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SPSSI Student Newsletter, January/March 2002 

Issue 10/11, Featuring:

Training opportunities for students


Welcome to another exciting issue of the SPSSI Student Newsletter!  We would like to extend an extra warm welcome to our 150 new international student members.  We hope that both old and new members will take advantage of the many opportunities we offer for students. 

We’d like to encourage students to nominate themselves, and faculty to nominate their most promising students to be a part of the SPSSI student committee.  Details about the committee positions and their duties along with contact information are included in this issue.  The deadline for nominations is now April 15th, so get your nominations in now!

We would also like to encourage students to attend the 2002 SPSSI Conference, June 28-30 in Toronto, Canada.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Understanding and Addressing Disparities.”  We are hoping to attract students conducting national and international research on disparities that result, for example, as a function of social class, race, gender, and religion.  Deadline for submissions is January 7, 2002.  In addition to poster submissions, this year, some students will be invited to present their work in a symposium on their research area.  Students who make a submission will also have the opportunity to apply for a Student Travel Award to the conference. 

A Student Pre-conference is being planned as well.  It will offer information about academic and non-academic job opportunities for students.  More details about the conference can be found in this issue of the newsletter. 

SPSSI is offering a number of funding opportunities for students this year.  For instance, the Grants-in-Aid program offers up to $2,000 to fund graduate student research, while the Clara Mayo Grant offers $1,000 to support pre-dissertation or Master’s research in the areas of sexism, racism, or prejudice.  The Social Issues Dissertation Award offers $750 for doctoral dissertation research.  SPSSI also offers funding for public interest, policy-related, and international projects.  Persons interested in conducting research in cooperation with community or government organizations can apply for the Applied Social Issues Internship Program.  The Dalmas Taylor Policy Fellowship provides minority students with the opportunity to work on public policy issues in Washington D.C.  Finally, the EAESP/SPSSI Small Conferences Award offers funding opportunities for persons interested in collaborating with researchers abroad.  More details on these and other funding opportunities can be found on the SPSSI website.

Students can also engage in several career-boosting opportunities.  Join the ranks of Jameson Hirsch, Melanie Morrison, and Mandeep Dhami and become a student editor for SPSSI’s Journal of Social Issues or the new web-based journal, the Analysis of Social Issues and Policy.  You can submit your own research to our Student Spotlight and Science in Action sections of the newsletter. 

All in all, this promises to be a great year for SPSSI students and we look forward to meeting you at the conference!


The Student Committee is looking to fill the following positions: Student Chair-elect, Member-at-Large, Student Newsletter Editor, and Student Web Editor on the SPSSI Student Committee.  Self-nominations are welcome.  We are also asking that advisors submit the names of promising students for nomination.  Don’t be shy.  Send in a self-nomination!  Please send all nominations to: 

SPSSI Central Office
     Student Committee--ELECTIONS
PO Box 34646
Washington, DC 20043-4646

The final deadline for nominations is May 1st, 2002.  If you have any questions concerning these positions, please contact Brian Sims at

Description of SPSSI Student Committee and Officer Positions:

The SPSSI Student Committee (SC) was organized in 1998.  The purpose of SC is to give the students of SPSSI a voice regarding issues that directly affect students.  Some of these issues are directly related to being a graduate student in SPSSI, others are related to the larger SPSSI organization, and some are related to addressing social problems such as poverty and education.

The SPSSI SC has five officers: Chair, Chair-Elect, Newsletter/Web Editor, and two Members-at-Large.  Each office is a one-year term, although the Chair-Elect commits to two years, one as Chair-Elect and another as Chair.  Officers report to the Chair, who has the ultimate decision regarding issues such as budget and new initiatives.

The Chair of the SC is the leader of the committee.  The Chair is responsible for day-to-day issues pertaining to the committee that may arise, such as questions from the faculty committee or students interested in joining SPSSI.  The Chair is also responsible for more long-term issues such as the direction of the SC, new initiatives, and funding for SC activities at the bi-annual SPSSI conference.

The Chair-elect of the SC serves for one year as a committee member helping the Chair to carry out the planning and running of the activities for the year.  This year of guidance helps to prepare the Chair-elect for her or his following year as Chair of the committee.

Newsletter/Web Editor
The SC develops a newsletter that is sent to all student members each quarter.  The newsletter editor is responsible for soliciting stories and reports for the newsletter, and preparing the newsletter for publication each quarter.  In addition, the editor is responsible for the upkeep of the student committee website and may help with other functions of the committee including providing input and voting on SC business.

