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The 2023 SPSSI Policy Workshop Preconference

There’s No One Way to “Do” Policy Work:
Informing Policy at Different Levels of Governance, on Different Issues, and in Different Sectors

Date: Saturday, June 24, 2023
Location: Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center (map)
Room: Silverton Ballroom 2 (Second Floor)

Cost:  Students - $35  |  Non-Students - $55

As in past years, the SPSSI Policy Workshop Preconference will immediately precede the SPSSI Summer Conference, which begins on Sunday, June 25 and ends on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. Breakfast, lunch, and materials are included as part of the programming and are reflected in the registration fee. The Policy Workshop program is featured below.


8:30 - 9:00 am: Breakfast is Available (Silverton Ballroom 3)

9:00 - 9:15 am: Welcoming Remarks (Abigail Stewart, PhD, SPSSI President)

9:15 - 10:30 am: Panel I: The Many Ways of "Doing" Policy Work

Moderator: Abigail Stewart, PhD (SPSSI President). Panelists: Benjamin Blankenship, PhD; NiCole Buchanan, PhD; Patrick Grzanka, PhD.

In this moderated panel discussion, panelists with different perspectives, experiences, and areas of expertise will talk about the many ways that psychologists, and social scientists more broadly, can "do" policy work. One can "do" policy work not only through one's career (e.g., working for a government agency) but also through policy-relevant research (and dissemination/communication), through working to change policy at one's own institution and within the academy, and through teaching and mentoring the next generation of policy-minded students, including policy-minded psychology doctoral students. 

10:30 - 10:45 am: Break

10:45 am - 12:00 pm: Panel II: Doing Policy Work at Different Levels of Governance

Moderator: Linda Silka, PhD (Past SPSSI President). Panelists: David Livert, PhD; Sarah Mancoll, MSc (SPSSI Policy Director); Apryl Alexander, PsyD.

In this moderated panel discussion, panelists will speak to the unique opportunities and challenges of doing policy work in different policy settings, from international policy work (e.g., at the United Nations) to intranational policy work at the national, state, and local levels.

12:00 - 1:00 pm: Networking Lunch (Silverton Ballroom 3)

1:00 - 1:15 pm: Break

1:15 - 2:30 pm: Panel III: Insights Into Policymaking From SPSSI Marshall Fellows (Past and Present)

Moderator: Sarah Mancoll, MSc (SPSSI Policy Director). Panelists: Lindsey Yessick, PhD; Kevin Carriere, PhD. 

Paraphrasing Aaron Burr (as he sang in the musical "Hamilton"), what IS it like to be in the room where it happens? Join SPSSI's Marshall Fellow and a SPSSI Marshall Fellowship alumnus for a conversation about how policymaking actually works on the Hill and how psychologists actually use their expertise and knowledge to inform policymaking.

2:30 - 2:45 pm: Closing Remarks (Sarah Mancoll, MSc, SPSSI Policy Director)


Questions? Please contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll ( 

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