Hello SPSSI student members!
I have the pleasure of writing to you as the 2018-2019 chair of SPSSI’s Graduate Student Committee (GSC). Several years ago, I joined SPSSI because of my interest in social issues research and my desire to learn more about applying research findings to public policy. As I became more involved in SPSSI, I truly felt at home here because of the way that this community lifts one another up in our quest for knowledge about social issues and policy work. This year I am excited to advance our shared interests alongside the other members of the current GSC. This incredible group of leaders shares my passion for serving our graduate student community, and we look forward to connecting and collaborating with you.
This issue of the Rookie is themed around education, which is so fitting for an organization like ours. SPSSI’s student community is centered on making knowledge accessible to all. We strive to communicate research findings to all kinds of audiences and stakeholders—including peers, the students we teach, members of the public, and policymakers. Our shared commitment to turning research into action puts education at the center of all that we do.
This year’s GSC is planning a number of initiatives that reflect the importance of education to our graduate student membership. Some of these initiatives will help student members receive mentorship from those who have come before us, such as the mentor lunch event that Ben Blankenship will host at the 2019 SPSSI conference. At this event, student members have the opportunity to learn from mentors working inside and outside academia.
Other GSC initiatives reflect our commitment to becoming better educators for our students. For example, Kevin Carriere (featured in this issue) is coordinating webinars on teaching, where graduate student speakers will share their strategies for effective pedagogy.
And of course, several of our GSC initiatives are focused on learning from one another. One such opportunity is SPSSI’s second annual Diversity Pre-Conference, where attendees will share with and learn from other SPSSI members from underrepresented groups. GSC members Darlingtina Atakere and Jaboa Lake are co-chairing the planning committee for the 2019 event.
We also provide opportunities for student members to exchange knowledge throughout the year. For example, Nuha Alshabani will be hosting webinars on policy-related career paths. Other webinars will focus on the policy implications of graduate student research on topics such as immigration.
Last but not least, the Rookie provides an outlet for student members to reflect on the graduate student experience and to discuss research and policy work. Editor Christina Lapytskaia will be bringing you issues like this one, packed with pieces written by graduate students for the benefit of our student community.
We invite you to participate in our upcoming events and opportunities for SPSSI’s student membership. Please watch for emails about student initiatives, and follow us on Facebook (@SPSSIGraduateStudents). We look forward to connecting with you over the coming months.