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The World of Psychology and Social Issues

Janice R. Adelman by Janice R. Adelman, SPSSI GSC Chair

The time has come for us to converge on Chicago. SPSSI's biennial convention provides the opportunity for society members to meet face-to-face, talk about hot issues, discuss research, and socialize with friends and colleagues. It is also a time of change, particularly for the committee and council members, as old representatives relinquish their posts to the new members. And so my year at the helm of the Graduate Student Committee comes to a close. But not without much gratitude for all of the current GSC members and their hard work over the past year. We have enjoyed many new firsts this year as the GSC worked toward the common goal of advancing the psychological study of social issues on an international level. We benefited greatly from the presence of our first international member-at-large, Katherine Stroebe, whose insight and talents across the pond made her an invaluable resource. We saw the issues of the Rookie go completely online, under the watchful eye of Namrata Mahajan, and we introduced a new feature: the international student spotlight. More than this, we hope that we have been successful in attracting new student members to the cause, with thanks to the contributions and guidance of our faithful members-at-large, Jenny Escobar, Robert Blagg, and Liana Epstein. By the time you read this, we will have elected our new GSC members. I wish them as much success and student involvement as we have had.

So it goes without saying that I am pleased and honored to be associated with an organization like SPSSI. As SPSSI currently goes through its strategic planning mission, what better time to remind us of the capacity that each of us holds to affect change in the society itself, as well as in the world around us? As graduate students, we often get bogged down with pending deadlines and the pressure to keep plodding through our program until we have our degree in hand. It is easy to put off involvement until we have more time (i.e., “as soon as I submit this class paper/research proposal/grant proposal/my dissertation...”). We all know it, but deadlines will persist throughout the rest of our careers. Why not volunteer some of our precious time to pursuing activities that help fulfill our dreams? I've said it before, but I will say it again (particularly since this is my last column to address you as chair of the GSC): SPSSI welcomes your involvement in bettering the organization and advancing our goals of applying psychology to studying social issues across the globe. Take the time today - your work will always be waiting for you. And your contribution to SPSSI will make your work that much more valuable in the long run when it reaches the policy makers and legislative bodies waiting to hear what you – our future social scientists promoting social change – have to say.

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