Graduate Students Committee report
By LT Kristen Kochanski, David Barry, and Jennifer Barry
It is with both some sadness and excitement that I say goodbye to being the Div. 19 student representative. I have enjoyed being in this position for the past three years, and I am very excited to know where our division is headed in regard to student membership.
Starting this year, you will have multiple student representatives to better serve you on the national level. David Barry will be serving from January 2013 to December 2014, and Jennifer Barry (no relation) will be serving from January 2013 to December 2015. David will be the primary point of contact for the 2013 APA Convention’s Div. 19 student events, and Jennifer will do the same for the 2014 convention in Washington, D.C.
David is a third-year clinical psychology doctoral student at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Md.—the medical, nursing, and graduate school for active duty military medical professionals. David is a captain in the Army with six years of time in service. Prior to graduate school, he served as an engineer officer with the 4th Infantry Division. From 2008 to 2009, he conducted a 12-month deployment to eastern Baghdad, where he led route clearance and construction operations. David plans to serve as an Army clinical psychologist upon graduation.
Jennifer is completing her second year of study in the clinical psychology program at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University (Washington, D.C., campus). You may remember hearing about Jennifer in our past newsletter. She is the leader and founder of the Military Psychology Interest Group (MPIG), and she actively advocates for student veterans and military dependents on her campus. Jennifer also plans to serve as an Army clinical psychologist when she graduates.
I know both David and Jennifer have great plans in mind for the division. I look forward to seeing our division take the next step in supporting our students. It has been a pleasure meeting so many of you, and I wish you all the best of luck in the future.
Outgoing Div. 19 Student Representative
We are thrilled to take the torch from LT Kochanski and serve as your Div. 19 Student representatives. This is an exciting and important time to study psychology and the military. There are over 22 million veterans currently enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care systsm. Female and minority veterans are accounting for a rising percentage of the total veteran population; the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans also continues to rise (National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, 2012). Among the active duty population, service members will soon be adjusting from the high-op tempo deployment cycle mindset of the past decade to a more garrison- and training-based mission set. Overall, the demands of service members seeking mental health treatment are surpassing the resources available for them. There will be many challenges awaiting the mental health community as we serve those who have served the nation.
It is our belief that the best way to take care of our nation’s service members is to start early at the student level. Learning about the military—its various service branches, components, and terminology, and so forth—at the undergraduate/graduate school level is critical for developing the cultural competence necessary for serving military populations. As Div. 19 student representatives, our primary goal is to empower you, the student member, to learn more about military service, prepare to work with military populations, and enable others at your programs to do the same.
We have identified four key tasks to meet this goal:
Facilitate increased communication and collaboration between Div. 19 student members and other members of the division;
Provide outstanding, military-relevant programming and resources for student members at the annual APA Convention and throughout the year;
Enhance the visibility and accessibility of military psychology careers (e.g., clinical training and research opportunities) among graduate and undergraduate programs throughout the United States and the world; and
Develop strategies with other Div. 19 leaders to boldly embrace the challenges that await military psychologists in the near future.
We cannot complete these tasks alone. We need your assistance, your feedback, and your ideas. Fortunately, you are up to the task, as evidenced by the very strong response to our Div. 19 student survey that was sent out in January.
Here are some highlights of the survey:
- Division 19 student members are spread across the country (see Figure 1).
- Sixty percent of the respondents are in PhD programs, followed by 25 percent in PsyD programs, 11 percent in master’s-level programs, 5 percent in undergraduate programs, and 4 percent in other programs.
- Most student members are earning degrees in clinical psychology, with counseling psychology being the next most frequent.
- Roughly 75 percent of student members belong to at least one other APA division, with Div. 56 (Trauma Psychology), Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology), and Div. 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology) being the most common.
- Nearly half of the respondents have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, with service in the Army being the most common, followed by Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.
- Travel, lodging, and convention registration costs are your biggest challenges toward APA Convention attendance, and grants, stipends, or other opportunities to cover or defray these costs would most likely increase your chances of convention attendance.
- More than half of the respondents are interested in volunteering for Div. 19 events at the APA Convention and even serve as Div. 19 leaders within their undergraduate/graduate programs, cities, and states.
Figure 1. Division 19 member locations in the United States.
We would like to highlight that last point and commend those who expressed a desire to serve as leaders for military psychology at their institutions. This kind of motivation and commitment will be critical to the success of our division and, ultimately, to the care of our nation’s current and former service members. Additionally, please check the Div. 19 student website periodically for updates on travel awards, research grants, scholarship opportunities, and resources for clinical training and research.
Stay tuned. Big things are coming for student members of Div. 19. We look forward to working with you and continuing Kristen’s great precedence in developing a more valuable Div. 19 student experience.
Div. 19 student representatives