APA and George Mason University host 2010 Summer Science Fellowship program

The summer program placed twelve advanced undergraduates in cutting-edge psychological research labs and provided advocacy and professional development training

By Brian Woodburn

This summer, the APA Science Directorate hosted the 3rd annual APA Summer Science Fellowship (SSF). Twelve undergraduate students – all rising seniors -- were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants to participate in the program, which took place at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

Over the course of six weeks, the students gained valuable research experience under the guidance of faculty members from the George Mason University psychology department. Fellows Becky Asbury and Adrian Chow are seen below at work with Dr. Jim Thompson in his lab. This summer, Becky and Adrian worked on piloting an experiment to study the areas of the brain used for visual and auditory processing, specifically studying the neural basis of the McGurk effect.

Summer Science Fellowship 2010

In addition to their work in the labs, the fellows participated in professional development sessions twice a week. These sessions -- on topics ranging from developing research questions to how to give a great presentation -- were typically led by Mason faculty members and were geared toward preparing the students for careers in psychological science.

Among the interesting activities planned for the students was APA Policy Day on Friday, July 9.  The students visited APA’s headquarters in Washington, DC for a briefing about science policy.  Led by staff members of the Directorate’s Science Government Relations Office, the students then toured the United States Capitol Building, met with a psychologist who works in Congress, and learned about APA’s efforts to influence policy decisions and advocate for the interests of the discipline.  The tour was followed by visits to the offices of their own Members of Congress.

Summer Science Fellowship 2010

The 2010 Summer Science Fellows convened atop APA’s
headquarters in downtown Washington, DC.

The 2010 SSF participants were: 

Becky Asbury - St. Louis University
Erik Brooks - University of Memphis
Keri Bishop - University of Arizona
Adrian Chow - Carnegie Mellon University
Erin Delker - George Washington University
Lauren Gonzales - New York University
Zehra Jaffri - Davidson University
Angela Julian - Quinnipiac University
Allison O’Leary - University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Eric Prichard - Eastern Michigan University
Daniel Rovenpor - Brandeis University
Adriana Salcido - Arizona State University

George Mason University faculty mentors were::

Carryl Baldwin (human factors and applied cognition)
Deborah Boehm-Davis (human factors and applied cognition)
Timothy Curby (applied developmental)
Christianne Esposito-Smythers (clinical)
Todd Kashdan (clinical)
Eden King (I/O)
Koraly Perez-Edgar (applied developmental)
Ellen Rowe (school and assessment)
June Price Tangney (clinical)
James Thompson (human factors and applied cognition)

This year’s program was considered a huge success by all involved. “The SSF was an amazing experience socially, intellectually, and professionally. I had a lot of fun, made new friends, learned a lot, and feel much more confident in my ability to pull off a career in psychological research,” said Fellow Daniel Rovenpor. “It’s uplifting to think about the great experience that awaits another group of students next summer.”

Information regarding the application process for the 2011 Summer Science Fellowship will be available in late fall.  Check the Science Directorate website and this newsletter for details.


Brian Woodburn is Administrative Coordinator in the APA Science Directorate