AP-LS Student Section Committee

The latest news from the SSC.
New Officer Elections

The AP-LS Student Section Committee (SSC) recently transitioned officers. Self-nominations were submitted between late June and mid-July and elections were held through the end of the month. The following individuals were elected by their peers to serve as SSC officers this year:

Executive Committee:

  • Chair: Chris King, B.S., Drexel University
  • Chair-Elect: Casey LaDuke, M.S., Drexel University
  • Secretary: Lauren Gonzales, M.A., John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
  • Communications Officer: Joanna Weill, B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Campus Representative Coordinator: Stephanie Kline, M.A., Sam Houston State University

Members at Large/ Liaisons:

  • Clinical Liaison: Scholar Colbourn, B.S., Sam Houston State University
  • Experimental Liaison: Erika Fountain, B.A., Georgetown University
  • Law Liaison: Emily Haney-Caron, B.A., Drexel University

Alana N. Cook, M.S., from Simon Fraser University, will serve an advisory role as Past-Chair. We appreciate all of the students who ran for positions and voted in the election. We also thank the outgoing officers for all of their hard work throughout last year: Brianne Layden (Communications Officer), Natalie (Tallie) Armstrong (Campus Representative Coordinator), Marlee Kind Berman (Experimental Liaison), and Meghann Galloway (Law Liaison).

SSC Activities at the 121st APA Convention in Honolulu, Hawai'i

We spent the end of July and first week of August at the 121st APA Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to participating in the AP-LS Executive Committee meeting and posting daily conference updates to our Facebook page, the SSC co-hosted an expert panel with a student leader (Nicole Gross, M.A., Texas Tech University) of APA Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) on the topic of trauma and the law. The session received the distinction of being included amongst AP-LS's featured programming and it was well attended. We thank Drs. Joel Dvoskin, Patricia Griffin, Amanda Zelechoski, and Nancy Wolff for participating. After the expert panel, a number of us met at the SSC-hosted social hour. We thank Drs. Griffin and Zelechoski for attending and the conference co-chairs, Pretti Chauhan and Charlie Goodsell, for all of their help in making the event a success.

For those who were unable to attend our panel, Dr. Dvoskin presented recommendations he offered in coordination with the American Psychological Association for members of a community following the occurrence of a traumatizing mass tragedy, such as the recent shootings in Colorado, Arizona, and Connecticut. Dr. Griffin discussed her experience with recent developments in

diversionary efforts for military personnel and veterans with mental health problems, including veterans-focused crisis intervention training for law enforcement officers, screening jail inmates for military service and common mental health symptoms, and diversionary veterans courts. Dr. Zelechoski presented research and recommendations related to implementing trauma-informed practices in law enforcement and correctional settings. Finally, Dr. Wolff presented a study she conducted that examined the traumatic and stressful event exposure and psychiatric health characteristics of a large sample of incarcerated males.

Principal Goals For The Year

The SSC has two principal goals for the upcoming term. First, we will continue to sustain, refine, and improve upon successful SSC activities and events from this past year. These efforts will include:

Campus representative (CR) program:
Streamline our communication processes with CRs; disseminate good ideas generated by CRs for increasing student interest in law-psychology and AP-LS; and increase recruitment of law student CRs via contact with professors at law schools with psychology-law dual-degree programs, concentrations, clubs, etc.

SSC section of the AP-LS webpage:
Update the resources provided on our webpage (e.g., add more video interviews, update the yearly internships and postdocs listings and make them more reader friendly) and monitor the migration of our section of the webpage during the overarching migration of AP-LS's website to an internal section of APA's website.

SSC Facebook page:
Sustain frequent postings of informational material and collaborate with AP-LS's Social Media Committee to maximize AP-LS's Facebook efforts.

Interface with APAGS, other APA divisions, and legal organizations:
Continue to cultivate collaborative relationships with other divisions, including the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) via subscription and contribution to the APAGS Division Student Representatives Network list serve; the Section of Science & Technology, Behavioral and Neuroscience Law Committee, American Bar Association, via distribution of law-psychology news; APA Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) via co-development of conference programing, and most recently APA Division 19 (Society for Military Psychology) via information distribution regarding training opportunities in military forensic psychology and co-development of conference programming. We will also encourage students throughout the year to become student members of APA (which includes a membership to APAGS) in addition to their AP-LS membership, as APAGS offers graduate students many additional benefits for joining.

