President's message

Ann Landes, the program chair, writes a the message describing Division 19's experience at the APA's 2012 annual meeting

By Tonia S. Heffner, PhD

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the newsletter and to the overall operations of Division 19 over these last few months while I have been otherwise occupied by work demands. As these demands prohibited me from attending the annual convention, Ann Landes, our program chair, agreed to write the message describing our annual meeting. Thank you, Ann, for taking on this additional burden! Division 19 would not be a success without the contributions of all of our volunteers and those willing to step in when others are unavailable.

Energy and excitement abounded at APA 2012. Division 19’s stimulating programming, diverse poster presentations, informative business meetings and engaging social events (social hour, The After Party and Military Hour) were all well attended. Individuals, both members and nonmembers, helped to create a wonderful experience that included time for learning, networking and just simple FUN!

This year’s programming was a true success on multiple levels, made possible by numerous people dedicated to the future of Division 19 and its mission. Take for starters, Dr. Amando Estrada and Dr. Rebecca Porter, who provided invaluable leadership during the business meeting and awards ceremony. Their presence focused us on the saliency of Military Psychology and the mentoring of its future psychologists. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have wonderful Division 19 coffee mugs to give away.

And what would we do with out Lt. Kristen Kochanski? A tireless advocate for students, she was constantly answering questions and encouraging individuals to get more involved. Oh! How about that hospitality suite? No one told me it had to be “hospitable”! Hence, I bought next to nothing by way of refreshments. But, no worries, thanks to Dr. Steve Goldberg and his wife, who immediately assessed that I had “no idea” and went to Costco to gather drink and eats.

There are so many more people that played key roles, and I apologize if I have forgotten to mention you. I do hope that I thanked you in person at that moment. I left grateful for the experience, my first year as Division Program Chair. I do not think it was luck; I don’t believe in it. What I do believe in is the power of a shared vision and a commitment to community, both of which I witnessed repeatedly amongst our Division 19 family. I was greatly encouraged by what I sensed to be a deep desire to strengthen and grow our organization, in a manner that is forward thinking and inclusive.

On a final note: Preparations for next year’s convention — in Hawai’i — is starting quite soon. I would like to again ask for any volunteers (no students at this time, unfortunately) to be a reviewer for the proposals. Representatives from various areas of expertise are needed. If you would like to volunteer for something absolutely life changing, please contact me.