STP’s Executive Committee continues to explore ways to make our organization more inclusive and access to our resources more equitable. Some changes to our processes are opening up new ways to expand our reach. Thanks to Executive Director, Tom Pusateri, psychology educators can now join or renew their memberships in STP directly on our website. Members may continue to join or renew through the American Psychological Association or the Association for Psychological Science, but now you will have a third way to join us!
As we use the STP website as a membership portal, we gain more control over the process. For example, we will be able to gather more data about our members. And, as an added benefit to the organization and for the planet, those who join directly via STP’s website will be able to opt in to receive a hardcopy of our journal, Teaching of Psychology, by mail, but the default will now be electronic only. Of course, if you prefer the print journal, please do make that choice. But we fully admit to taking advantage of a behavioral nudge (Carlsson et al., 2021) to make the environmentally friendlier decision the easier one!
Perhaps most importantly is a new policy aimed at expanding access to STP and its resources. Beginning soon, STP will use the World Bank classification of countries by income to determine dues. For those living or working in high-income countries, including the U.S., Canada, many European countries, and Australia, annual dues will remain at $25; however, annual dues will now be $5 for those living or working in all other countries. For those who are eligible and who choose the lower dues, access to our journal will be electronic only. While acknowledging that $5 is still prohibitive for some and that lower dues doesn’t solve inequities related to lack of access to the internet, we hope that this new initiative will expand access to STP and to our resources, including grants and awards.
These new developments in access to resources lead to the latest in my ongoing series of introductions of the Vice Presidents of STP. Meet Bill Altman, our VP for Resources! As you’ll see from his description of his position, Bill oversees a wide-ranging portfolio of STP resources. Bill and his team make it look easy, but there’s a ton of behind-the-scenes work in the development of the STP resources on which many of you rely. Here, Bill discusses his role within STP, the opportunities within his area, and why he so values her involvement in STP. As always, check out STP’s Get Involved page to see where you might fit within our organization!
What would you like STP members to know about your position?
This is going to sound a bit circular, but I guess that’s the nature of the beast. As STP’s Vice President for Resources, I’m responsible for overseeing the development, maintenance, and functioning of our resources and some of our support services. But it’s important to note that I have the honor and pleasure of working with dedicated and wonderful colleagues who are in charge of each of these areas. Without them, very little would actually get done. So, my real function is to serve them in whatever ways they require. Sometimes that means advocating for resources; occasionally it’s helping to solve technical problems; and in other circumstances it may mean brainstorming about new programs, resources, or ways to serve our members.
Perhaps the most obvious area in my portfolio, though totally in the background, is STP’s online presence. That includes pretty much everything with which our membership can interact (except each other, of course–so I hope I’ll see you all at ACT in October). One very large area is publications, which includes the journal Teaching of Psychology, STP E-Books, STP Book Notes, and the E-xcellence in Teaching essays. Another big area deals with teaching resources, including our Best Practices in Teaching and Learning resources, Project Syllabus, and three very different wikis: Today in the History of Psychology, Psychology in Communities, and the Teaching of Psychology Idea eXchange (ToPIX). I also oversee the Professional Development Mentoring Program and SoTL Workshop, which are both very popular with our members (incidentally, I’ve served as a mentor for several years, and encourage you all to join either as mentors or mentees). And not to be forgotten is our extremely valuable Department Consulting Service, which can provide help for any psychology department looking at overall evaluation, curriculum planning, faculty development, or any of a host of other things.
And of course, if you have ideas for new resources, or for helping to make our resources better, I’d love to hear from you!
What do you most value about STP?
The people and our sense of community. I am, and have long been a member of several other professional organizations, all of which provide great resources and terrific colleagues. But when I first joined STP, it was like finding my way home. It’s one of the few places where I can find a group of people who share my passion for teaching, as well as for doing and appreciating research on teaching and learning. More than that, it’s a group of colleagues that are as welcoming and kind to new members as to those who’ve been involved for years.
Carlsson, F., Gravert, C., Johansson-Stenman, O., & Kurz, V. (2021). The use of green nudges as an environmental policy instrument. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 15(2). https://doi.org/10.1086/715524