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From the president's desk

Objectives for the coming year include launching the inaugural Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction meeting with Division 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology) and doubling the number of early career psychologist members.

By Anthony Liguori, PhD

Greetings, Div. 28 members! With gratitude and excitement, I welcome the honor and privilege of serving as your 44th president this year.

Executive Committee Changes for 2013

On behalf of the division, I offer my thanks to 2012 president Rick Bevins. Rick set a superb example for all division presidents with his advocacy for funding and implementation of procedures to increase membership. Rick's continued commitment to the division is reflected in his 2013 roles as past-president and liaison to the Science Directorate. As I begin my term, I am grateful for Rick's mentorship and insights, as well as those of outgoing past-president Mark Greenwald.

The division also thanks Mark Smith for his dual roles as 2012 convention program chair and 2011-12 liaison to to the Science Directorate. Mark put together a set of lectures, symposia, and posters that, in its strong attendance and continuous intellectual stimulation, is truly a template for convention programs to come. We are grateful that Mark will be remaining on the Executive Committee in 2013 as past program chair. Kelly Dunn is concluding her term as early career psychologist representative, but fortunately will continue to provide her consistently outstanding service as editor of the very newsletter you are reading right now! Other Executive Committee members whose terms concluded in 2012 were Sarah Tragesser (early career psychologist representative), Chana Akins (awards officer, 2011-12), Diomaris Jurecska (student representative, 2011-12), Wendy Lynch (member-at-large, 2010-12), and, after a 10-year stint as women's network epresentative, Nancy Piotrowski. We thank each of them for their time, dedication and important contributions to the division.

I would also like to welcome the new members of our Executive Committee: President-Elect Ellen Walker, Member-at-Large Cynthia Crawford, Awards Chair Sharon Walsh, Program Chairs Kathryn Saulsgiver (2013, Honolulu) and Richard Allen (2014, Washington, D.C.), Student Representative Alexa Lopez, Early Career Psychologist representatives Adriana Falco and Diann Gaalema, and Women's Network Representative Carmela Reichel. These individuals bring varied and stimulating new perspectives to our Executive Committee and will be vital components of the leadership and future of the division.

This Year's Objectives

The American Psychological Association and its annual convention have been a vital part of my academic identity since I was a graduate student of experimental psychology. My first APA Convention, in 1990 in Boston, was highlighted by B.F. Skinner's standing-room-only keynote address. This was his final public address, given only eight days before his death. He steadfastly defended his behaviorist perspective that emphasized contingencies of reinforcement over introspection. The most controversial part of the talk, still discussed today by those who were in attendance, was his description of cognitive science as "the creationism of psychology." Through two decades, what stayed with me from that session was neither his controversial remarks nor the cheers and jeers with which his "creationism" comment was met. Rather, I was struck by the sense of community in that session. The auditorium was filled with brilliant individuals with passionate viewpoints, most of which were bolstered by research experience or theoretical expertise. Dr. Skinner's speech inspired these individuals to share those perspectives in conversation and debate. At its core, Div. 28 is a community of individuals who seek a thorough understanding of the effects of drugs on behavior. As our field continues to face reductions in research funding, including those from the federal sequester, scientific interactions among Div. 28 members are more essential than ever. The synergistic benefits of collaborative exchanges underlie my two major initiatives for 2013: the launching of the Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction (CPA) meeting and a doubling of the division representation of early career psychologists.

The Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction meeting: May 3-4 in Atlanta

The Society of Addiction Psychology (Div. 50) and Div. 28 have joined forces with APA to create an annual "mid-year" conference. The inaugural CPA conference, scheduled for May 3-4 at the Midtown W. Hotel in Atlanta, has the theme of Biobehavioral Research and Implications for Practice. The meeting will integrate animal research, laboratory research with human subjects, and clinical trials. This conference is expected to augment the productivity of Div. 28. Over the next few years, the total number of hours available for the Div. 28 program in the August APA Convention is going to decrease. CPA provides further opportunities not only to present data, but also to share and discuss common scientific interests with Div. 50. Div. 50 President Sara Jo Nixon, Sponsorship Co-Chairs John Kelly and Katie Witkiewitz, Conference Treasurer Jennifer Buckman, Communications Manager/Committee on Division-APA Relations Staff Liaison Chad Rummel, and I are looking forward to facilitating lively interchanges and professional development opportunities.

