APA Div. 28 president’s column

Looking back at Div. 28’s 50th anniversary year.

By Stacey C. Sigmon

Stacey C. SigmonIt’s hard to believe, but 2016 is winding down, as is my term as Div. 28 president. It has been a busy but rewarding year. Our annual conference in Denver was a success and a lot of fun. We enjoyed an outstanding scientific program, as well as terrific events celebrating our division’s 50th anniversary. In August, we also published a special issue of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology® acknowledging this important milestone. If you haven’t done so yet, grab a coffee and take a few minutes to check out the diverse papers highlighting the scientific contributions of our division over the past five decades. Thanks to Suzette Evans and Bill Stoops for making this special issue happen.

In addition to honoring our division’s golden anniversary, my other top focus over the past year was to establish a new APA Div. 28 Undergraduate Scholarship. Each year we will sponsor several undergraduate students from universities or colleges in the convention host city who are involved in psychopharmacology research. My hope is that we can give several students each year an opportunity to attend the meeting, present their data, and socialize and discuss science with other students and faculty in our division. A big thanks goes to Justin Strickland for our successful inaugural year. Our recipients were three outstanding undergraduates from the University of Colorado, Denver. Please consider nominating a student from your lab for next year’s scholarship in Washington, D.C. Awardees will receive a one-year APA membership and waived convention registration, be invited to present their research at a poster session, and will join our members at poster sessions and symposia.

Speaking of which, August 2017 may seem like a long way off, but our APA abstract deadline is fast approaching. Please start making plans now to join us in Washington, D.C., from Aug. 3-6. Kelly Dunn is our 2017 program chair, which means that we’re going to have an amazing scientific line up. Abstracts are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1. You can find more information on the Call for Convention Proposals webpage, and more details will also be forthcoming from Kelly. I look forward to seeing everyone in D.C.

Finally, I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Past President Bill Stoops, whose help this year has been invaluable. Thanks also to Mollie Patrick for a fantastic convention program and our entire Div. 28 executive committee for their steadfast service and support. Also a warm welcome goes to our new officers — with David Festinger as our incoming 2017 president and Mark Smith recently elected as our 2018 president, we are in good hands. Welcome also to Ryan Vandrey as our incoming member-at-large. We have a great group of folks both in our division and leading it.

Div. 28’s impact over the past 50 years on the scientific understanding of psychopharmacology and substance abuse has been immense and I’m proud to have been a part of it. Here’s to the next 50 years.