrad at UCLA, I minored in Latin American studies; Cuba, in particular, was one of my favorite topics of study. I was fascinated by this group of revolutionaries that had overthrown their government in order to make a vast departure from the political structure of the western world. I had also learned about their first-rate education system, with literacy rates higher than those of the United States, and socialized health care despite having little to no access to many goods and services.

The opportunity to travel to learn about their health care system as part of my current training inclinical psychology seemed like it would be an invaluable aspect of my professional growth; even though I knew that I would be in the midst of internship application deadlines at the time of the trip, I had to go.

Landing in Cuba really was like going back in time 50 yearscuba neighborhood – old Fords and Plymouth convertibles, no advertisements for any goods and services except for those promoting public health and supporting ‘la revolucion’, and crumbling architecture representing the remains of both Soviet and colonial influence.

The week consisted of visits with psychologists from the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, investigators involved in community based participatory research, and practitioners at local clinics and community mental health sites, where we learned in-depth about the comprehensive model of Cuban health care. An opportunity to see the famed Buena Vista Social Club perform live was a special treat and very moving.

As the only graduate student on the trip, I found myself among established psychologists from all over the country – professionals working in VA medical centers, hospitals, universities, private practice, and various capacities for APA – and inspired by the range of their experience and depth of their careers. At the end of each day’s activities, trip leader and Past APA President Suzanne Bennett Johnson would facilitate a debrief session on the thoughts, impressions, and questions that remained with us from the day. Hearing how my fellow group members crafted their questions, provided feedback, and articulated their interests and impressions of the trip, gave me a glimpse into the thought processes of these highly trained, well experienced clinicians, researchers, and doctors. And for the first time I found myself in an interaction with psychologists that wasn’t supervisor/supervisee or advisor/student, but rather as a peer and junior colleague. Being a Spanish speaker and having studied Latin America, I had much of my own unique knowledge to bring to the group, which was a really important moment for me in my development as a psychologist in training – a ‘taking-my-place-at-a-seat-at-the-table’ kind of feeling.

Upon my return, I shared my experience during my Spanish-speaking group supervision at one of my current training sites – a community mental health clinic which provides services to monolingual Spanish speakers. Intrigued by my account of the week, my peers asked how I became involved with the trip and whether my attendance had to do with membership in any particular APA division or group. I explained that while I am a member of APA, in this case, the trip came about just from noticing an email. To which, one of my colleagues responded ‘La moraleja de la historia: lea los emails’.
Buy the ticket, take the ride, and read the emails.

APA group with Cuban researchers at the Center for Psychological and Sociological Investigation

APA group with Cuban researchers at the Center for Psychological and Sociological Investigation