Division 32 Annual Conference: Student Perspectives Series- Part 1

Over the next three weeks we are featuring a series of posts written by MSP students who attended or presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology: American Psychological Association: Division 32 that was held in Chicago on March 26-29, 2015.

Over the last weekend of March I had the distinct honor of attending the APA Division 32 Society for Humanistic Psychology’s 8th Annual Conference entitled: Humanistic (R)evolution – Innovative Relevance in a Complex World. The conference was held at my very own alma mater, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. Such a trip was replete with nostalgia, perspective, and a well-deserved Midwest stay-cation. This is the third conference with the division I have attended and, to be completely honest, they just keep getting better.

This year was particularly unique as I carried the great privilege of acting as the MSP Student Ambassador (SA) to the division. This gift from my dear friend, your former SA, Dr. Katie Darling, was one passed on with the request to take great care of something she treasured so deeply. This year as your SA has been rewarding in so many unbelievable ways. It has been so exciting to drum up conversation about the conference with veterans and first-time attendees alike. It has been thrilling to support and promote ideas and works toward submission to conference programming, and to connect great ideas with great people through collaborations. It has been soul-filling to informally mentor students at MSP in your love for humanistic psychology and passion for your craft.

Both MSP and the division have been amazingly supportive of my efforts to access students via e-mail newsletters and postings in the school atrium, as well as with the start of the Divison32@MSP Facebook page which mirrors the larger division groups’ social media platforms. When I came to Dr. Bach with the idea of hosting a proposal planning event to demystify the notion of presenting in an APA forum, she mirrored my enthusiasm and helped pave the way for its pilot. By the collective nature of our campus dedication and engagement MSP, yet again, accounted for the largest presence at the conference. For all this and more, I would like to thank Dr. Bach, Dr. Keenan, Tori Holmes, and Division 32 Membership Chair, Trish Nash.

The division conference is always busy and bustling with energy, intrigue, and inspiration. I was able to attend Diversity Task Force meetings, Student Ambassador meetings, to witness several impressive presentations, and to laugh, cry, and love with our impressive keynote speakers. It was my greatest honor to speak alongside David Tucker (PsyD I) and Dr. Ann Smith (PsyD Core Faculty) on the topic of multi-racial and multi-ethnic experiences and their clinical implications. Later I was given the opportunity to expound on my experience of multi-ethnic identity in a poetry reading and book signing of Stay Awhile, a compilation of poems on multiculturalism for which I am a contributing author. One of my goals as your SA was to highlight the excellent research taking part on our campus. With the invaluable assistance and support of the MSP Administration, we were able to showcase several of the graduated dissertations of the past year in poster session.

MSP, we truly are all amazing and I could not be more proud of each and every one of us! The professionalism, caliber of talent and expertise, and strong presence MSP brought to division outshone even the Chicago skyline. Although I am an avid lifelong learner, surprisingly my favorite part about the conferences is not the impressive opportunities for learning, the great inspiration of ideas, or the didactic growth; but actually connecting with people of the division. Together and in support of one another we continue to do remarkable things in the field of psychology and for the world. Sharing my relationships with fellow colleagues at MSP and growing in togetherness is my biggest take-home from the conference. I consider myself fortunate to have such an amazing home at MSP to come back to. Thank you for this truly remarkable year as your Student Ambassador.

Roxanne Christensen (PsyD 4)

Roxanne ChristensenI completed my undergraduate work in Psychology and Sociology with a Criminal Justice Concentration (Rochester, MI), my Master’s in Forensic Psychology (Chicago, IL), and am currently on internship in private practice in Bloomfield Hills training in the treatment of eating disorders. I am passionate about student engagement on campus, and have been active with Division 32 for four years, culminating in my division Student Ambassadorship to MSP. My areas of clinical and research interest include social justice, diversity and multiculturalism, adoption, and imprisonment and survivorship abroad.