Adrienne A. Williams, Ph.D.
When I first joined SfHP (“Division 38” back then), I primarily joined to have access to the list serve and the Health Psychology journal. Since then, I have been amazed with all of the new and developing member benefits and opportunities. In fact, SfHP has helped me in ways that I had never anticipated.
I moved to Chicago a few years ago and only had a small social network in the city. There happened to be a networking event less than two weeks after I arrived, and at that event I met a number of amazing people, several of whom have developed into some of my closest friends. Chicago is one of the cities that has regular networking events, so later, after meeting Heather Eisele, PhD, another health psychologist who had started working at my university, we decided to attend one of the events. She really enjoyed it as well and decided to keep going to future events. This week, Chicago hosted its 10th networking event, and this one was organized by Dawn Epstein, PhD, Anjali Pandit, PhD, Azi Ghaffari, PhD, Joanna Buscemi, PhD, Fabiana Araujo, PhD, and Cassandra Kandah, PhD. Dr. Eisele and I decided to attend this one, too. The organizers did an amazing job and, as usual, I stayed longer than I had planned because I was having such a good time. But the highlight of the night was when they raffled off a $250 APA travel scholarship, which Dr. Eisele won!
Another unexpected benefit of SfHP happened last year when I went up for promotion at my university. As part of this process, my university contacts people outside of the university, and in my field, to evaluate my promotion packet. To get other health psychologists to read my packet, my university reached out to some SfHP members, who ended up writing letters of support for my application. So SfHP helped me to get promoted!
An additional member benefit that has been re-developed in the past couple of years is the Graduate Student Newsletter. The winter 2018 issue is available here. Even though I am no longer a student, I continue to read articles in the Graduate Student Newsletter. Many of the articles provide guidance for students, but there are also very interesting columns regardless of career stage. In this issue, I was particularly moved while reading about the experience of an intern going to Puerto Rico after Hurricane María to provide psychological first aid training.
I am also very excited about the third annual #ThisIsHealthPsych challenge on 3/8 (March 8th), where we encourage all health psychologists to post on social media something that they did that day with the hashtag #ThisIsHealthPsych. There have been increasing numbers of health psychologists participating each year, so please join as we are once again hoping to make this a trending topic to help people know more about what health psychologists can do. Even if you forget to do it on 3/8, you can still post on following days. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone posts!