Student Division Update

Hello from the Student Division. We are excited to give an update covering the last year’s events. First, I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Bronwyn Neeser and I am a third year PsyD student at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. I was elected co-chair of the Student Division my first year in the program. My predecessor, C.J. Swanlund, left very large shoes to fill but am glad that I took on the challenge. I took my first year to learn what MPA is all about, how the association works, and what it can offer students.

Needless to say, I am honored to serve on the General Council. The way in which the council strives to have open and honest communication with the board and members--offering information, opportunities, and news--is impressive. I obtained a co-chair, Erika Brink, in January of 2017. She is also a third year PsyD Student at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Together, we decided that a mission statement and a revamp of goals would benefit the Student Division. Although we missed the opportunity to represent the division at the Annual MPA Convention, we look forward to participating in 2018.

I had the privilege of attending the American Psychological Association’s Practice Organization (APAPO) Leadership Conference in March of 2017. I was able to speak with and obtain many ideas from other state association student divisions. Upon my return, Erika and I got to work. There is now a Student Division Facebook page and our goal is to connect students from all four PsyD and PhD programs in Minnesota. We hope to give students entering the field up-to-date information on statewide legal, ethical, and political implications, such as MPA’s participation with the duty to warn law.

The Student Division also has tackled our MPA website presence. We thus far have included links to state practicum sites, APA accredited internship sites, EPPP preparation help, dissertation assistance, graduate programs, and the application for the undergraduate Donald G. Paterson Award. We are still working on this and have appreciated the input and ideas offered to us by others. Our future projects include monthly interviews with the different MPA divisions and their current projects, so students can have information if participation in an additional division is of interest. We also hope to create a more functional mentorship program with those professionals who would like to participate and mentor students. Some of the doctoral programs require a mentorship to be complete before internship, and we hope such a mentorship opportunity might serve as a reference point for students to network, explore professional areas of expertise, understand the various populations served, and more.

The 2018 annual meeting will have much to offer students this year, and we are beginning to develop our sessions as well as materials. We are excited and looking forward to this next year and hope to be able to hand off the Student Division with secured monthly meetings, protocols, and continued support and mentorship from the General Council. If you are a student, please register and become an MPA member--it is now free! Like our Facebook page to receive updates, or come to a monthly meeting. The next Student Division meeting is October 11, 2017, at 6:15pm at Common Roots Café in Minneapolis. We encourage all students to get involved. We are always looking for new ways to increase the usefulness and impact of the Student Division, both for the student and the local community.

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