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Elections for 2019 Student Committee Now Open

The time has come to select your 2019 Student Committee members. The SPSP Student Committee, one of the association’s most active committees, works to promote the interests of SPSP’s graduate and undergraduate student members. Their work includes producing a student focused monthly newsletter, SPSPotlight, liaising with committees across SPSP on behalf of the student voice, and organizing and executing events and activities specifically for students at the annual SPSP convention as well as year-round. All current undergraduate and graduate student members, as of November 7, 2018, will be emailed a ballot to vote. Voting begins Wednesday, November 7, 2018 and ends on Monday, November 19 at 11:59 EST.

Open positions for 2019 are:

Vice-Chair/Chair/Past-Chair (3 candidates; 1 position)

  • Connor Leshner; University of Victoria
    Connor Leshner headshotMy name is Connor Leshner, and I am a half-Hispanic, Cishet sex and relationship researcher at the University of Victoria. As someone who has previously served on the executive committee for both undergraduate and international conferences, this position is the logical next step to assist the academic realm as a whole. While I have not been a graduate student for long, I have been an assistant to the professional development of others for years as a freshman orientation advisor, a peer advisor for my undergraduate program’s advising office, a teaching and research assistant and a peer reviewer. My main goals for this position is being both a voice and a vote for diversity, sexuality (and all issues related to such), and better funding to do my best to make sure as many students can attend this amazing conference, of which Portland will be my second.
  • Mackenzie Ess; Syracuse University
    Mackenzie Ess headshotI am pursuing this position because I am passionate about the power of networking in academia. Conventions give us the invaluable opportunity to discuss our research with like-minded individuals. These discussions promote productive debate, inspire new research ideas, and connect us with resources that allow us to thrive! I am driven by an intrinsic motivation to contribute to my academic community. This passion fuels a relentless drive to improve the communities I work within and make the SPSP experience better for graduates and undergraduates. I have extensive experience (4 years) in undergraduate and graduate student government where I implemented a number of initiatives related to diversity, inclusion, and mental health. I would love to implement undergraduate and graduate specific “data-blitz” sessions at the annual SPSP convention. This would be a low-pressure, fast-paced opportunity for undergrads and grads to present their research and get feedback from colleagues. Unlike poster presentations, these data-blitzsessions would give us specific practice in giving conference talks. Additionally, I have both witnessed (in others) and personally experienced how overwhelming your first SPSP convention can be. I want to develop initiatives, such as a peer mentor program, to make the SPSP experience more positive for undergraduate students.
  • Fernanda Andrade; Duke University
    Fernanda Andrade headshotMy name is Fernanda Andrade and I am a first-year Ph.D. student at Duke University. I earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology from Towson University in Maryland, and am currently the APS student caucus campus representative for Duke. I have strong organizational and leadership skills, including in administration, organization of events, and effective communication with students and institutional staff. I would like to become part of the SPSP student committee to expand my abilities, contribute to psychological science, and serve the needs of SPSP student members. As chair, I would like to increase awareness of career options outside of academia, and what students can do to get there. I would also like increase student participation in the SPSP Connect community, which is a great tool for getting advice and supporting each other through our shared experiences. Unfortunately, it is not often used for this purpose. My goal is to promote student dialogue, so we can find support in our peers and cohort of future academics and professionals.

Member At Large (13 candidates; 4 positions)

