In This Issue

Student perspectives on the APA convention

Two students describe their experiences in Orlando

By Nina Reynolds and Charlynn Odahl

On a hot August night, I stepped off the plane in Orlando, Florida for the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. I headed to the magnificent Peabody Hotel, where I was greeted by the famous brood of Peabody ducks and an enthusiastic crowd of fellow attendees. Venturing out bright and early the next morning, I followed the map on my trusty iPhone APA Convention app – winding through the hotel, across the street, and around convention halls not unlike Dora the Explorer, as my youngest therapy client would later declare. Although she was dismayed to learn that I was navigating lectures and workshops rather than nearby Disney World, I assured her that I had a lot of fun along the way. There were several highlights of the Convention, including catching up with colleagues, attending exciting sessions – such as on spirituallyoriented child/adolescent psychotherapy – and mingling at various social hours. In addition, one of the highlights of the Convention was the Division 36 Business Meeting, where I was warmly welcomed by members and leadership, including Drs. Chris Boyatzis and Gina Brelsford. The tone of the meeting was one of enthusiasm and excitement for the growth of the Division, emphasized by the developments in membership, impact of the Division’s Journal, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, and availability of funding for student research awards, of which I am a grateful recipient. It was a wonderful addition to my Convention experience to participate in the meeting and share the details of my research project. I am proud to be a Student Member of Division 36 and look forward to hearing about and participating in the Division’s continued growth at future convention meetings.

— Nina Reynolds

Joining the APA was one of the best decisions I made during my undergraduate career. APA student membership has given me access to a network of students and seasoned professionals who have expanded my research interests and informed my career choices. Attending the national and regional conventions has exposed me to the work of multiple experts and has given me the opportunity to discuss their work with them in a way that might not be otherwise possible. Presenting my own research at the conventions has enabled me to receive valuable feedback from researchers and practitioners.

I have also benefited greatly from APA resources such as publications, newsletters, and various forms of online dialogue. These valuable tools allow me to stay up-to-date on new research, relevant topics, and policy changes. Student membership has given me a voice in the ongoing conversation happening in the field of psychology. As I grow in my career, I look forward to continuing my membership with the APA and welcoming new students members.

— Charlynn Odahl