AP-LS conference 5K fun run:
Develop the New Orleans course and design and print t-shirts for participants.

AP-LS conference student survival guide:
Refine, update, and print the yearly conference survival guide for students.

AP-LS conference information session/first-time student breakfast:
Refine the population targeted by the event (first-time conference attendees), increase the amount of available refreshments, refine the information presented, and recognize CRs at the event. We are also considering hosting a bring-your-own-breakfast session early one morning of the conference, featuring a professional who will discuss professional development topics with students.

AP-LS conference student poster/presentation awards:
Refine grading criteria, implement two new specialty awards for best legal research and best novel-topic research, and collaborate with the Corrections Committee on a best corrections/correctional psychology student award.

SSC-hosted panels at the AP-LS and APA conferences:
Organize a panel on a topic of interest to students and early career professionals at each of these respective conferences. We have some interesting ideas currently under consideration and we'll report on the two we ultimately chose in our winter column.

AP-LS conference student social:
Sustain event and collect additional signed books for the following year's social raffle. We are also considering working with our CRs who represent schools that do not host socials at the conference to invite professionals those CRs and their students are interested in meeting.

APA convention student social:
Sustain event and advertise it in the APAGS DSRN list serve to increase exposure of the Division to students not currently affiliated with Division 41. Also, collaborate on the event with student leaders of divisions with overlapping interests, as we have done in the past with Division 18.

The second major goal for the forthcoming year is for each SSC officer to develop and implement a new initiative relevant to his or her position. We'll report more on these initiatives in our winter column, but some of the ideas currently being developed include a monthly “journal club,” an online capsule of case briefs for important mental health case law, and making ourselves more competitive for the APAGS Outstanding APA Division Award via efforts aimed at getting students to join APA/APAGS in addition to AP-LS.

Reminder About Our Campus Representative Program

We started a CR program a few years ago and the program has grown healthily since it began. There are currently 59 students serving as local representatives for their respective programs (for a listing, see here). CRs serve as the liaisons between the SSC, professional members, student affiliates, and non-affiliated students at the representative's institution. Undergraduate students serve undergraduate programs, graduate students serve graduate programs, and law students serve law schools. The work of CRs includes circulating information, recruiting students, and developing local law-psychology programming for students. If you are interested in becoming a CR for your school, please view the program page on our website here and/or email the Campus Representative Coordinator, Stephanie Kline.

Online Student Resources from the SSC

We encourage students to utilize all of the resources available on our webpage, the SSC Facebook page, and the pages linked under the “Students & Early Career” tab. On our website (a subpart of the division's website) we have information about our CR program; graduate student resources (including mentorship opportunities, funding opportunities, forensic- focused internship and post-doc listings, teaching resources, suggested readings); undergraduate student resources (including general information about forensic psychology, graduate program listings, and funding opportunities); and video and written interviews with professionals. Our bylaws and policies and procedures are also available for review on our website. We use our Facebook page to post helpful resources for students, highlight individual campus representative efforts, announce recently released student-authored articles, and disseminate other student- relevant content. Over 800 people currently follow our Facebook page. We post at least weekly, so remember to check it regularly. Students are encouraged to “like” the general AP-LS Facebook page as well.

We thank all of you for your continued support. We look forward to working with AP-LS students and professionals this year to maximize the benefits of AP-LS membership for students.

Christopher King, B.S.
Chair, AP-LS Student Section Committee

Casey LaDuke, M.S.
Chair-Elect, AP-LS Student Section Committee

Lauren Gonzales, M.A.; Joanna Weill, B.A.; Stephanie Kline, M.A.; Scholar Colbourn, B.S.; Erika Fountain, B.A.; and Emily Haney-Caron, B.A.
AP-LS Student Section Committee Officers