SPSSI Student Newsletter - August 2000
Greetings from the Outgoing Student Committee (SC) Chair
My year as student committee chair is almost over, and what can I say? It’s been a wonderful experience to work with the student committee on behalf of and for the benefit of SPSSI students. SPSSI has a tradition of valuing its junior members as a resource, which makes it great to be involved. And as the SC chair I can tell you that these are more than words: Even when I was asking them for money, my interactions with the SPSSI leadership were pleasant!
This year’s biggest SPSSI event, the convention in Minneapolis, demonstrated once again that SPSSI has lots to offer to students. Beyond the rich conference program, there were a number of events designed for students, namely, the student mentorship lunch, an SC-sponsored panel, and the first ever Student Pre-Conference.
Although conference organizers may be under suspicion of exaggerating the success of “their events,” this time you should believe it: The first student pre-conference on professional issues was a thorough success! In two panels, chaired by Amy Marcus-Newhall (Scripps College) and the SC chair, experienced scholars shared with students their expertise on various career paths and their advice with regard to publications, grant-writing, and public policy training. Even though evaluations from the 30-40 attending students were very positive, it is clear that in future pre-conferences a couple of kinks will have to be worked out. Foremost, future organizers will be sure to provide free coffee to sustain the audience’s mental concentration.
Shifting focus from the past to the future, we have good news for you concerning opportunities for SPSSI students during this coming year. Here’s a brief summary:
Analysis of Social Issues and Policy (ASAP)
Journal of Social Issues (JSI)
More travel money
Membership adoption program
Maybe the biggest news is that soon the new student committee 2000-2001 will take over. I am confident that with Mischa Thompson at the helm, the SC will be able to expand its activities to benefit SPSSI students. Among her exciting initiatives is a public policy workshop that will enable students to connect their work to social issues and action—a new opportunity for SPSSI students, and also a new way of helping members to fulfill the mission of SPSSI.
Wishing you a successful year,
Greetings from the Incoming Chair
The coming year promises to be very exciting for SPSSI student members. In addition to continuing past SPSSI services for students such as offering a forum for students on the SPSSI student listserv, maintaining a student editor position on the Journal for Social Issues, providing travel awards to the SPSSI conference, hosting a student paper symposium at the SPSSI conference, and providing professional and developmental services for students at the SPSSI student pre-conference (e.g., see SPSSI webpage
Mischa Thompson, SPSSI 2000-2001 Student Chair-elect - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elections for the 2000-01 SPSSI Student Committee have been mailed. If you have not received a ballot, contact the main office and make sure your membership is current. Ballots must be postmarked by August 21, 2000. Please take the time to vote--each vote makes a difference (how’s that for priming a sense of self-efficacy?).
Chair-Elect: Beverly Araujo, Teresa Costello, Sam Sommers
Newsletter Editor: Steven M. Elias, Nora Misiolek
Members at Large (2 positions): Rob Foels, Larissa Myaskovsky, Diana R. Nichols, Michael I. Norton
Got time on your hands? Visit SPSSI’s website at www.spssi.org so you can:
Thank You, Mentors!
Call for Nominations
Graduate Student Position on the Editorial Board of
Analysis of Social Issues and Policy (ASAP)
The inaugural editor of Analysis of Social Issues and Policy (ASAP), SPSSI’s new electronic journal scheduled to begin publishing in 2001, wishes to reserve one position on the editorial board for an interested and qualified graduate student. The SPSSI student committee is currently seeking nominations for this position.
Call for Nominations:
The editor of the Journal of Social Issues (JSI) reserves one position on the Editorial Board for an interested and qualified graduate student. The SPSSI student committee is currently seeking nominations for this position. Given the nature of JSI as a thematic journal, editorial board members review and evaluate proposals for new JSI issues. Although editorial board members have expertise in their own area of research and scholarship, it is essential that they are 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 required. Since editorial work takes time and energy, and because we want to give as many students as possible the chance to share in this opportunity, the term of the graduate student member of the editorial board will be limited to one year (July 1, 2001 – June 30, 2002). 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 current vita and personal statement highlighting your interest and qualifications. Send the materials through regular mail or as an email attachment to:
Student Committee--JSI Search
P.O. Box 1248
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
Adrienne Y. Stith, James Marshall Public Policy Scholar
I began my tenure as the James Marshall Scholar eight months ago. I am learning a great deal about legislative process and some of the issues in the forefront during this session of Congress. It has truly been an exciting time. My journey to this point has been filled with interesting and varied experiences. I received my degree from the University of Vermont in 1997 in Clinical Psychology. I served youth and families in outpatient, inpatient, hospital, and school settings. After completing a clinical internship at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, I started a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY in Pediatric Psychology and Adolescent Health.
It was there that I received my first taste of policy. I developed an increasing interest in addressing the problems facing individuals through broader social change as opposed to individual level intervention. My clinical experiences with children in foster care, adolescent mothers, and poor urban youth demonstrated the importance and need for addressing these issues on a programmatic level. I worked with individuals and families who exhibited anxiety, depression, externalizing behaviors and substance use as a result of stresses in their environments and/or in attempts to cope with them.
I have come to appreciate the need for an effective bridge between psychological practice, research, and policy efforts. The James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship has provided experiences that have allowed me to use my scientific knowledge to influence policy. One of the most exciting issues in which I have been involved is ethnic disparities in health care and health research. This has been a wonderful opportunity to use my knowledge of research to influence the development of legislation. Three bills were introduced this session regarding health disparities.
The first (H.R. 2391), was introduced by Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL). This bill would establish within NIH a National Center for Research on Domestic Health Disparities that would conduct and support research pertaining to minority health. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced a bill (S. 1880), an amendment to the Public Health Service Act, that would also establish a NIH Center For Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities. In addition, this bill provides for loan repayment programs, grants for health professions education curriculum, and data collection on services for minority populations. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) introduced a companion measure to S 1880 in the House (H.R. 3250). I have worked to amend the language of the House and Senate bills to make them inclusive of behavioral and social science. As introduced, the bills focused on the use of biomedical research to close the disparities gap. I have met with numerous offices on both the House and Senate side to discuss the contributions of behavioral and social science to health research and how crucial this work is to closing the disparities gap. In addition, I recently organized a congressional briefing on this topic in conjunction with APA, the Consortium of Social Science Associations, and the National Association of Social Work.
By bringing researchers to the Hill, we were able to educate Congressional staff about the multitude of social, psychological, and economic factors that influence health status and the significant contributions of behavioral and social science research.
The fellowship is a wonderful and unique opportunity to link research and policy. I have been struck by how critical social science is for so many policy issues and more so by how much knowledge there is to impart on our elected officials. If you have any questions about the fellowship, becoming involved in policy, or about the disparities or other legislation please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.