Navigating the years post-PhD is a unique journey filled with transitions and challenges. That's why our committee is here: to support Early Career (EC) Scholars like you by providing opportunities for networking, professional development, and finding your community within SPSP. We recognize that our members are the future, and we strive to ensure that this future is bright.

What We Do

Building Community

Building community is at the core of what we do. We endeavor to create a community both virtually and in person to foster a sense of belonging.

  • SPSP Connect!: This online community allows EC members to share ideas, collaborate, and create networking opportunities.
  • Virtual Writing Groups: Ever popular, we hold twice-weekly writing groups throughout the year on Zoom where scholars can find accountability in a group setting, brainstorm through questions and challenges, and meet others in their early career community. Indicate your time preferences for Fall 2023 here.
  • EC Social Hour: Held during the SPSP Annual Convention, the social hour is always a blast and a great opportunity to reconnect with or meet other early career scholars attending the conference!


Recognizing the hard work of early career scholars is crucial. Our expanded awards system ensures that both very early scholars and more senior early career scholars receive fair recognition, with accolades for excellence in teaching, service, and research.

Professional Development

We aim to ensure EC members are equipped to face the unique challenges of transitioning between jobs in the critical phase of less than seven years post-PhD.

  • BECOME Mentoring Program: EC members are matched with a mentor tailored to their needs. This program is halfway through its second successful year, and we look forward to announcing the third round soon.
  • Annual Convention Programming: At the SPSP Annual Convention, find our professional development sessions tailored to EC members and their needs.
  • Early Career Mentor Tables: A popular roundtable event at the Annual Convention where you can sit down and get guidance on publishing, grant writing, succeeding in your first faculty position, and more.
  • Online Resources: We continue to collect useful materials for career planning and guidance, including navigating postdocs, the academic and non-academic job markets, and links to EC-focused grants.

Who We Are

Gili FreedmanGili Freedman

  • Assistant Prof., St. Mary's College of Maryland, U.S.
  • Area of Expertise: Social rejection, gender biases, and game interventions
  • Committee Role: Co-chair

"My hope is that the ECC can help early career members form a community and feel a sense of belonging within our field."  

Veronica LamarcheVeronica Lamarche

  • Senior Lecturer/Associate Prof., University of Essex, UK
  • Area of Expertise: Balancing trust, dependence, and uncertainty in close relationships
  • Committee Role: Co-chair and Director of the BECOME mentoring program

"I want to help support our global and diverse community of early career scholars as they embark on their unique careers that will shape the future of social-personality psychology.  I see the ECC as a resource offering community, professional development, and a voice for our EC members."

Jessie SunJessie Sun

  • Assistant Prof., Washington University in St. Louis, U.S.
  • Area of Expertise: Examines well-being and morality
  • Role: Overseeing the Emerging Scholar and Early Career Awards

"The ECC helps to build community, promote the interests of EC members, and advocate for change within SPSP."

Alison Jane MartinganoAlison Jane Martingano

  • Assistant Prof., University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, U.S.
  • Area of Expertise: Explores empathy and designs strategies to enhance it
  • Role: Newsletter writer, event coordination

"The ECC has a great opportunity to break down barriers to success, particularly for first-generation academics, by sharing the unwritten rules and norms no one likes to say out loud."

Ben BlankenshipBen Blankenship

  • Assistant Prof., James Madison University, U.S.
  • Area of Expertise: Social identity, context attachment, and political engagement
  • Role: Leading writing group meetings, conference planning, facilitating BECOME

"I want to help scholars from marginalized backgrounds and/or less research-focused institutions find community at SPSP, especially as many of us started our careers at a very difficult time (during the pandemic)!"

Marjorie ProkoschMarjorie Prokosch

  • Assistant Prof., Rochester Institute of Technology, U.S.
  • Area of Expertise: Environmental impacts on perception and decision-making
  • Role: Hosting writing groups, organizing events

"I'm especially interested in incorporating feedback from members that can help us to increase the reach and inclusivity of our committee's initiatives."

Together, we focus on supporting the EC community within SPSP. From professional development, mentoring, and recognition, we pave the way for a more inclusive future in personality and social psychology. Feel free to reach out to us via SPSP Connect! And join us in making a lasting impact on our community.