In this issue

How students can benefit from Div. 20 membership

Two award-winning students share their thoughts on the benefits of Div. 20 membership.

By Carla Strickland-Hughes and Andrea Weinstein

At the 2014 APA Convention, Div. 20 recognized student research with two awards. Andrea Weinstein, a student from the University of Pittsburgh, received the Walter G. McMillen Memorial Award for Parkinson's Disease Research, and Carla Strickland-Hughes, a student from the University of Florida, received a travel award to present her completed research at the convention.

We asked them both to comment on how being a student member of Div. 20 has benefited them professionally and why they might encourage other graduate students to join Div. 20 and/or be involved with the division's activities.

Carla Strickland-Hughes: “My APA Div. 20 membership has been a noteworthy contributor to my professional development since I was an undergraduate student. The graduate studies directory was an invaluable guide when I began my doctoral program applications, and I always recommend this resource to my research assistants who are interested in adult development and aging graduate studies. The member Listserv and tri-annual Adult Development and Aging News broaden my connection to the community of aging scholars beyond faculty members at my home university. These communications keep me informed of the important news and events for our field, including relevant opportunities for training and awards (and, looking to the future, postdoctoral fellow job ads!). This year I was honored to receive a graduate student travel award to present my completed research at the 122 nd annual convention! The generous award markedly helped offset my travel-related expenses, and I am so appreciative that I was therefore able to attend each day of the convention. This convention was a huge success for me professionally! I presented my poster, assisted Dr. Robin West in her Train the Trainers CE workshop, and was co-author on her symposium presentation. In addition, I visited with colleagues, was introduced to some of my research role models, and participated in a valuable speed mentoring event co-hosted by Div.s 20 and 40. I look forward to maintaining and further developing my Div. 20 membership throughout my career.”

Andrea Weinstein: “ As a graduate student, I have found that APA membership can become a little overwhelming to navigate, given the sheer breadth of psychologists associated with the association. This is where I found the divisions to be really helpful. By being a part of the APA divisions, including Div. 20, I am able to find current information relevant to my interests in psychology. This makes searching for research and professional topics streamlined. In addition, the professional resources offered through Div. 20 help me to navigate my goals as an early career psychologist. Div. 20 offered networking opportunities at the APA conference, which allowed me to both reconnect with and meet new colleagues in my field. Recently, Div. 20 awarded me funding that was essential for completing my dissertation research; without this award, it would have been very difficult for me to gather primary data relevant to the relationship of physical activity and the aging brain. I think that graduate students and other early career psychologists can gain essential professional resources from Div. 20 that will help their career.”