Student Member Opportunities in SPP: Adding to Your Service Experience

SPP is an organization where student development is a top priority

By Christopher Cushing
As you wind down from another semester, I hope you take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments and set goals for the future. I often receive emails from student members interested in serving SPP, and I am thrilled because I find service to SPP to be one of the most satisfying elements of my graduate training experience.
SPP is an organization where student development is a top priority. Often—when decisions about the Division are being made—the first point of conversation among the Division leaders is whether and to what degree a decision will serve student members. Listed below are several ways student members of SPP can take an active role in shaping the future of pediatric psychology. Network of Campus Representatives
One of the least well known, but perhaps most vital ways you can serve SPP is as a Campus Representative (CR). CRs are responsible for raising awareness about SPP at their local institution. As a CR, you are provided with a ready-made PowerPoint presentation on pediatric psychology that can be presented at Psi Chi meetings, program-wide seminars, etc. You would have the opportunity to help identify outstanding undergraduate students to be featured in our Student Spotlight section of Progress Notes. Most importantly, you would serve as a liaison between your institution and the Student Advisory Board.
We are committed to maximizing SPP benefits to students across a wide range of institutions, but we need help understanding the unique experience of students on campuses where we do not have a SAB member. The time commitment for CRs is designed with your graduate school schedule in mind

Join a Special Interest Group

If you were able to attend a SIG meeting at the National Conference in San Antonio you likely saw an exciting group of people passionate about their niche in pediatric psychology. What you may also have seen was the formation of several subcommittees and working groups tasked with gathering the available literature on topics from assessment to transitions to adult care. These working groups have a tremendous potential to benefit SPP. Moreover, they present an opportunity for student members to apply their skill for synthesizing the literature, and network with leaders in your area of research or clinical interest.
If you are interested in serving SPP, joining a SIG and getting a list of ongoing projects is a great way to start.

Mentored Reviews for JPP

Reviewing scientific manuscripts is a way that many pediatric psychologists serve the field. As a student, it is helpful to receive guided practice while developing this unique skill set. Some students may have the opportunity to review manuscripts with their primary mentor at their academic institution. If not, or if you are looking for another perspective on the review process, I recommend that you consider joining JPP’s mentored review program.
Recently Wu, Nassau, and Drotar (2011) conducted an evaluation of the program and found that most mentees (primarily pre-doctoral students) were satisfied with their experience. Two of the many benefits of participation were gaining confidence in the mentee’s ability as a reviewer, and receiving helpful training for their future reviews. These benefits were conferred while mentees also provided a valuable service to the field of pediatric psychology. Truly, this is a win-win opportunity for students and for SPP.
I hope you will consider participating in one or all of these opportunities. As always, please email me at christophercushing @ with your thoughts about the Division or to learn who to contact about various opportunities for service within SPP.


Wu, Y. P., Nassau, J. H., & Drotar, D. (2011). Mentoring reviewers: The Journal of Pediatric Psychology experience. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 36(3), 258- 264. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsq073