Dear Peace Psychologists:
It is humbling to see the many talents coming together in Division 48 to grow the field of peace psychology.
Given you are reading the Peace Psychologist, I will start with this. I am sure you are aware that Scott Moeschberger is now the editor of our newsletters. Thanks from all of us for Mike Hulsizer’s outstanding job both serving as our previous editor and helping in the transition. And thanks to Scott who has already done a wonderful job building on Mike’s advances. Scott, as many of you know, has already done much with our Society as our past Student and Early Career (SEC) person, a current faculty member and recent book editor, he is already doing such great work for our group. Scott took a very collaborative approach to the new online newsletter, now called the Peace Psychologist, with a briefer online style.
Introduction of SEC chair
An emotional theme reined my professional life in the year of 2002. As a doctoral student with a specialization in emotions, I listened to lectures on appraisal antecedents, facial expressions and cortisol levels. When I stepped outside of classrooms, I was bombarded with visceral crowds demonstrating against (and sometime for) the Afghanistan war. For a good part of the year, the abstract lectures and the real world remained disconnected. When I made the connection on my own by conducting several studies on public sentiments in the aftermath of 9/11, my applied research proved a misfit with the basic research that dominated the agenda of most of my R01 professors. With over 500 data points in hand and little support from my program, my work needed an intellectual home.
Maggie Campbell Obaid
The 2014 APA Convention was held in Washington, D.C. this past year, with many Division 48 members joining us to participate in our division’s theme of “Working for Justice and Building Peace.” 2014 was an exciting year, with the addition of both collaborative programming and “quick peace presentations,” as well as a special focus on the psychology of drones. Further, the location gave us a great opportunity to share a hospitality suite with Psychologists for Social Responsibility, bringing together two like-minded groups with common goals.
Kamilah Davis and Violet Cheung-Blunden
A survey was sent to Student and Early Career (SEC) members of Division 48 in April 2014 in an attempt to better understand and serve this section of our division. Some of the unexpected findings challenged the existing view of SEC and mandated new program initiatives that will not only effectively retain members but also recruit members.
By Violet Cheung-Blunden
The large researcher-to-practitioner ratio in our division revealed by the SEC survey (Davis & Cheung-Blunden, present issue) calls for more initiatives and programs to address the needs of researchers. One need that emerged in the survey was getting more experienced members to look over the manuscripts of SEC members before they undergo the formal review process at publication outlets. These kinds of requests require asymmetrical commitments from senior members in our division, which is not entirely impossible given the kindness and generosity of our members. However, it occurred to me that everyone (researcher or practitioner, junior or senior member) can use some assistance with their manuscripts. Even the most seasoned writers can appreciate a fresh pair of eyes to comb through a manuscript in its final stage or a pair of hands in compiling the reference list. In fact, student or early career members are particularly suited for these tasks precisely because they are “fresh” and they are well versed in the current APA style. Such thoughts led me to propose an exchange program that leverages the strengths of all members in our division.
For the past 2 years, I have been fortunate to work on a Division 48 Presidential Task Force. The Task Force was formed by past president Rachel MacNair and was designed to study the psychological impacts of the death penalty. Our research team was asked to address 8 research questions. I was assigned two research questions, which addressed the psychological impact of the death penalty on capital jurors and cross-cultural variables. As I began to research my topics I had no idea of the number of professional opportunities that would lie ahead.