Member-at-Large (2 positions)
The member-at-large position was created to provide more assistance to the Chair for various Student Council tasks.  Members-at-large can expect to be appointed to head a sub-committee (based on the member's interests), and to coordinate important SC functions.  For instance, this year one of the members-at-large was placed in charge of the travel grant competition, while the other member was appointed elections officer.

          The SPSSI Student Committee is a relatively new committee, but over the past few years it has already provided the student members of SPSSI with invaluable service.  Although the positions are prestigious, with graduate students holding elected office in a national organization, the workload is quite manageable.  Being an SC officer provides an introduction to the internal workings of a national organization, helps students to develop their leadership skills, and opens doors to future opportunities for those pursuing either academic or community service careers.  Developing future leaders of SPSSI is important for the continuation of SPSSI, an organization that has a rich history of addressing social problems.  We hope that you will put your name on the ballot for next year. 


The SPSSI Student Committee will offer a student pre-conference at the SPSSI conference in Toronto this year. On Friday, June 28th, we will be holding several panel discussions on a wide variety of topics. In addition, students will have the opportunity to interact with leading social scientists in their field to speak about their research and career interests. 
The first panel will target skills necessary for a successful academic career.  Topics in this panel will include grant writing and funding your graduate education, tips on giving academic presentations and on obtaining a job in academia.  The second panel will contain six presentations relating to traditional and nontraditional opportunities for research and training.  Topics include congressional fellows, policy related internships and opportunities, postdoctoral research opportunities, and SPSSI student funding opportunities. There will also be plenty of time at each of these panels to ask questions and network with other students and presenters. To find out more, please check the student webpage over the upcoming months for more information. We really look forward to seeing you there!


The SPSSI program at the 2001 APA Convention in San Francisco was an exciting and intellectually stimulating event.  The SPSSI program was spread over four days and included talks given by Jennifer Crocker, James Jones, John Dovidio, Michelle Fine, and Barbara Fredrickson.  In addition, SPSSI sponsored a poster session, several social hours, and a student program comprised of conversation hours with leading social scientists. 

The purpose of the conversation hours were three-fold: 1) to provide students with information about topics that they may lack at their home institutions; 2) to allow students to interact with researchers working in their field in a less formal setting than that is offered during the symposia; 3) to increase student membership in SPSSI by demonstrating SPSSI’s vested interest in using science to address social issues.  (All participants and volunteers were awarded with 1-year memberships to SPSSI).

The first conversation hour was entitled, “Concerning the Environment: Using Research to Affect Our Environment” and was hosted by Drs. Susan Clayton and Deborah Winter, who discussed ways to use science to affect attitudes towards environmental issues and how students could get involved. 

The second conversation hour was: “Women in the Academy: Women Researching Women.”  This session was hosted by Drs. Barbara Fredrickson, Abigail Stewart, Bernice Lott, and, student, Julie Konik, and focused on women researchers in the academy in the past, present, and future and the acceptance of gender-based research in the academy and in its impact on policy.

“Where Research meets Policy: Changing the World through Social Science,” was the third conversation hour and was hosted by Camille Preston, (SPSSI James Marshall Scholar) APA Public Policy Office; Dr. Jeanine Cogan, Executive Director Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action; Dr. Peter Walker, SPSSI Chair of United Nations and International Issues Committee & SPSSI NGO Representative: Gregory Wilmoth.  This session focused on training and employment opportunities in the policy arena, how students can use their social science background to impact policy, and about consulting opportunities with policymakers.

Lastly, the conversation hour, “Minorities in the Academy: Past, Present & Future,” was hosted by Drs. James Jackson, Albert Roberts, Denise Sekaquaptewa, Kendrick Brown, and Keith Maddox.  The session focused on the experience of working in positions in which one is one of few or the only racial minority, the acceptance of research on racial minorities in the academy, and postdoctoral opportunities and the job market.

We would like to extend a big thanks to all of the hosts and volunteers: Izumi Sakamoto, Jennifer Harman, Roberta Downing, Wendy Limbert, Larissa Myaskovsky, Lumas Helaire, and Deanna Cooke. 