The program for the inaugural CPA meeting is taking shape and includes the following highlights:

  • "Conducting Neuroimaging Studies from a Neuropsychologist's Perspective," a pre-conference Workshop presented by Sarah Mattson. This workshop, for which preregistration is required, focuses on essential steps in defining effective, productive, and innovative research teams from the perspective of "non-imagers".

  • "Peeking Behind the Curtain of the NIH Funding Process: Tips for Preparing a Successful Grant Application," presented by Harold Perl. Perl is a 23-year veteran of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. He will present an in-depth analysis of the application process that will help investigators at all levels enhance their grantsmanship and increase their chances of success.

  • Keynote addresses by world-renowned researchers Saul Shiffman and Edith V. Sullivan.

    • Dr. Shiffman is a fellow of both divisions 28 and 50 who has received the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco's Ovid Ferno Award for "groundbreaking advances in clinical research."

    • Dr. Sullivan, an award-winning pioneer in the study of the cognitive and motor impact of alcoholism-related brain injury, will speak on "Alcoholism and the Brain:
      Road to Ruin and Path to Recovery."

  • Five symposia sessions, each with two options for attendees. Topics include:

    • Behavioral Economic Perspectives on Addiction 

    • Biobehavioral Perspectives on Mechanisms of Behavior Change: Brain, Body, Mind, and Context 

    • Co-Morbid Inhalant Use and Compulsory Behaviors: Implications for Red-Flag Assessments and Strategies for Clinical Care 

    • Interdisciplinary Treatment Teams for Addictive Disorders on College Campuses 

    • Mediators of the Association of Depression with Smoking Cessation 

    • Medication Development: Translating Research Into Practice 

    • Neuroeconomics as a Framework for Translational Research on Addiction 

    • The Application of Clinical Neuroscience in Treating Addictive Disorders 

    • Understanding and Treating the Co-Occurring Disordered Client

  • Two poster sessions

  • Two social hours

  • Group outing to an Atlanta Braves game

Student and Early Career Psychologist rates are discounted for this meeting. I encourage you to register online for the CPA conference, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Increasing ECP Membership: How You Can Help Recruit "The Next 16"

Most new members of APA are at least 40 years old and 10 years post-doctorate. Less than half of APA members belong to a division, and the percent that does belong to a division is decreasing. The association and its divisions are endeavoring to balance these trends with increased recruitment of early career psychologists, defined as individuals within seven years receipt of their doctorate. Increased ECP representation has been a goal of our recent division presidents, and I fully intend to continue progress toward that goal. At the time of this writing, there are 481 members, associates, and fellows of Div. 28. Sixteen of them (3 percent) are ECPs. For comparison with some thematically related divisions, ECPs comprise 8 percent of Div. 25 (Behavior Analysis) and 13 percent of Div. 50.

I would like to see the division double its ECP presence in 2013. Let's work together this year to recruit 16 more early career psychologists to our division. All I am asking you to do is locate and talk to one ECP in the next four months. This person could be your doctoral student who just completed a dissertation defense. This person could be a colleague in your department or at a nearby institution. This person could be a dazzling first-time presenter at the CPA Conference or APA Annual Convention. Find him or her. Tell that person what APA and Div. 28 have meant to you and your career. Let them know that they represent the future of scientific progress in the areas of psychopharmacology and substance abuse. That ECP you're talking to could well be the president of Div. 28 before the end of the decade. In just a few months, a series of such one-on-one conversations could lead to the growth and progress of our Div. 28 community. Let's make it happen.