Members of the student committee must be members of SPSP, and must be willing to devote their time and energy to SPSP and its student members. Beyond that, there are no qualifications (yes, undergraduates can serve on the committee!). The student members of SPSP are diverse in their gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity/race, and nationality, and in the kinds of institutions they come from. The student committee membership can and should reflect the diversity of the students it represents.
SC members are volunteers -- they can choose how much time they allocate to their projects. Members are expected to commit time each month for a monthly conference call, and are expected to dedicate a lot of time to SC events during the Annual Convention. Depending on committee assignments, SC members dedicate between about 4 and 12 hours per month on average.
SC Social Event - This sub-committee will be responsible for organizing the student social event at the annual convention. The social event allows students to take some time out of their busy convention schedule to socials and network with other graduate student peers. The SC chair heads this committee and all SC members serve as members. This sub-committee interfaces with the central office to weigh in on decisions about the student social event. The time commitment and performance of duties in this sub-committee cluster around the convention time.
Mentoring Lunch - This is the largest and most complex event that the SC is responsible for organizing: a lunch on Friday and a lunch on Saturday involving around 40 faculty members and hundreds of students. These lunches offer students the opportunity to meet and receive mentorship from faculty and postdocs either on a specific professional development topic, or related to a content area or methodology. This sub-committee is responsible for 1) generating topic ideas that are of value to students, 2) identifying potential mentors (who may also suggest topics), 3) posting calls for nominations and self-nominations, 4) providing the central office with information so that they can contact and schedule mentors, and 5) making sure the event runs smoothly on site. All members of SC serve on this sub-committee, with one of them as the designated chair. Some of the skills required to successfully serve on this sub-committee are: strong professional communication skills, knowledge of current topics of interest to students, networking, organizational and planning skills. The time commitment and performance of duties in this sub-committee peak in the fall and during the convention.
Awards - This sub-committee will be responsible for both the Outstanding Research Award and the Student Poster Award, the most scientifically important duties of the SC. Through awards, the SC communicates what it values in students’ scientific work. Four members of SC serve on this sub-committee, with 2 of them as co-chairs – one chair for each of the awards. The chairs work hand in hand, revising the review rubrics, coordinating the timing of portal/website updates, sending of calls for reviewers and submissions, overseeing the review process, and announcing the awards (all with significant logistical support from the central office). Members are expected to have strong communication and organizational skills. The time commitment and performance of duties in this sub-committee are in the late summer, fall, and during the convention.
Social Media / Communication and Outreach (year-round) - This sub-committee will be responsible for the information that is communicated to students via social media (Twitter, Facebook). It is the most public-facing role of the SC. The editorial decisions that this sub-committee make should both represent and shape student opinions (e.g., should the SC facebook post controversial articles? should the SC twitter post 'balanced' content on controversial topics?). All 7 members of SC serve on this sub-committee, with one of them as the designated chair. This sub-committee will generate content (e.g., links to articles, events, discussions, etc.) under the editorial vision of the chair. The central office will post the content and manage the accounts. Skills necessary for serving on this sub-committee are: well-formed opinions about what the SC should communicate via social media, knowledge of “current events” in the field, and attention to detail. The time commitment is flexible and constant, and during the conference the chair and enthusiastic members are encouraged to solicit and organize conference-relevant content (e.g., asking student members to live tweet sessions, summarizing the award-winning and running up posters, etc.).
Abstract Check for Non-Native English - This sub-committee will be responsible for organizing the abstract check for non-native English speakers. This entails reading and editing abstracts as needed and recruiting others to help if need be. The sub-committee will advertise these services via Connect! and social media (Facebook, Twitter) during the second week of June at the latest. They will also field questions from students as they write their abstracts. This service usually receives between 10-30 responses. Usually, this sub-committee has a designated chair - the only member, however the other SC members helps if needed. Having the ability to rephrase text into academic/scientific language acceptable for academic conferences and the ability to work effectively with diverse students are required skills for membership in this sub-committee. This sub-committee is busiest in the summer, during the time prior to SPSP abstract submissions.
Student Peer Advising/Collaboration - This sub-committee will be responsible for supporting a system that facilitates one-time mentoring meetings between students and other early career researchers. This system is still in development and pilot testing. The chair of this sub-committee will work closely with the central office and will be in occasional contact with faculty and staff that serve other roles within SPSP. People with strong leadership and communication skills, and experience as a mentee and a mentor (e.g., to other graduate students, to undergraduates) will excel in this role.