A Guide to Attending Academic Conferences

by Olivia Thornburg, '18

Why should I go to an academic conference?

  • You are exposed to formal presentations in the forms of posters and papers.
  • It’s a chance to network and meet others with similar research interests.
  • It’s a great addition to your resume.
  • If presenting, you gain experience in sharing your research with ordinary people and with others in the field.

What advice do you have for students interested in attending an academic conference?

  1. Dress for Success: Whether you’re just attending or presenting, ALWAYS wear appropriate clothing. For conferences, this means wearing business clothes.
  2. Practice, Practice, Practice: If you’re presenting a poster or paper, be sure to olivia-posterpractice your entire presentation several times through with willing friends, classmates, or professors. This way, you can clarify any confusing segments or just keep the information fresh in your mind.
  3. Bring a Notebook: Bring something to jot down any research ideas that come to mind or to write down the names and contact information of people you meet.
  4. Mingle: It is daunting when you go to your first conference, but really challenge yourself to mingle. You either find someone with similar interests or you make a new friend!
  5. Reflect: After going to a conference, be sure to reflect on what you learned, what interested you, and went well and what could go better regarding your presentation. Maybe even write these things down so you can improve next time!

What about the logistics of going to a conference?

  • Cost: Typically, there is a membership fee as well as an attendance fee for these conferences. For example, the fee to attend the New England Psychological Association conference is $30 which covers membership fees for the year as well as the attendance fee for the conference. Also, people usually provide their own transportation, but at least one other person from the psychology department attends and is usually very willing to arrange rides. Plus, you can include on your resume that you are a member of that academic association.
  • Location: Often conferences will vary from one year to the next, but you can look on their websites to identify where they will be held in the future.

What conferences do students and professors in psychology go to?

Welcome Back!

by Abigail Mark, ’18

Welcome back, Anselmians, and welcome, Anselmians who join us for your first year on the hilltop this fall! Just as importantly, though, welcome to the Psychology Department Blog. Whether you are a major, a minor or simply someone interested in the fascinating field we study, our blog aims to connect, inform, and engage our readers. Here, you’ll find articles written by professors and students with information about upcoming events, ongoing projects and research from our department, and interesting topics from our field. To start, here are some great opportunities for involvement in the Department of Psychology:

Psychology Ambassadors

The Psychology Ambassadors are a group of students who represent and are involved in the endeavors of the department. Ambassadors, clothed in spiffy, navy polos, can be seen chatting with potential majors at open houses, giving department tours ambassadors-2016-for-blogwith faculty members and attending dinners and talks with distinguished guest speakers. Pictured here are the newest inductees to the program: Olivia Griffin, Olivia Thornburg, Steph Conti, Taylor Francis, Lisette Labbe, Maria Soto, Caroline Braverman, Madeline Pratte and Alexis Caldwell, as well as returning ambassadors Richie Curran, Elizabeth Gallagher and Abby Mark. If you are interested in becoming a Psychology Ambassador, keep your eye out for an email announcing the next call for applications.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the International Honor Society of Psychology. It is considered both a psi-chi-logopersonal honor and a sizable academic achievement to be inducted. Members meet regularly throughout the semester and often attend conferences and annual meetings of organizations such as the New Hampshire Psychology Association, the New England Psychology Association, and even the American Psychological Association. Professor Finn and Professor Ossoff co-sponsor the Chapter on campus, and eligible students are contacted, usually in the spring semester, with information about induction and membership.

Psychology Club

A unique feature of the Psychology Club is that, unlike the organizations previously mentioned, it is open to anyone regardless of major or academic status. It’s aim is to involve the Saint Anselm College community in our department’s work, something which we hope one and all will feel welcome and encouraged to be a part of. The club meets regularly, organizes, and attends psychology-related events.

Guest Speakers

Keep an eye out for upcoming speakers on campus. It is no secret that the college community is constantly inundated with e-mails, but if you receive one regarding a guest speaker in Psychology on campus, don’t ignore it! Our very own Department Chair, Professor Ossoff, is scheduled to give an upcoming talk related to the ever-hot election topic. Distinguished psychologists are no stranger to the Saint Anselm College campus, and their talks are relevant, captivating and worth attending for both enjoyment and expanding your academic horizons.

Lastly, and importantly, please know that you are always welcome in our department. Barbara’s couches are a comfortable, quiet haven to do homework upon, Professor McKenna’s enthusiastic “Hello!” could be heard from a mile away, and Professor Rickenbach may, if you’re lucky, have baby Jack on her arm walking down the hall. Stop by and say hello sometime. We hope to see you involved in some of our programs and present at some of our exciting events. Lastly, pay a visit to our blog monthly for new posts which are sure to challenge you, interest you and excite you for this year in psychology to come!

Saint Anselm Hosts Dr. Susan McGurk for Hechtl/Lasky Lecture

by Richard Curran, '16

IMG_0790On Tuesday, April 12th the Saint Anselm Psychology Department hosted Dr. Susan McGurk from the Center of Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University for the Annual Hechtl/Lasky Lecture Series. The series is in honor of former faculty members Richard Hechtl and Julian "Jack" Lasky, who were leaders in Saint Anselm College's psychology department, having devoted their careers to promoting wellness through basic and applied psychology research.

Students have previously worked with Dr. McGurk on her research while she was at Dartmouth University, and she was excited to return to campus to present her current work. Dr. McGurk has won numerous awards such as the National Alliance of Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the Young Investigator Award (1987-1990), the Independent Investigator Award (2010-2012), the 2004 Rehabilitation Practitioner of Distinction Award by the National Rehabilitation Association, and the 2007 Gerard Hogarty Award for Excellence in Schizophrenia Research. As part of the lecture series, students had the opportunity to meet with Dr. McGurk during a dinner and research presentation on campus.

IMG_0792Dr. McGurk shared her experiences helping people with psychiatric disability achieve employment goals through her program called the "Thinking Skills for Work Program." This program is a multi-component cognitive remediation program combining computer practice of cognitive skills and the teaching of compensatory strategies in order to optimize cognitive and work functioning in persons receiving vocational rehabilitation services.

McGurk has helped many people through this program to overcome challenges, improve their self-image, and maintain employment. Dr. McGurk is an inspiring researcher who has made great contributions to the psychology field, and it was a pleasure having her come share her knowledge with us on campus.