By Carolina Bejarano, M.A.
Over my years as a student member of the Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP), I have enjoyed various ways of connecting and becoming more involved, both with other students and with professionals in the field. There are great ways to promote pediatric psychology at your own institution, network with colleagues at other institutions, build supportive mentoring relationships, work towards leadership opportunities, and provide service to the society. I encourage students and trainees to consider the following ways of becoming involved in the society – there are many excellent opportunities!
Attend SPPAC and the APA Convention
Many students and trainees look forward to attending the SPP Annual Conference (SPPAC), which will be held in New Orleans April 4-6 to celebrate our 50th anniversary! SPPAC is a great place to learn from the excellent plenary speakers and presenters, reconnect with colleagues, get to know new students and professionals and their work, and gain knowledge on cutting edge research and clinical work. Students and mentors are looking forward to attending the Mentoring Lunch, which is an enjoyable time to connect and learn from professionals in the field. Other parts of SPPAC that students and trainees are enthusiastic about this year include the SPP History Quiz, the Student Research Symposium, Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings, Internships and Postdocs on Parade, and our Student Social. Continue looking out for more information about these on our listserv and social media as we get closer to the conference!
The APA Annual Convention will be held in Chicago August 8-11. Planning is in progress, so we will have more information about SPP programming at APA in the upcoming months!
Apply to be a SAB Member or Campus Representative
The Student Advisory Board (SAB) represents student and trainee membership within Division 54. The Membership Committee, Programming Committee, and Student Spotlight/Website Committee collaborate with the Student Representative on various tasks and goals throughout the year. Serving on the SAB is a wonderful opportunity to build leadership experience, support students and trainees, and contribute to the mission of SPP. Applications will be due in June this year, so look out for the call for applications in the next few months.
The Network of Campus Representatives works to increase awareness about pediatric psychology on college and university campuses. This is a great way to share your knowledge and enthusiasm about SPP and connect with representatives at other institutions. Check out the SPP website for more information – perhaps you could represent SPP at your institution!
Engage with SPP on Social Media
SPP officially has a Twitter account (@SPPDiv54)! We encourage interested students and trainees to follow us and engage by posting pediatric psychology related news and content. You can also use #SPPAC2019 as we look forward to the conference, and to share in the enthusiasm while we are in New Orleans. Additionally, join us on our Society of Pediatric Psychology Facebook group, and stay up to date through both the APA Division 54 Listserv and the Student Listserv. The Student Listserv is a helpful tool to communicate with other students for a variety of purposes, such as sharing resources, gathering advice or input from other trainees, or coordinating for conference travel.
I welcome you to contact me with questions and comments about student opportunities at SPP.StudentRep@gmail.com. I hope to see you at SPPAC or APA this year!