Student Reflections on the SPSSI Student Conversation Hour:
Minorities in the Academy: Past, Present & Future

The SPSSI student social hour provided students with an excellent opportunity to hear a diverse panel of professors discuss their personal and professional experience in academia.  Mischa Thompson, the SPSSI student chair, created an informal environment in the SPSSI suite and facilitated an informative discussion for a focused and enthusiastic audience of students and professors from an array of specialties in psychology. 

Drs. James Jackson and Denise Sekaquaptewa represented the tenured experiences of being African American and Native American, respectively.  They discussed the challenges of creating a safe space in a predominantly white institution. In addition, they discussed how to create a thriving research program and obtain grant funding to support one’s research.  Feelings of isolation in academia and the challenges of overcoming racism, sexism, and ambivalence towards cultural competence in the department were also discussed. 

Dr. Albert Roberts, chairperson of the Psychology Department at Howard University shared his experiences as a tenured faculty at a Historically Black University.  He noted that the feelings of isolation at a Historically Black University (HBU) for professors of African descent are uncommon and that other challenges are associated with these positions. 

Drs. Kendrick Brown and Keith Maddox discussed their experiences as young, African American faculty members in pursuit of tenure in psychology departments.  They noted that the challenges they face reflect challenges encountered by most new faculty.  For instance, obtaining a post-doc in order to establish one’s research program was recommended before obtaining a faculty position because of the importance of research and publications in the pursuit of tenure.  Moreover, they noted that if a culturally specific research topic, i.e., skin complexion in African Americans, is not a traditional research interest shared by other faculty members, developing collegial support for one’s research may be an additional challenge. 

Overall, the social hour offered students critical mentorship in a brief, but invaluable moment of deep thought about academia from a Native American and African American perspective at Predominantly White and Historically Black institutions. 

Written by Mark A. Bolden, a doctoral Student in Counseling Psychology at Howard University in the Department of Human Development & Psychoeducational Studies and School of Education


This section of the Student Newsletter is dedicated to publishing summaries of research that student members of SPSSI are currently conducting or have recently completed.  If you would like to submit a summary article (200-300 words) to the Student Newsletter, please send your submission as an e-mail attachment to Jennifer Harman at


Earlier this year, the SPSSI student committee invited international students to become members of SPSSI at no cost.  We hoped that waiving the $10 application fee would make it easier for our colleagues outside of North America to become SPSSI members.  We received over 350 applications from countries such as Nigeria, Turkey, China and Peru. We accepted 150 of those applicants.  Applicants received a 1-year membership.  Membership provides free editions of the Journal of Social Issues and access to our new electronic journal, the Analyses of Social Science and Policy.  Members are also eligible for the many funding opportunities offered through SPSSI.  We look forward to sharing research ideas and questions with you over the SPSSI Listserv ( and hope to see you at the SPSSI conference in 2002 in Toronto, Canada. Please see the SPSSI website for conference information. Again, welcome to SPSSI!


The SPSSI student committee is currently seeking nominations for the position of student editor of the Journal of Social Issues (JSI).  Editorial board members have expertise in their own area of research and scholarship, and it is essential that they are also able to adopt a broad perspective in evaluating the overall relevance and merit of the proposals to the study of social issues.  The ideal candidate is open-minded and should be familiar with a range of social issues.  He or she must be willing to invest time in order to arrive at an informed judgment on proposals, especially when those concern novel or controversial topics.  Previous experience with the publication process is preferred.  The term of the graduate student member of the editorial board will be limited to one year (July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003).  If you are interested in this position, are enrolled in a doctoral program in psychology or a related field, and are a member of SPSSI, please submit a curriculum vita and personal statement highlighting your interest and qualifications.  Send the materials through regular mail or as an email attachment to:

SPSSI Central Office
Student Committee--JSI Editor Search
PO Box 34646
Washington, DC 20043-4646

Deadline for nominations is February 15, 2002.  Self-nominations are welcome.  Note that email access is imperative for this position.  If you have any questions concerning the position, please contact the current graduate student member of the JSI editorial board and Chair of the Student Editor Appointment Committee: Melanie A. Morrison, PhD Candidate, 145 Jean-Jacques Lussier Street, Mont Petit 415A,  School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5 CANADA Telephone: 613.562.5800 (ext.4304),


