Past President’s column

The past president examines the many advantages of attending the APA Annual Convention, as well as the planned updates to the division by-laws

By Steve Norman, PhD

This will be my first newsletter as Past President, a role to which I am looking forward! The recent APA convention was a great experience and a huge success. For individuals who have not attended an APA convention, I would encourage you to put next years convention on your list.

APA is not perfect, the convention is not perfect. I am well aware of the critiques of the convention but I thought I would offer some reasons why attending the convention is a good idea.

The convention is first and foremost an opportunity to learn. Between CEU workshops, CEU sessions sponsored by Division 18, and a myriad of other sessions, the educational potential is significant. While CEU workshops do require a financial cost, the Division CEU sessions are a low-cost and easy method to earn licensure CEU. Additionally, the CEU offerings through the Division are often directly relevant to ones workplace; as we all know finding relevant CEU trainings can be difficult for our unique workplace requirements. The breadth of sessions at APA, really cannot be matched. If you want to learn about an area of psychology which is just an interest area but not a primary work area, there are many opportunities.

The convention provides an opportunity to participate in the workings of APA and the workings of the Division. Decisions are made and future directions are determined, which can have an impact on practice and research. Division 18, as do other Divisions, makes significant attempts to keep members informed and to solicit members input, throughout the year. The reality is though, that decisions are often made at the convention and those members who attend have an easier path to make their opinions known. Division 18 encourages that input and welcomes your participation.

Finally, the convention offers Division members and all attendees an opportunity to meet with colleagues whom you may only see at convention. Those meetings give folks a chance to catch up with personal and professional lives of friends and colleagues, which is important in our fast paced world. And this meeting provides the platform to develop research and programmatic projects, which are also vitally important to our profession and Division.

All in all, convention is a great experience and opportunity, I hope you will all make it a point to attend!

As I head into this year, a couple of tasks. The first is to continue to seek an Advertising Coordinator for the Division newsletter, any volunteers, please let me know. Other tasks include, continue to encourage CEU offerings for Division members; continue work on Division By-Laws; and to prepare to honor Division members through elections and awards. Each Division member should be thinking now about who you believe deserves recognition for their work and effort, via a Division 18 award. Each member should also be thinking about Division elections, who do you think should be leading the Division? The answer might frankly be you!

Some great tasks and I look forward to the work. I continue to be thankful for the opportunity, which has been afforded to me by Division 18.