The APAGS Governance Committee in front of the White House in November.

Confronting key issues

At its Nov. 1-3 meeting, the APAGS Committee set priorities for the upcoming year and assigned teams to work on three priorities:

  • Developing a position statement on mentoring and a related campaign to create a culture of mentoring in graduate school.

  • Creating and disseminating academic training materials for research-oriented students and professional training for emerging leaders.

  • Expanding its commitment to help end the internship crisis by supporting insurance reimbursement for interns, advocating for more internships affiliated with or captive to specific doctoral programs, and educating more applicants about selecting programs that are right for them.

Championing mental health on college campuses

APAGS members and leaders went to Capitol Hill to advocate for the reauthorization of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which provides grants for colleges and universities to better serve the mental health and substance use needs of their students, improve screening for suicidal behaviors, and improve the visibility of services on campus. Visits with elected officials were made as part of APA's 2013 Education Leadership Conference, held Sept. 28-Oct. 2.

Advocating on accreditation standards

As part of its commitment to high-quality graduate training experiences, APAGS is closely watching the planned changes to accreditation standards for clinical, counseling, and school doctoral programs and internship sites. These changes will alter the future of training in many substantive ways. We have given our response to the Commission on Accreditation's call for input (see APAGS Response to Requests for Comments: Phase I (PDF, 359KB) and APAGS Response to Requests for Comments: Phase II (PDF, 391KB).)

Once the commission releases its first draft of the standards (expected this month), APAGS will collect input from students and identify training needs to be sure that the standards reflect fairness and quality training for all trainees.

In a separate but related request, APAGS asked the commission to publicly disclose more data about internship sites (PDF, 240KB) so students can make informed decisions about where to apply and how to rank.

Supporting scientific innovators

APAGS supports outstanding research at all points along the graduate student trajectory through its grant-making arm. This year, we named nine Junior Scientist Fellows in partnership with Psi Chi and awarded another nine scientists Basic Psychological Science grants. We also partially funded six thesis and dissertation projects on a range of scholarly topics, including research to examine factors protecting against HIV infection (Eva Woodward, Suffolk University), the physiological substrates of depression (Anastacia Kudinova, Binghamton University) and treatment-seeking behaviors of migrant farm workers (Rachel Becker, University of Miami).

Gearing up for APA's 2014 Annual Convention

Year round, the APAGS Convention Committee works to ensure student conventioneers have an experience that enriches you professionally, ignites your curiosity for exciting areas of the discipline, and connects you with new peers and mentors. In December, the Convention Committee reviewed a range of submissions for poster sessions and other programs for the Washington, D.C., convention, Aug. 7-10. The group is bringing back the four-hour Internship Workshop, the popular Thursday night APAGS Social and much more. It's never too early to start saving for convention; visit the APAGS blog to learn how.

Let us know what you think

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