The fall semester is a busy time of starting new classes, clinical externships, research duties, perhaps applying for post-docs, jobs, or to a clinical internship, and having a seemingly endless to-do list. Whether you’re just beginning graduate school or about to defend your dissertation, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the perks of being a student member of SoAP. As you’ll see below, being part of SoAP is a great way to check several potential items off your to-do list (including networking and adding to your CV), regardless of your current stage of training.
Exposure to the broader world of addictions research and networking Addictions research is a multifarious thing. The longer I’m involved in SoAP, the more I realize that my area of investigation is just one piece of a very large and complex puzzle. It also highlights for me how easy it isto become entrenched in certain ways of viewing problems. Though we all recognize addiction is a very complex phenomenon, too often we view its concomitant problems through the lens of our own area of specialization. It goes back to the old adage, if the only tool you have is a hammer then everything tends to look like a nail. Involvement in SoAP is a great way to get exposed to all the incredible things that are going on in the world of addictions research and treatment, and to ensure we are communicating with people in other sub-disciplines. By communicating with one another, we stay open to new ways of looking at problems, and potentially open important new avenues of collaboration. Not only is this to the betterment of the field and the people we serve, but making such connections can be instrumental to building a successful career.
Leadership roles, professional service, and your CV In addition to the opportunity to learn more about the complex area of addictions, being a student member of SoAP actually enables you to have an influence on the exciting activities that SoAP is implementing in the field. Several of the SoAP committees encourage students to become involved in their work and contribute to their ongoing initiatives. This is a unique opportunity to begin to practice a commitment to professional service and leadership early in your career. Additionally, graduate students are invited each year to apply for the position of SoAP student representative. This position provides the appointed students with the chance to represent the voice of students with an interest in addiction psychology, while attending teleconference meetings about the current work of the SoAP and starting your own student-related initiatives within the SoAP. Having a record of service, even as a busy graduate student, demonstrates your dedication to involvement with and knowledge of new directions in the field, along with openness to considering the broad world of addictions beyond your own clinical and research interests, making SoAP membership and involvement a welcome addition to your CV! How to join Student membership to SoAP is only $20 a year, and is open to students of all levels, from high school to graduate school. This fee includes a year’s subscription to SoAP’s journal, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Joining SoAP with the inclusive journal subscription can be easily done on APA’s website. However, it’s not particularly well known that you can join SoAP as a student member for $5 a year if you don’t want to receive the journal, and that you don’t have to be a member of APA in order to join the SoAP. New membership to SoAP without journal subscription can be done online at www.apa.org/divapp. If you have any trouble or question, call Keith Cooke in APA’s Division Services Office, (202) 216-7602, and he will help you.
As always, as your current student representatives, we are very interested in any suggestions you may have about making SoAP more useful and better able to meet student needs. In particular, if you are interested in becoming more involved with SoAP or one of its committees as a student, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us: Ashley Hampton at firstname.lastname@example.org or David Eddie at email@example.com