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SPSSI Conferences

We are so excited SPSSI’s Summer Conference has taken place June 24-26, 2022 in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We hope you enjoyed the great presentations, participated in networking opportunities, and celebrated being together again.  This year’s theme was:

Reenergizing Ourselves and Our Communities: Connections Across Borders and Barriers

Revitalizándonos y Nuestras Comunidades: Conexiones a través de Fronteras y Barreras  

Our communities have sustained us through times of upheaval, uncertainty, and change. Recent local and global challenges have brought forth connections to new resources and technologies as well as fatigue. This year, we invited you to reenergize in community with one another. Through reconnection, we networked and supported the social issues work that define our careers as well as leverage the lessons we have learned to spark new ideas and connect. The conference also provided a platform to learn about global knowledge and actions to promote informed social justice action. Our setting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, embodied the spirit of community, resiliency and resistance, and recursive local-global focus on barriers to justice. We invited contributions that speak to how we can create and sustain personal and community action towards building a more equitable society.

Announcing the 2022 Conference Guide!

We are pleased to present the Conference Guide for the 2022 SPSSI conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Please note this is subject to change and any revisions will be posted periodically to our website.

Cancellation List

2022 Conference Keynote Speakers

Newly announced!  Spanish translation service will be offered to up to 60 attendees for our 4 keynote speakers.


2022 Presidential Address
Dr. Linda Silka
University of Maine

2022 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Dolores Albarracín
University of Pennsylvania


2022 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Edil Torres Rivera

Wichita State University
2022 Kurt Lewin Address
Dr. Michael Hogg
Claremont Graduate University;

University of Kent

Keynote Feature: Dr. Dolores Albarracín

Behavioral Change in American Communities

Dr. Dolores Albarracín
University of Pennsylvania

Intervening to promote socially beneficial behaviors in a community involves knowing what to say, where to say it, and how to obtain broader community support for it. Through online and field experiments, big data analyses, and surveys, my program of research has shown how we can achieve behavioral impact and community acceptance to advance novel solutions for HIV, the “opioid epidemic,” and COVID-19. The systematic formation of a virtual network of health departments and nongovernment organizations involved in health promotion have also provided important insights. In particular, this effort has yielded data on the role of community vulnerability and the reciprocal relations between engagement by authorities and engagement by residents of the US counties we studied.

Keynote Feature: Dr. Edil Torres Rivera

Reenergizing Ourselves and Our Communities:
Moving toward the decolonization of the mind

   Dr. Edil Torres Rivera
Wichita State University

As we come to the end of this encounter and reconnection after two years of isolation and distance due to Covid-19 and a chaotic time full of attacks on diversity, science, and differences that created not only fatigue but frustration, fear, and distrust, it’s time to look beyond those experiences and like the phoenix to rise from the ashes. What a better place for new beginnings than our beloved Puerto Rico, where the sun, water, and tropical paradise are perfect fertile ground for sweet fruits and beautiful flowers. Therefore, following this reconnection (this year's conference theme), we can see that borders and barriers are impositions to gain and maintain power to limit and reduce the complexity of humans exploring to learn to create. Therefore, I believe that we must close this vital gathering and leave with some critical reminders about the real meaning of community, resistance, social justice, and global knowledge.  In this address, I will revisit a few age-old concepts that provided context to connections which reenergized and liberated our minds and spirits. I will also provide the necessary tools to move beyond reductionistic worldviews and embrace complexity and diversity as intended to be by nature.

Keynote Feature: 2022 SPSSI Presidential Address

Problems We Can Only Solve Together
Dr. Linda Silka
University of Maine

Increasingly we are surrounded by problems that seem insurmountable: climate change, racism, gender discrimination, food insecurity, poverty, and many others. The world is filled with problems in need of rapid solutions and the world is filled with problems that need action. Many of the topics SPSSI members study are such problems. We can be an important source of information. The interesting challenge we encounter is that too often our individual studies—important and creative as they are—do not add up to solutions. And our work in separate disciplines, important as it is, does not add up to integrated solutions. What if we changed our perspective a bit: If we put all of our research building blocks together, what kind of building would we have? Is it the building we want? Or is it a building where the parts do not fit together? Much of my research in recent years has been transdisciplinary. I have had the good fortune to work with anthropologists, biologists, economists, engineers, food researchers, forestry faculty, and health researchers. Bringing SPSSI research approaches and frameworks into these research efforts has been instrumental not only in developing a more robust “building” but also in making salient where the challenges remain in integrating research approaches so that the research can lead to solutions and actions. Many disciplines—such as engineering and public health—come under constant pressure for application; as such, they do not have the luxury of saying they still do not know enough and need to do more research before they can apply their ideas and offer solutions. One way to narrow the gap between research and action is to draw on more disciplines and the insights they offer. I will offer some examples of how we might bring our research to transdisciplinary contexts where the research is greatly needed so that problems can more easily be solved.

