In this issue

Featured student

Div. 20 student member explains how division membership has benefitted her professional development.

By Yijung Kim

yijung-kim-150After receiving my BA in psychology from Boston College, I started my graduate training in gerontology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Under the mentorship of Kathrin Boerner, PhD, and Kyungmin Kim, PhD, I have had valuable experiences of working with both quantitative and qualitative data on older families. As a PhD candidate in gerontology, my research focuses on how individuals’ social environment and subjective aging experiences are linked.

Being a member of Div. 20 gave me the opportunity to identify and connect with other aging researchers in psychology. As a graduate student faced with interdisciplinary issues in the field of aging, I joined Div. 20 because sharing a sense of professional interest and commitment with other like-minded researchers was vital to me. I was initially overwhelmed by the size of APA’s convention but attending the Div. 20 listed events led me to the talks by some of the most renowned researchers in our field. At the social hour, I had a chance to chat and exchange business cards with the authors of the works that I cited. It was truly inspiring to be a part of a group that presented both rigor and enthusiasm in aging research. There also seems to be an understanding within Div. 20 that those more advanced in their careers are committed to supporting and mentoring the next generation. Even before attending my first APA conference, the Div. 20 mentoring program set me up to connect with three mentors. I had a chance to meet my mentors at this year’s conference, and they have already opened many doors to my professional development.

Being a student member in Div. 20 has tremendously benefited my professional development, and I am grateful for the experience thus far. Going forward, I hope to develop my career as an aging researcher, and I look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with other professionals in the aging field.