President's Column

I very much look forward to seeing you at APA’s 2011 Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., Aug. 4–7. The convention is designed to appeal to the wide variety of interests of our diverse membership. We have designed it to make it a welcoming event for our members as well as their families, partners, friends and guests. I am very excited about the programs, and only regret that I cannot attend everything that I find interesting and compelling.

Here are some highlights:

  • The Opening Session, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 5–6:30 p.m., will include a keynote presentation, “It’s Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do,” by Columbia University provost and social psychologist Dr. Claude Steele, who will discuss his pioneering and significant research that demonstrated that members of negatively stereotyped groups tend to underperform on tests or activities when they perceive that they are expected to underperform.
  • APA is providing online and mobile tools to help you track your convention schedule and an onsite social networking tool to connect you with like-minded attendees. A technology exhibit in the APA Exhibit Hall will demonstrate the latest in technology tools and techniques for psychologists.
  • APA’s Convention Committee has developed excellent plenary sessions with outstanding topics and speakers. Examples include Drs. Julie and John Gottman, who will speak on relationships and sexuality. Dan Siegel will speak about mindfulness. Cheryl Anne Boyce and Karen Sirocco of the National Institute on Drug Abuse will discuss evidence of brain changes. Larry Rosen will address social consequences of technology. Judith Beck will be interviewed by former APA President Richard M. Suinn. John Pilley will address animal intelligence and learning. Brian Wansink will focus on disordered eating and obesity. Margaret Gatz will address aging and dementia. Vamik Volkan will talk about diplomacy and the role of psychology.
  • A new science showcase will highlight selected scientific projects through a combination of hands-on material and video presentations. A $3,000 award goes to the best demonstration.
  • “Speed mentoring” is back for a third year. This event allows small groups of graduate students and early career psychologists to interact with more experienced psychologists. Advance registration is required.
  • Family-friendly options include a family social hour with wine-tasting and hors d’oeuvres for parents and entertainment and snacks for children. The convention center also has a family room with seating for parents and an entertainment/play area for children.
  • My presidential programs include symposia reflecting my presidential initiatives, including immigration; educational disparities; approaches to preventing discrimination and promoting diversity; psychotherapy effectiveness; an update of the psychology of women and men; an update on the ICD-11/DSM-5; and the positive role of unconventional women in the development of successful men. My presidential address, “Psychology and Social Justice: What We Do,” will address the role of psychology in contributing to opportunity and equity for everyone.
  • A variety of APA division programs and social events will be held throughout convention, enabling members to delve more deeply into their areas of interest. See the June Monitor for a list of APA division convention highlights.
  • This year, we are offering 67 continuing-education workshops, which are priced separately from CE sessions. Space is limited for workshops. To enroll, go to APA 2011 Convention. Four of those are presidential CE workshops, including: “Financial Success in Independent Practice”; “Serving Those Who Served: Partnering With Returning Veterans to Aid Transitions”; “Emerging Technologies and Cloud Computing”; and “Cultural Adaptation of Psychotherapy.” There are 211 continuing-education sessions during the convention at a flat fee of $65 for members and $90 for nonmembers.

For more convention highlights, see pages 81–88 (print version). In addition to the impressive lineup of programs and speakers, Washington, D.C., is always a wonderful city for conferences and vacation, with a wealth of free Smithsonian museums. Let us all experience and enjoy a wonderful time!