Eastern Regional Spring Letter (2008)
Dear Psi Chi Faculty Advisor:
There are many Psychology events coming up in the Northeast in coming months that will provide excellent opportunities to present to, or at least attend and network with, other Psychologists.
First off, the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association will take place in Boston on March 13-16. We have planned some very useful Psi Chi sessions and would appreciate your encouraging your students to attend each of our events.
The schedule of Psi Chi events is as follows (all Psi Chi sessions will take place in the Plaza Ballroom of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel; further details can be found at www.easternpsychological.org):
Friday March 14
- 12:30--1:50 p.m. | “Can a little fabrication, falsification or plagarism really ruin your day? Tales (and lessons) from the trenches, “ Invited Speaker: Peggy Fischer, National Science Foundation
- 2:00—3:50 p.m. | Symposium on the Psychology Graduate Student Experience
- 5:00—6:20 p.m. | The Psychology Synergy Conference: A Student and Faculty Showcase (co-sponsored with Psi Beta)
Saturday March 15
- 8:00–9:20 am | Psi Chi Faculty Advisor and Chapter President breakfast hosted by Joan Cannon (everyone invited, RSVP required; contact JBC5117@aol.com)
- 9:30—10:50 am | Teaching psychology as a career in high school and college (so-sponsored with Psi Beta)
- 11:00—12:50 pm | Applying to Graduate School in Psychology; a mini workshop
- 5:00–6:20 pm | Psi Chi Awards Ceremony –all Psi Chi presenters are expected to attend
As was done last year, students presenting posters will do so within the larger content-oriented sessions (such as Social, Developmental, Clinical, Animal Learning, and Cognitive). I hope you will encourage all of your students to attend these poster sessions, even if they are not specifically presenting a poster. Of course, the highlight of the program is the Psi Chi Awards Ceremony. This year we had a record number of student submissions (196 posters), making the process particularly competitive. However, all of our students are to be commended for presenting their research at the level of a regional conference.
Again, please check out the EPA website for more information on the entire program (www.easternpsychological.org).
In addition, I have attached a set of suggestions (prepared by past Psi Chi V.P. Susan Whitbourne) for you to consider passing along to your students to help them think about the upcoming conference. I know that all of us want our students to have the best possible conference experience. Feel free to edit as you see fit or adapt for your own particular students’ needs.
While EPA is most immediate, there are several other opportunities for your students to attend and present at other conferences in the area. Four are college-based conferences; the last one is the “Big Kahuna” of Psychology conventions:
- Saturday, March 29, 2008: The 2nd Annual Mid-Hudson Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference at Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY. Deadline for submissions is February 28, 2008. For information: http://www2.newpaltz.edu/midhudsonpsyconf/.
- Saturday April 12, 2008: The 36th Annual Hunter Psychology Convention, presented with the 12th Annual NEURON Conference, Manhattan, NY.Deadline for submissions is March 17, 2008. For information: www.albany.edu/neuron/register/submit-individuals.html or email@example.com .
- Friday, April 25th, 2008: The 24th Annual Hudson Valley Undergraduate Psychology Conference at Dominican College, Orangeburg, NY. Deadline for submissions is April 4, 2008. For information: www.dc.edu/academics.aspx?id=655.
- Saturday, May 10, 2008: The 16th Annual Pace University Psychology Conference, Manhattan, NY. No registration fee. For information: http://webpage.pace.edu/rvelayo/paceconference/
- August 14-17, 2008: The 116th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA. For information: www.apa.org/convention08/
Last but not least, I would like to thank the members of my wonderful Steering Committee, who have made extraordinary efforts toward the success of the EPA program. My thanks to Joan Cannon, Kerri Goodwin, Sheila Quinn, and Miguel Roig, each of whom has helped with specific events in Psi Chi’s EPA program.
Be sure to look for me and say hello at EPA—that’s a great opportunity to brainstorm for ideas on future Psi Chi events. Also, we are pairing with Psi Beta and encourage our Psi Chi chapters to contact and collaborate with a local Psi Beta chapter –it’s a great place to look for your possible future Psi Chi members.
Finally, thanks to all of you for your generosity and dedication on behalf of Psi Chi. The efforts you make on behalf of your students is greatly appreciated and admired. As always, if there is anything I can do to help you, please do not hesitate to ask.
Professor of Psychology and
Psi Chi Eastern Region Vice-President 2007-2009
Suggestions for Psi Chi Conference Participants
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psi Chi Eastern Region Vice-President 2006-07
You are very fortunate to be attending a professional conference. Here are some ways to make the most out of the experience:
1. Attend the conference sessions
This may seem very obvious, but many students go through a great deal of sacrifice to attend a conference only to find that once they are there, the lure of the city (sightseeing, shopping, visiting with friends) outweighs the desire to attend conference sessions, especially on beautiful spring days. However, you are actually there to benefit from the conference itself, and I would urge you to get to as many sessions as possible. You will learn a great deal from them. In addition, poster sessions in particular offer an excellent chance to meet new people, including students and faculty from other schools. Try to get there one day early or leave one day later if you want to have time to see the sights. During the conference, avoid pulling an all-nighter so that you can be up bright and early for the morning sessions.
2. Dress and act in a professional manner
Think of a conference as a type of job interview. Wear the clothes you would normally wear in a business setting (for women—dress or pants suit; for men—long pants and tie). Do not wear flip-flops, sneakers, or the type of high fashion shoes you might wear to go out. Bring along extra copies of your resume or CV in case you run into any potential graduate school faculty or employers. When you are in the conference hotel, behave in a mature manner, as you never know who you will run into while wandering the corridors or riding the elevators. Display your name tag prominently so people can see who you are and the school you attend.
3. Register early, if possible
There can be long lines at the registration desk and if its possible to avoid them, you will have more time to attend the actual conference sessions.
4. Arrive early for sessions you plan to attend and do not leave early
Nothing is more frustrating than to arrive late or just at the time a session starts and then find there are no available seats. If you arrive even five minutes early, you are probably not guaranteed a good seat, but at least one that will allow you to be comfortable for the entire session. In general, you should not leave a session early, but if you know that you have to do so, sit close to the door so you can exit in an unobtrusive manner.
5. Try to meet new people
Even though you might find it intimidating, you should try to talk to other people at the conference, especially faculty whose work you have read and find very interesting. You would be surprised that even the most well-known psychologists enjoy meeting students who are interested in their work!
Poster Do’s and Don’ts
1. Prepare your poster well in advance
If you leave your poster to the last minute, you will not be able to benefit from your advisor’s help and suggestions. Complete your poster well in advance of when you need to send it to the printer so that your advisor can help you make it as good as possible.
2. Make it easy to read
Remember that your poster will be read by viewers from 2 to 3 feet away, so make the font large enough so that it is easily read without having to stand right in front of it. Less is often more when it comes to the amount of content you should plan to include in your poster presentation. It should be visually attractive and engaging. However, don’t overdo “cutesy” additions such as clip art or colored fonts. Ask your advisor for a sample poster that he or she liked from a previous student and use this as a model.
3. Plan to be there to present your own poster
Don’t rely on someone else to be there to present your poster for you. If you have submitted your poster and it was accepted, you should be there (barring any truly unforeseen emergency). People who are interested in your work will be in attendance and will want to discuss specific details about your study.
Bring handouts to distribute to people who take an interest in your poster. Email cards should be available so people don’t need to write down your email when you run out of copies. Be sure to have someone take your picture in front of the poster so you can show it off proudly to family, friends, and your advisor when you return home!