  • Stylianos Syropoulos; University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Stylianos Syropoulos headshotMy name is Stylianos Syropoulos and I am a first year PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in the Social Psychology program and specifically with a concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence. I want to serve as a Member-at-large because I am truly invested in the field of social and personality psychology. So far this investment has been purely on the research aspect, and I wish to extend my interest by serving as a member of the Student Committee, thus becoming involved through service within the field. This would be a great way for me to give back to the community of mentors that has guided me so far in my early steps. I have already gained relevant experience by serving as a member of the American Society for Criminology Division of Policing student committee, as the scribe for both the Committee of Student Safety and the International Students Association, a member of the Committee of Student Conduct, and the Previous President (2017-2018) of the local chapter of Psi Chi (National Honor Society for Psychology) at my undergraduate institution. Thus I believe I would be able to actively contribute to the student committee not only by bringing my previous experience but also by providing a different voice, as an international student from Eastern Europe. Thank you for your consideration.
  • Adam Stanaland; Duke University
    Adam Stanaland headshotMy name is Adam Stanaland, I'm pursuing Duke University's first joint PhD in social psychology and public policy. Before Duke, I researched for the NYC Dept. of Education, and out of this experience grew my interest in how social pressure influences interpersonal behavior. My current research explores how gendered pressures contribute to aggression, and how we can use these findings to reduce violence at the policy level. Beyond my research, I enjoy consulting nonprofits on issues ranging from program evaluation to culture building. Most of this work is part of my role as Executive Director of Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (DISI), but I also consult independently on a variety of other projects with university groups and nonprofits, such as currently serving on Duke's Sexual Misconduct Task Force. I'd love to bring my unique psychology-policy perspective to the Graduate Student Committee to bridge what I see is a growing need for psychology in the public sector.
  • Lina Stamatova; CUNY School of Professional Studies
    Lina Stamatova headshotI have a strong interest in working as part of the student committee as there are smaller, marginal student groups like the ESL and the adult learners with specific needs not addressed via most student board agendas. For example, in the case of adult/ returned/ professional students - perhaps there could be a small directory (and infographics?) with helpful links about transitioning phases ‘what-to-expect’: work to undergraduate school, undergraduate to work or undergraduate to graduate.Presenting practical orientation to such student groups (at the convention, via downloads) can save their time and resources and help them stay motivated and on track.This is my second higher education experience (prior one was in Eastern Europe), am an immigrant, a parent, and can compare well what is it to study when one is 22 and 42; additionally have long professional years in healthcare administration and fine art markets.
  • Stephanie Schwartz; University of Toronto
    Stephanie Schwartz headshotI've been a member of SPSP for 5 years, and would like to grow my contribution to the success of the society beyond participating in the yearly conference. I would be an enthusiastic and committed committee member. I organized my own department's large Social / Personality research group last year, and would be honoured to bring the skills I learned there to a larger setting. I am particularly interested in increasing access to networking and collaborative research opportunities for students and faculty members at smaller academic institutions, as well as increasing the participation of sexual, and racial, and other minorities within SPSP.
  • Melanie Reyes; Florida State University
    Melanie Reyes headshotThough I am still in the beginning stages of my graduate career, I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the amount of impact that my SPSP membership has brought to my advancement and development as a research scientist so far. I have garnered a variety of connections and resources that I possibly would not have if it wasn't for my SPSP membership. Thus, I would value the opportunity to be more involved with the SPSP community as a Member-at-Large student committee member. Not only will I successfully complete the duties of the position without a doubt, but I will also receive experience that I am sure will greatly benefit me in the future, career wise. I am excited to represent SPSP at a larger level, should I receive this position.
  • Juan Ospina; Stanford University
    Juan Ospina headshotI would like to join the SPSP Student Committee because I really want to become part of the SPSP community. I want to connect with great people who are passionate about social and personality psychology and who would like to contribute with their knowledge and research to build a better society. I believe that there is no other society that follows this to its heart as SPSP.  In my current job as a research coordinator, I've grown so much personally and professionally. Personally, I've come to understand that research can only be possible in collaboration. You need a strong network of caring, trustworthy, and eager to learn people to develop research projects. At the same time, I've grown professionally by assisting PIs such as Drs. Walton and Brady at Stanford University. I've experienced the full research process and continue learning every day.  Thus, as a member of the Student Committee, I'll be eager to learn more about my peers and the SPSP members. At the same time, I will be willing to help in SPSP events, awards, and social networks management. In addition, I would like to promote the use of R and I would be willing to give workshops for undergraduate and graduate students to learn how to clean, analyze, and visualize data. Science is better when it is open source. Finally, I'm bilingual, born in Colombia, so I can provide feedback for non-native English speakers.
  • Kori Krueger; University of Pittsburgh
    Kori Krueger headshotI would like to serve on the Student Committee because I want to help students manage the stressors of graduate school and have the most fulfilling graduate experience possible. If elected, I would do this by developing and helping students access resources that will connect students and expand both their professional networks and their discipline-relevant skills. For the past 2 years, I have served on the Department of Psychology’s Professional Development Committee at the University of Pittsburgh. In this role, I have gained experience in creating and planning professional development events that cater to the needs of our students, such as alumni networking events and career panels, and creating a monthly newsletter that highlights opportunities and resources for students. This role has also enabled me to develop my skills in collaboration, communication, and decision making. I would like to use these skills and experiences on the SPSP Student Committee by planning events that will help foster students’ sense of belonging in the SPSP community, such as mentoring opportunities and graduate student networking events, and developing new resources that will help students become aware of and build the skills they need to be successful social scientists, such as workshops or webinars on the pros and cons of tenure track positions, how to be a competitive applicant for non-academic job opportunities, and successful grant writing. If elected, I plan to seek input and be receptive to students’ requests to provide resources and organize events that best meet students’ needs.
  • Diego Guevara Beltrán; Arizona State University
    Diego Guevara Beltrán headshotMentoring is a crucial aspect of our development as scientists and educators. In my short career as a graduate student at Arizona State University, I have had the privilege to act as a mentor for undergraduate students—both for research assistants in our Lab and for students in a research methods class, I lecture. At the same time, I am still a younger graduate student, and, as such, I am still seeking mentoring opportunities from older graduate students in my program as well as faculty in and outside the department of psychology. I think being in this early stage as a graduate student—where I am both mentor and mentee— places me well to act as a Member-At-Large for the Student Peer Advising/Collaboration Sub-Committee. As a student with a background in both psychology and anthropology, I am constantly seeking opportunities to interact with faculty and graduate students in the department of anthropology. I have found this strategy to have served me well in advancing interesting hypotheses, all the while extended my research collaboration networks. If I were elected as a Member-At-Large serving the Student Peer Advising/Collaboration, my number one priority as a mentor for undergraduate students would be to encourage them to seek opportunities outside their specialized area of research, and, to facilitate that transition.
  • Rachel Forsyth; University of Florida
    Rachel Forsyth headshotAs a first-year graduate student, I clearly remember how it felt in 2015 to attend my first SPSP conference (Long Beach) as an eager, but confused undergraduate.But every year since then I have added one enriching experience after another to my conference schedule, from the Thursday preconferences to the Mentorship luncheons to the Workshops to social events. I want to help undergraduates learn as much from their SPSP conference as I have whether through the same experiences or programming tailored to their interests. That commitment prompted me to become a member of the site coordinating team for a regional conference (SSSP), where I was able to encourage undergraduate-focused programming and successfully advocated for space in the program for informal social networking. I’d like to implement an event of some type for undergraduate attendees from smaller schools or a liberal arts background to cover the basics of graduate school life, the graduate school application, and undergraduate opportunities through APA and SPSP.
  • Nathan Cheek; Princeton University
    Nathan Cheek headshotI’m a third-year graduate student in psychology and social policy at Princeton University, and I study poverty and decision making. I’m interested in being a part of the Graduate Student Committee because I want to give back to SPSP and help support the many programs that provide funding, career advice, and other resources to graduate and undergraduate students. I want to help ongoing efforts to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of SPSP’s programming, particularly for students who have less experience navigating the academic world. I also want to broaden SPSP’s international connections, building off of previous work from SPSP’s globalization initiatives, and drawing on recent work showing that social and personality psychology journals (Brown & Goh, 2016) and journals of the Association for Psychological Science (Cheek, 2017) may be disproportionately dominated by researchers from the U.S. Finally, I want to work on including lab managers, research assistants, and other members of our field who are no longer undergraduates but are not yet, or do not plan to become, graduate students. For example, we might create a specific collection of resources or plan a specific meet-up at SPSP for people in these positions. My previous experience includes serving on academic committees and organizing the allocation of competitive funding, as well as serving as the Student Member on the Executive Board of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making for 2017-2018.
  • Linus Chan; University of Montana
    Linus Chan headshotSPSP is the most valuable conference for undergraduates aspiring to be social psychologists. Students can present their research, talk to mentors, and learn how psychology is communicated in a professional setting. Yet, SPSP can be an overwhelming experience for undergraduates, especially those from foreign countries. If elected, my goal is to maximize undergraduates’ exposure to the professional psychology network. This includes guidance for poster submission and development, facilitating mentorship opportunities, and engagement in social media. I conducted research in two psychology labs as an undergraduate and was fortunate to attend SPSP as a senior, where I met my current graduate advisor at my poster session. Currently, I teach a social psychology course to undergrads, collaborate with all the research assistants in my lab, and manage the subject pool via SONA. Serving on the SPSP student committee would allow me to further advocate for various undergraduate perspectives.
  • Sarah Benkirane; Université du Québec à Montréal
    Sarah Benkirane headshotI am applying to be one of the members of the Student Committee of SPSP because I believe that students should play an integral role in professional and academic governing bodies. As students, we represent the voice of the future generation and our voices should be represented in the scientific community. Serving on the SC would give me the opportunity to use my skills in communication and leadership to serve as a voice the student community. I have taught high school mathematics as well as been an manager of a business, both of which have allowed me to gain valuable experience in communications and management. These qualities will undoubtably be very useful as a member of the SC. If elected, I would like to implement a diversity and outreach program to SPSP. Being a student who is part of a cultural minority, I think that it is important to allow equal opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, I would like to implement a service that would allow undergraduate students from underprivileged communities to participate in annual conventions and to inform them about funding opportunities offered by SPSP in order to help them attend graduate school.
  • Halbert Bai; Yale University
    Halbert Bai headshotHi everyone! My name is Halbert Bai and I am a first-year MPH student at Yale University. I recently received a BA in Psychology and in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. My research straddles political psychology/organizational behavior and health care. I am interested in how we can address systemic challenges in our health care system such as medical errors through nudging and behavioral change.I am passionate about the social and personality psychology community whose work is growing ever more important in our divided political and social climate. As a Member-at-large, I will bring diverse communities together, advocate for you in SPSP, and help plan the best Annual Convention in 2020. I aim to refine established SPSP convention events and lead new ones to connect seasoned and budding researchers alike. I plan to focus on connecting SPSP students across the country through our social events, Mentoring Lunch, and social media by increasing engagement and participation.