Keynote Feature: 2022 SPSSI Kurt Lewin Award Keynote Address

Building and Breaking Walls between Groups: Self-Uncertainty, Social Identity, and Intergroup Leadership 

Dr. Michael A. Hogg
Claremont Graduate University  

Lowering barriers and building connections between polarized groups and the identity silos they inhabit can be a challenge in times of global crisis and uncertainty. In this talk I overview uncertainty-identity theory’s program of research into the motivational role played by self-uncertainty in group identification and group and intergroup behavior (Hogg, 2021a); with a focus on how self-uncertainty can motivate zealous identification with “extremist” groups and identities (Hogg, 2021b). I then outline intergroup leadership theory, and its implications for building harmony between polarized identities (Hogg, 2015; Hogg & Rast, in press). People need a clear sense of who they are in order to understand the world and their place within it, and to plan their behavior and anticipate the behavior of others. They strive to reduce self-uncertainty, and can accomplish this by identifying with distinctive groups that have consensual, unambiguous and clearly defined social identities. The far-reaching extension of this analysis is that tumultuous social change (associated with, for example, mass migration or a changing world order) can destabilize people’s sense of who they are and make them feel alienated from and marginalized in society. When groups feel their cherished identities are under threat of dramatic change, sometimes framed as an existential threat, this can strengthen identification with ethnocentric and xenophobic groups that are rigidly intolerant of dissent and have autocratic leaders - effectively building identity silos that wall off hyper-polarized groups and their associated identities from one another. Under these circumstances breaking down walls to reconcile polarized and hostile groups and identities is a challenge. One way to approach this challenge is by constructing and promoting a superordinate group identity that values subgroup distinctiveness and constructive subgroup relations as defining features of the superordinate identity and thus the subgroups’ identities. Leadership plays a key role in this process. 

Have you seen that we offer registration to the following all-day Pre-conference Workshops on June 23 as part of registration for the conference?

Rates: $25 for students/$40 for non-students:

2022 Conference Registration is Open!

Conference rates include access to all educational sessions, daily breakfast, coffee breaks, social receptions, and subsidized portal processing fees.  This year, SPSSI has reduced all in-person rates.  Rate reductions and hardship requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please email to inquire. 


Regional Conference Rates!

New!  In an effort to meet the economic needs of our many constituencies, SPSSI is pleased to announce a newly added category of rates for the 2022 Summer Conference.  Regional rates apply to conference attendees from the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. As a reminder, and across all rates, further reductions or hardship requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Not a current member of SPSSI? In many cases it is more valuable to join SPSSI and pay a reduced conference fee.

Learn more about membership here.

Note: The application deadline for all 2022 travel funding grants
has now passed. 

2022 Summer Conference Lodging Update:
Discounted Room Block Now Sold Out.

Conference Hotel

The SPSSI Conference will be held at the Royal Sonesta in San Juan, Puerto Rico, an oceanfront location in Isla Verde.  SPSSI's discounted block of rooms at the Royal Sonesta San Juan has recently sold out for several of the conference dates, though surrounding dates may still be available.  You may call the hotel directly to ask about honoring the $205 rate during your full stay, or view comparable and affordable lodging options via websites such as Kayak, Airbnb, VRBO, etc. 

2022 Summer Conference Safety Considerations

Please note guidelines are subject to change.  Check and the below resources frequently for updates.

SPSSI is committed to creating a safe space for in-person events with our top priority being the safety and well-being of attendees, speakers, and staff. Therefore, we will implement COVID-19 health and safety practices as issued by local and state authorities, including the event venue, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For the safety and comfort of all, SPSSI is requiring that all summer conference attendees provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of our conference registration process. This will be in addition to the requirements listed on the links below to both visit the island and enter the resort or convene in shared spaces.  Masks are required indoors in this year’s conference space and at all outdoor activities of 50 attendees or more.  Please be sure to check our main conference page and the below links frequently as requirements are subject to change.

The Puerto Rico Health Department and Discover Puerto Rico have posted full travel guidelines on their website for visiting the island. This includes completing a Travel Declaration Form through the online portal. Read the latest updates from the Puerto Rico Health Department.  For those traveling internationally, please refer to the travel guidelines as those protocols may differ from those traveling domestically.

Latest guidelines as of March 31, 2022:

Anyone older than 2 years of age who arrives in Puerto Rico from a flight from any State or territory of the United States of America or from any international destination —except those who have a Vacu-ID issued by the Government of Puerto Rico that reflects that they were inoculated with the booster dose or "booster" — will have the obligation to complete the "Travel Declaration form, COVID-19 Alert". By completing the Travel Declaration Form, you must provide evidence of a completed vaccination cycle or instead, a negative molecular or antigen test result to detect COVID-19 carried out within the period maximum of 2 days before arrival on the Island or within the 48-hours period after arrival in Puerto Rico. In case of being a traveler from an international destination, you must provide a negative molecular or antigen test result to detect COVID-19 carried out a maximum of one (1) day before boarding the plane bound for Puerto Rico.

The meeting is being held at the Royal Sonesta San Juan, and they also have posted their own protocols for entering the venue. If you plan to stay in the meeting hotel, please note, a negative COVID-19 test that is from no more than 3 days prior to your travel date must be provided at check-in or proof of being fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, they will be unable to provide you with a guest room if you are unable to provide negative results.



2022 Conference Program Chairs:



Dr. Eduardo A. Lugo Hernández
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Dr. Kala J.Melchiori
James Madison University


Dr. Souhail M. Malavé Rivera
University of Puerto Rico,
Medical Sciences Campus