The SPSSI student committee is currently seeking nominations for the position of student editor for the Journal of Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP).  ASAP is a new electronic journal sponsored by the SPSSI and is in its first year of publication.  The journal is an outlet for timely and innovative psychological and related social science scholarship with explicit implications for social action and policy.  To learn more about the journal, see - password: klewin.  (Note, unlike JSI, ASAP is not a thematic journal).  ASAP board members should be committed to considering overt connections between scholarly work and public policy and will be expected to review manuscripts in their areas of expertise.  Reviewing will take place electronically, as much as possible.  The ideal candidate for the graduate student position is open-minded and should be familiar with a range of social issues.  He or she should be willing to invest time in order to arrive at an informed judgment on manuscripts and proposals, especially when those concern novel or controversial topics.  It is important that he or she have the ability to explain complex social science research in language suitable for educated consumers who are not necessarily psychologists.  Further, the ideal candidate must have reliable internet access and be a competent user of the web.  Previous experience with web publication is desirable (although not required). The term for the graduate student member of the editorial board will be limited to one year (July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003). If you are interested in this position and are enrolled in a doctoral program in psychology or a related field, please submit an email attachment including your curriculum vita and a personal statement highlighting your interest and qualifications to:

SPSSI Central Office
     Student Committee—ASAP Editor Search
PO Box 34646
Washington, DC 20043-4646

Deadline for nominations is February 15, 2002.  Self-nominations are welcome.  Please contact Jameson K. Hirsch, M.A., Department of Psychology, Room 3415, Biological Sciences Building, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071; Telephone: (307) 766-6303; Email:

Call for Submissions:
Journal of Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP)

Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP) is a new electronic journal sponsored by SPSSI that began publishing in 2001.  The journal is an outlet for timely and innovative psychological and related social science scholarship with explicit implications for social action and policy.  Currently, ASAP is seeking submissions in any content area related to the goals of SPSSI.  The following formats are appropriate:

  • Reports of research relevant to social issues and public policy. 
  • Discussions of approaches to and methods of evaluating public policy. 
  • Theoretical articles. 
  • Reviews of the literature in current areas of concern. 
  • Book reviews. 
  • Reviews of web sites (including links to sites). 
  • Point/counterpoint discussions on controversial social issues. 
  • Invited articles from public policy experts detailing what they need from researchers.

ASAP is available on the web free to all SPSSI members and institutional subscribers to the Journal of Social Issues. Summaries of each article will be available to the general public via any search engine.  SPSSI also plans to send relevant articles to the media and policy makers.  At the end of each year, a print version will be made available to all institutions that subscribe to the Journal of Social Issues.

To learn more about the journal, see ASAP  Please note that, although the peer review process does occur, ASAP differs from JSI in that ASAP is not a thematic journal.  However, given the review process, articles published on ASAP are classified as peer-reviewed publications.  Please contact the ASAP editor Rhoda Unger, Ph.D., with questions about publishing in ASAP.


By Camille Preston 

APA's Public Policy Office has developed the Public Policy Advocacy Network (PPAN), a grassroots network for psychologists that provides updates on current policy issues and facilitates communication with members of Congress and other policy-making bodies.  This network allows APA members to utilize their expertise to inform and influence national policy.  Network members receive "Action Alerts" periodically (usually not more than one per month) via e-mail, with message headers clearly indicating the Alert's topic.  Action Alerts contain brief summaries of major policy developments and are often linked to sample letters and/or telephone scripts on the APA Web site.  PPAN members can use the APA Web site to contact their representative's offices, and to find out more information about the Alert and related issues.  Your expertise in social issues is needed to help congressional representatives and their staff reach sound decisions on legislative issues such as affirmative action, the census, intimate violence, education reform, and juvenile justice.   For more information about PPAN, please visit the PPO web site at or call the Public Policy Office at 202-336-6062.  To join PPAN, you can simply go to and fill out the brief enrollment form.  We look forward to having you as a member of PPAN!


  • STUDENT CHAIR (Interim):  Mischa Thompson, University of Michigan, Department of Psychology, 525 E. University, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1109; (734) 763-3933;
  • STUDENT CHAIR-ELECT (Interim):  Larissa Myaskovsky, Ph.D. Psychiatry Department, UPMC Health System, Suite 502 Iroquois Building, 3600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 phone: (412) 624-3373; fax: (412) 383-4846;e-mail:
  • STUDENT NEWSLETTER/WEB EDITOR:  Jennifer Harman, 44 Orange Street #714, New Haven, CT 06510; (860) 486-9020; 
  • MEMBER-AT-LARGE:  Rob Foels;

SPSSI Central Office
     Student Committee
PO Box 34646
Washington, DC 20043-4646