EPA Conference Programming

Tough economic times demand that we begin to be a bit more discerning in selecting the conferences that we will attend. People tend to look for conferences that are both conveniently located and offer a good selection of options for workshops. This year, the Eastern Psychological Association conference will be March 6th and 7th in downtown Pittsburgh. The programming choices give lots of options for conference participants.

Of particular note are several sessions which are being sponsored by Psi Beta. On Friday morning, Worth Publishers and Psi Beta are proud to sponsor Dr. Cynthia Lightfoot as an invited speaker. Dr. Lightfoot is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University at Brandywine. She has done extensive research with adolescents and has numerous publications, including The Culture of Adolescent Risk-Taking. At the conference, she will present on Narrating Teen Motherhood Through Story and Art. This presentation will detail results from a study intended to map the intersection of motherhood and identity development as revealed in stories and art of pregnant and parenting adolescents. Emerging in the context of creating and presenting self-portraits, participants identity narratives reconstruct social stereotypes of the teen mother as victim, flawed and failed, into stories of agency, independence, and power. Qualitative narrative analyses trace a common autobiographical pattern from the confusion and submission of early sexual experiences to the assertion of control over circumstances. Special attention will be paid to participants’ use of hip-hop idiom in interpreting experiences of sex, pregnancy, and motherhood.

On Saturday, we have several sessions for both advisors and students. Renata Carneiro, from University of Baltimore, will be presenting a session on Careers in Psychology. Renata first presented this session at the Synergy Conference and the rave reviews there indicated a need for her to present to another audience. This session is ideal for students planning a career in psychology. During the workshop participants will become aware of how their personality is a good fit for certain positions in the field. They will also become familiar with the world of work and the educational requirements to achieve their goals.

Also on Saturday, we have several officers from the Community College of Allegheny County Psi Beta Chapter who will share their experiences in a session entitled Working with Foundations, Charities, and Businesses. Chapter president Glenora Kivador, vice-president Julia Kinross, and secretaries Karey Reeg and Stephanie Kuchta have all had experience on projects with foundations, charities, and businesses. If you are looking for ways to build community connections with your chapter, then this session is a must!

Finally, on Saturday afternoon there will be an opportunity to network with other Psi Beta and Psi Chi members and officers. Laura Bittner, Psi Beta National President will host this session with time for informal networking as well as news about the latest on collaboration efforts between Psi Beta and Psi Chi. Up to date information on the Alberta Johnson/Ruth Hubbard Cousins Building Bonds Collaboration Award and the Synergy Conference will be presented.

All in all it looks as if this conference is one you won’t want to miss. See you in Pittsburgh!

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