Member At Large for Undergraduate Affairs (5 candidates; 1 positions)

  • Jesus Saavedra; Weber State University
    Jesus Saavedra headshotAs a first-generation college student, I've been able to experience the great, but often confusing, aspects of academia much differently than most traditional students. Because of this, I am running for a position on the SPSP Student Committee in the hope that, through my involvement and input, I can help mitigate some of the factors that may discourage students traversing academia in similar positions as mine. I understand the importance of diversity for a committee such as this, and I hope that my contributions may serve to reflect the viewpoints of the several underrepresented groups in academic research with which I identify. As the President of my University's Psi Chi chapter, the Secretary of our Neuroscience Club, a departmental tutor, and a Supplemental Instructor (SI) for several college courses, I've had experience with helping Undergraduate students not only navigate the world of academia, but also expand their identities as students through their involvement in student-led research and volunteer work. I hope to use these experiences to better serve SPSP's Undergraduate students as part of this committee. Although my initial involvement with SPSP was fairly recent with my inclusion in the 2018 Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), I truly hope to contribute my small part to the organization which helped change my perception of myself as a student and researcher.Thank you for your consideration, Jesus Saavedra
  • Hannah Pearson; North Dakota State University
    Hannah Pearson headshotMy name is Hannah Pearson and I am a senior at North Dakota State Univerisity in Fargo, North Dakota. I believe that I would be an exceptional candidate for the member-at-large position, specifically Undergraduate affairs. I have been fortunate enough to get involved in research and attend conferences starting the summer before my freshman year as an undergraduate. At the first few conferences I presented at, I honestly thought I was the only undergraduate attending and presenting because nothing at the conference catered to undergraduate students. There were lectures, workshops, and networking opportunities geared specifically towards graduate students and faculty members, but nothing for undergraduates. This past summer, I had the opportunity to participate in Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard through the Leadership Alliance and attend the Leadership Alliance National Symposium, a professional conference geared specifically towards undergraduates. Through these experiences on top of my time in 3 labs at my home institution, I have gotten to attend workshops and sessions as well as received that I think would be valuable to share with the students of SPSP. There are things I learned in my 3 months as an intern at Harvard that had I not gone, I never would have learned. I also think that as an undergraduate who is currently going through the application process for graduate school, I would be able to bring a current, real, perspective about what it is like to be an undergraduate in psychology research. Also, since I am presenting an undergraduate poster at the conference, I would be able to bring information on the undergraduate experience throughout the conference as I complete my term. I would love to be able to share all this information, ideas for workshops and programming, as well as any other personal experience with psychology research with the students and faculty of SPSP by serving on this committee.
  • Ian O’Dowd; Southern New Hampshire University
    Ian O’Dowd headshotI joined SPSP as an undergraduate student and have since become involved in the social psychology community as I work toward earning a PhD. I was recently been awarded the Diversity Undergraduate Travel Award to assist with registration costs to present my poster on PTSD in firefighters at the 2019 SPSP Conference. I am an active member in my local community, volunteering for advocacy roles and heading committees for nonprofit fundraising events in New Hampshire. My goal as the member-at-large for undergraduate affairs will be to incorporate more outreach efforts to younger students and to grow SPSP programming for this population in order to encourage additional membership and to support undergraduates who are looking to break into the field of social psychology. I also aim to promote resources and diversity efforts for underrepresented populations in psychology including racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and women in the field.
  • Danielle Grieco; Pennsylvania State University
    Danielle Grieco headshotAs an undergraduate student with the World Campus of Pennsylvania State University, I have served as treasurer for PSI CHI and am now the acting secretary. These roles have required office and managerial tasks such as updating our blog, responding to emails, organizing meetings, and scheduling guest speakers. However, I have found that in both positions I spend a majority of my time communicating and building relationships with other students in PSI CHI. The Member-At-Large requires the representation of undergraduate students' needs. I am confident that through my past and current roles I can successfully fill this position. As a current undergraduate student I would also be representing myself. I can relate to what other students need and what their concerns are. SPSP is an organization that I would like to continue to grow with as I begin applying for my Ph.D. in Social Psychology. SPSP has been there to support me in many ways as I began pursuing my B.S. in Psychology. I would like to give back to other students and the organization by volunteering my time as Member-At-Large.
  • Julie Bowen; University of Minnesota
    Julie Bowen headshotI deeply value the opportunities that SPSP provides to its student members.I know the importance of volunteers in making an organization effective in its work, having served as President and Vice President in the PTO of my son's school for the last five years. Since I am finishing my second bachelors degree (Psychology at the University of Minnesota) having returned to school ten years after graduate school in Social Studies Education, I offer a unique perspective about both the undergraduate and graduate experience. I would love represent you in the Student Committee.

