In this issue

From the president’s desk

The challenge is to continue to strive toward making Division 28 a home where its members feel comfortable and welcome, but yet provide the opportunities for discovery and career development

By Rick Bevins, PhD

With just a little over two month left to my term, and thinking about what to write for my final “From the President’s Desk” article for the newsletter, I began to reflect on how Division 28 has been a wonderful professional home. I have meet so many great people, made some life-long friends, and even established a few collaborations over the years. This reminiscing leads me to think of one of my favorite poems by the Nebraskan, and the 13th Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser.

"If you can awaken
inside the familiar
and discover it new
you need never
leave home"
Local Wonders (2002)

I find Division 28 comfortable, familiar — like home. At the same time, the Division 28 programming at the annual conventions also provides me with new things to discover. This year, of course, was no exception. I want to thank Mark Smith for all his efforts in organizing a scientifically rigorous, intellectually stimulating, and translationally informed program for the APA meeting in Orlando. There are new things to be discovered from the Division’s efforts using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to push job announcements, funding opportunities, and other relevant content quickly to its members. Also, the continued efforts to recruit Early Career Psychopharmacologists (ECPs) help to energize the Division. It creates new opportunities to network, as well as new connections.

I was recently meeting with one of our recently hired young faculty members in my department. He said to me without blinking “that he was excited to have a senior scientist as the new chair of the department.” I cringed at the pronouncement that I was now a senior scientist. This was the first I had heard of it. Perhaps I missed the memo or deleted the email. A few months have passed now, and the sting of this revelation has diminished. In fact, I’ve even come to embrace the idea — but only a little. In this new found role, I find myself reflecting on our field, its future, and the future of Division 28 as it moves forward in an ever changing professional landscape.

There is more competition for our limited professional time and resources. How do we continue to compete, or for that matter how do we get a leg up on the competition? I would like to humbly suggest that the challenge is to continue to strive toward making Division 28 a home where its members feel comfortable and welcome, but yet provide the opportunities for discovery and career development. Of course, these are just words. What is needed is continued action and adaptation. Many of my eminent predecessors that have served as President of Division have had great vision and have built a strong foundation for just this approach. There is also no doubt that the Division will be in great hands for the next two years with your incoming President, Tony Liguori and, the President-Elect, Ellen Walker. Indeed, Tony has already shown amazing leadership in developing and coordinating an inaugural mid-year conference, Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction, jointly sponsored by Division 28 and Division 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology). I will not steal his thunder here, but I encourage you to see his article in this issue, as well as plan on attending the conference. It promises to be quite exciting.

As we continue forward, I must thank the members of the Executive Committee and all the other individuals who have helped across the year. The progress we have made and the current strength of our division is a reflection of your care and efforts. Also, across the year, I have made several calls for more individuals to get involved in the division. Although my inbox was not inundated with emails, there were a satisfying number of responses to these requests. I want to thank each and every one of you. I know that I, and the future leadership of Division 28, have taken advantage of your willingness to serve the Division and the field. I hope that you find it as rewarding as I have.

Finally, I hope that all of us will continue our efforts to encourage our colleagues and trainees to join the division. The benefits of membership are a great value for the dollar. Remember, membership is free the first year, and cheap thereafter. I’m trying really hard to avoid a reference to a popular credit card slogan.

In closing this letter and my term as your President, I will leave you with this quote from the fly fishing writer Wayne Fields.

“Then, again, perhaps waters, once entered, are never relinquished, and we continue in their presence as long as there is mind and memory.”
What the River Knows: An Angler in Midstream (1990)