Student Representative report

The new chair discusses how social media is becoming an important part of daily life for graduate students

By Chris Romani

My name is Chris Romani, and I am the new Student Representative for Division 18. I am a fourth year graduate
student from Tech Texas University, under the mentorship of former Division 18 president Dr. Robert Morgan.
Although my primary affiliation is with the Criminal Justice Section, I am looking forward to improving
the experience for all students in the Division. I believe that as students we have a responsibility to contribute
to the Division, and I will continue to work on programs developed by former student representative Abigail
Bernett, such as the mentoring program, in addition to instituting two new initiatives, highlighted below.

Social media is becoming an important part of daily life for graduate students as well as for psychologists. My
first initiative is to give Division 18 a presence in social media networks. Abigail Bernett and I have already
developed a Facebook page for Division 18. The Facebook page currently has about 125 followers, and this
number has been continuously increasing, a trend I hope to continue. To access the page, one simply has to
search for Division 18 on Facebook. Within the past few weeks, I have also created a Twitter account, the handle
is “APADiv18PubServ” (i.e., follow @APADiv18PubServ). I hope that both of these social media outlets
can allow us to pass along important information quickly and allow our members to get to know each other.

My other initiative is to develop roles for students within the Division. Currently, I am filling positions for
each section to have a Student Section Representative. This student will act as a liaison between myself and
each section and from section chairs to the students in that section. I am hoping these students are viewed as
leaders within the section and through leadership, Section Chairs will continue to give these students increasing
responsibility in the future. Similarly, I hope to increase student participation in event planning for the
APA 2012 Convention. Although it is likely that this student role may begin small, my hope is that through
leadership and hard work, student’s roles in this endeavor will increase yearly. Finally, fellow student member
Shannon Griswold and myself are working to develop a student representative program at graduate schools
around the United States. Shannon and I worked together on this initiative as part of the Ad-hoc committee on
membership for the Criminal Justice Section. Now that we have laid the foundations of this program, we are
attempting to increase the role of student representatives to include all sections of Division 18 as well as find
new schools that need representatives. If you are interested in any of these programs mentioned above, please
feel free to contact me.

Finally, I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a great year as you continue on your way towards your
professional career. For those of you who are new, I hope you find Division 18 a great source to receive the
mentorship and support that you need.