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Sarah Mancoll

SPSSI Policy Director


A Flurry of Policy Activity and More on the Way
Sarah Mancoll, SPSSI Policy Director

There has been so much great policy activity abuzz that it’s hard to wrap it all into a few paragraphs. This past June, SPSSI hosted a Policy Workshop preconference focused especially on creating policy resources through collaborations. Panelists addressed the many ways in which research connects to policy at the local, state, national, and international levels, and also spoke to current policy debates. The preconference was planned by SPSSI Policy Committee Chair Linda Silka, recent SPSSI Graduate Student Committee Chair Kristen Hackett, SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll, and SPSSI Secretary/Treasurer Richard Wiener, who initiated SPSSI’s Local- and State-Level Policy Work grant program. In a slight break with tradition, SPSSI will be hosting another Policy Workshop at our next conference, except that this workshop will be a “postconference” event, occurring on Monday, July 2, 2018—the day after the conference ends. Stay tuned for more information!

Also over the summer: SPSSI co-sponsored a Policy Workshop & Advocacy Day event that preceded the annual APA Convention. (Our co-sponsors were APA Divisions 27 and 56, APAGS, and APA’s Public Interest Directorate.) Several dozen SPSSI members were in attendance, many of whom were graduate students and early career professionals. Panel discussions on Day 1 included talks from SPSSI’s recent Marshall Fellow Rashmi Nair, former Marshall Fellow Diane Elmore Borbon, former SPSSI Council member Mischa Thompson, and SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll. On Day 2, attendees headed over to Capitol Hill to meet with their lawmakers’ offices and advocate for legislation that would greatly limit the use of restraints on pregnant, laboring, and postnatal women in federal prisons. (You can learn more about this policy issue here.) Stay tuned for information on next year’s APA Convention policy/advocacy-focused preconference, which SPSSI will be co-sponsoring with APA Division 44!

Now that we’ve entered autumn and are heading into winter, several annual policy programs are beginning to roll out. For the third year, we are soliciting proposals for Local- and State-Level Policy Work grants (proposals due December 10, 2017), which award up to $2,000 to research/policy groups working on issues at the state and/or local level. On December 1, 2017, we will begin soliciting applications for our next James Marshall Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship (applications due February 1; our current fellow is Abir Aldhalimi), and in early January, we will begin soliciting applications for our next Dalmas A. Taylor Summer Minority Policy Fellowship (applications due March 1; our most recent fellow was Gina Roussos). We are continuing to host policy webinars organized by the SPSSI Graduate Student Committee, such as our recent webinar on climate change. We are also continuing to host livestreamed and video-archived congressional seminars, including one event on human trafficking that SPSSI co-sponsored in October (moderated by SPSSI member Jennifer Woolard), and another event in early 2018 on genocide and mass violence (featuring SPSSI member Johanna Ray Vollhardt).

As always, please keep an eye out for announcements related to our policy programming, as there are many opportunities for SPSSI members at various career stages!

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