Message from the president

President's column

The president discusses the division's annual meeting, committee activities and upcoming APA convention in Hawai'i.

By William E. Foote, PhD

AP-LS is coming off of an excellent annual meeting in Portland, Ore. Our attendance was about 875 and we had three busy days of paper sessions, posters, receptions and lots of networking for both students and professionals.

Our APA Hawaii sessions promise to be equally interesting and informative. This year our convention chairs, Charlie Goodsell and Preeti Chauhan, along with the conference advisory committee put together a great program. The AP-LS theme for this meeting is Trauma and the Law, which will focus on the many ways that the legal system deals with people with a history of trauma. We are scheduling 7 symposia, and have accepted 29 papers and 53 posters. So, if you come to Paradise, shake the sand off your sandals and come get some inexpensive CE credits and high grade information.

Like all APA Divisions, AP-LS relies upon its committees to do the work of the organization. We are blessed with effective committees who make sure that AP-LS is active in a number of ways, many of which are unknown to our members. To highlight just a few:

The Corrections Committee, chaired by Sarah Manchak provides programming and support to those members of AP-LS who serve and/or do research in correctional settings. This group has been working to provide more emphasis on corrections in the programming of the AP-LS annual meeting and APA convention.

The Professional Development of Women Committee (PDW), chaired by Jennifer Eno Louden works to assist in the participation of women in psychology and the law. This year, at APLS Portland, the PDW committee sponsored a mentoring event in which some 75 people participated. The committee also sponsored a symposium on women as expert witnesses. The PDW committee is planning future AP-LS Annual meeting events, and is seeking to implement innovative ways to provide support for women at different stages of training and professional life in the psychology-law interface.

The Early Career Professional (ECP) committee, chaired by Laura Guy, focuses on helping all those who are in the first years of their professional work in psychology-law to get up to speed and providing maximum contributions to the field. The ECP committee co-sponsored a networking event for ECPs and well-respected VIPs in the field at the AP-LS Portland meeting. In addition, the committee provided funds for 4 early career professionals to attend the Portland meeting through “Grants in Aid.” Read the ECP newsletter column to keep up with this busy and active group.

Psychology and the law research and practice is still, sadly, unrepresentative of the population in the participation of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT individuals, and physically disabled people. The Minority Affairs Committee (MAC), chaired by Diane Sivasubramaniam, aims to remedy that deficit and is active in a number of projects to increase the number of students and psychologists from minority groups in AP-LS and in psychology and the law. The MAC supports three different awards. The Diversity in Psychology and the Law Research Awards promote research in minority related issues. Student Travel Awards assist minority students to attend AP-LS meetings. The Access Path to Psychology and Law Experience (APPLE) Program provides funding for undergraduates who are likely to enter into graduate study in psychology and the law. In addition, the MAC provided extensive activities at AP-LS Portland with a luncheon and an opportunity for minority folks to connect with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in regards to research funding.

The Teaching Training and Careers (TTC) committee, chaired by Garrett Berman, provides programming and support for those who work to develop the next generation of psychology law teachers, researchers and practitioners. The TTC sponsored a symposium entitled Interdisciplinarity and the Psychology-Law Professional: Considerations for Graduate Training and Early Career Academics and the Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award, both part of the Portland meeting. The TTC committee, like other AP-LS committees is indeed a working group and one product of their efforts is the Graduate School Guide. The TLC is working the 3rd edition, which will be published in 2015. The 2011 version of the guide is available on the AP-LS website.

So, keep read this edition of our newsletter to see the many other things that the AP-LS committees are doing to support you in your training, teaching, research and practice. See you in Hawaii (and do wear that flowered shirt/dress).