SPSPotlight Two-Year Co-Editor (2 candidates; 1 position)

  • Malachi Willis; University of Arkansas
    Malachi Willis headshotHi, all! I'd appreciate you considering me for the position of SPSPotlight Co-Editor. At last year's conference, I was an eDaily intern for SPSP's Character and Context blog, and I am currently a writer for the Society's newsletter. By running for this position, I hope to continue my involvement in publishing pieces on topics relevant to SPSP members. Regarding my editorial experience, I am the guest editor for a special issue on sexual consent in Psychology and Sexuality. To provide quality editorship in the SPSPotlight role, I will actively engage student members to help guide the directions of articles. Thank you for reading!
  • Hasagani Tissera; McGill University
    Hasagani Tissera headshotLast year I attended the SPSP conference in Atlanta and truly valued this experience. I came to learn about the SPSP student committee and realized that being part of this committee will be a great opportunity for me to be more involved and to acquire new skills and knowledge. I believe that the experience I would gain from this opportunity will not only help further my graduate studies but will also help me establish a career in academia. Last year, I received a graduate student poster award (runner-up), which brought me to appreciate the work done by the SPSP student committee. I believe that I will excel in the position of SPSPotlight Co-Editor. I have already been involved in the SPSP community by becoming a reviewer for graduate student poster awards. In my undergraduate studies, I have also been in the editorial board of the McGill Psychology undergraduate journal, Psi. If elected, I hope to work towards the making the SPSPotlight more engaging and inclusive. As a new member of the committee, I believe that I can offer a fresh and exciting perspective. Further, I would welcome new ideas for how to improve the needs in our diverse and vibrant community. I would also encourage and be receptive to feedback from other student members. If elected, I look forward to working with other dedicated graduate students to serve the SPSP student community.
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