My name is Ashley Weinberg and I am the 2017-18 SPSSI Graduate Student Committee (GSC) Chair. I have thoroughly enjoyed the work the GSC has been up to so far this year! SPSSI is so important to me and my aim has been to continue to uphold the wonderful legacy that previous GSC’s have set before ours both in productivity and thoughtfulness within their positions. While our team has been very busy with a multitude of projects and initiatives this year, I did want to highlight one that I am heading up with Jaboa Lake, our GSC diversity member-at-large. This year we will be holding SPSSI’s first Diversity Pre-Conference in addition to the regular Policy Pre-conference. We think that SPSSI’s first Diversity Pre-conference will provide a space for members to share with, learn from, and find community with other SPSSI members from underrepresented groups. Ultimately, this pre-conference aims to help SPSSI’s diverse members develop professional skills within academia, policy/applied areas, and in the overlap of the two. This pre-conference will take place on June 29, 2018 (the day before the general SPSSI conference) from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM, with meals included. The first session will include breakfast, talks from diverse speakers on issues relevant and of interest to SPSSI members, and a panel session. The second session will include lunch and activities to foster in-depth conversations about diversity-related experiences and diversity in practice through networking and building connections with other SPSSI members. The registration fee is $25 for students and $50 for non-students, which includes the cost of breakfast, lunch, and materials. Ten $150 funding awards will be available for students and early career members to help those in more need attend these pre-conference sessions. As diversity has been a major focus within my role as GSC chair, I thought that a pre-conference would be a wonderful opportunity to help foster growth specific to our diverse members and to open a dialogue about what resources and needs our diverse members have. If anyone is interested in helping to plan this event and/or has suggestions/recommendations, please do not hesitate to reach out to me (email@example.com). I hope to see you there!
While the Diversity Pre-Conference is very important to me, I also wanted to take this time to let you know about the other work the GSC is putting out. This is the second Rookie issue that has been published under our wonderful Rookie editor and communications member-at-large, GSC Kristan Russell, which is just a sliver of the work that the GSC has been up to! We have started the Peer Networking Program which has been very well received and which I personally got to take part in! Of course, we are always looking to improve the work we put out for you, so please let us know if you have any suggestions/comments about how we can improve this new program or what you particularly enjoyed about it! We have also started to program meetup events that will be taking place in Los Angeles and New York in the coming months! Stay tuned on this initiative, started by Angela Robinson, our GSC Chair-elect. Also, be on the look-out for our upcoming Quarterly Newsletter which has been edited by our GSC membership member-at-large, Laura Hooberman. There will be plenty of information about even more events and programs that the GSC is putting together, such as the conference meetup program that Meghan George, GSC academic member-at-large, has organized to help SPSSI graduate student members connect when they attend conferences and to advertise the research they are presenting at conferences throughout the year. Finally, if you didn’t have a chance to tune in to the Policy Webinar on “Merging Academic Research and Policy Work While in Grad School” put on by our policy member-at-large Noelle Malvar, you can visit SPSSI’s youtube channel to watch it!
GSC Chair, 2017-18