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According to the American Psychological Association, “The annual meetings of the regional psychological associations provide an opportunity for psychologists and students to share knowledge, to take advantage of professional development and continuing education opportunities, and to develop professional networks” (APA, 2008, para. 2). These regional conferences are of increasing importance to the professional development of future psychologists and provide them with an initial introduction to the professional scientific community. Over the years, the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain Regional Psi Chi organization, has become a model of a student-friendly conference. This ebook is designed to help others who may want to create a student-friendly conference or improve on their existing procedures to become more student oriented.

ISBN: 978-1-941804-60-5    

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Administration of a Student Friendly Psychology Conference: Challenges and Opportunities

Introduction 7
Benefits to Students or Why Bother? 7
Organization of the Book 7
References 10
Chapter 1 13
The Nature of Student-Focused Regional Psychology Conferences: 13
Characteristics and Continuing Challenges 13
Abstract 13
Introduction 13
References 16
Chapter 2 19
Mentoring High Quality Student Research for Conference Presentation…and Publication 19
Abstract 19
Introduction 19
Mentoring Publishable Research 20
Models for Mentoring Undergraduate Research 20
One-on-One Mentor Model for Individuals and Teams. 20
Integrating Undergraduate Research into Programs of Study. 21
Best Practices in Mentoring Student Research 22
Obstacles to Mentoring High Quality Research 23
Conclusion 23
References 24
Chapter 3 27
Introducing Students to the Psychology Convention and Research Culture 27
Abstract 27
Introduction 27
For Faculty 27
To Students 29
Posters. 30
Oral Presentations. 31
Other considerations. 31
Conference Protocol. 32
Additional Resources. 33
References 34
Chapter 4 35
Maintaining Records with Consistency While Facing Change. Ways that Technology and Students Can Help Facilitate Record Keeping 35
Abstract 35
Introduction 35
The Role of Secretary 35
Technology and Information Sharing: Leave it to the Millennials 38
Newsletters 38
Email. 39
Online file sharing. 40
RMPA webpage. 40
Social Media. 40
Convention Poster. 41
Concluding Thoughts 41
References 41
Chapter 5 43
Managing the Money 43
Abstract 43
Introduction 43
Approaching the Convention 45
During the Convention 45
After the Convention 46
Conclusion 46
Suggestions for Further Reading 47
References 47
Chapter 6 49
Convention Coordinator: What Graduate School Did Not Teach Me 49
Abstract 49
Introduction 49
Position Requirements: Prior to the Convention 49
Signing a contract. 49
Line of Credit. 51
Banquet event orders and finalizing of events. 51
Convention breaks and sponsors. 52
Hotel room block needs. 52
Convention insurance. 53
Convention and Visitor’s Bureau support. 53
Purchasing of awards and convention materials. 53
Position Requirements: During the Convention 53
Position Requirements: Post-convention 54
Conclusion 54
References 54
Chapter 7 55
Serving as Program Chair for a Student-Centered Conference 55
Abstract 55
Introduction 55
The Program Chair Role 55
A Different Type of Attendee 57
Opportunities for Students within Programming 58
Programming Challenges 59
Conclusions 60
References 60
Chapter 8 63
The Boots on the Ground: Convention Manager 63
Abstract 63
Introduction 63
Nine to Twelve Months Prior to Conference 63
Coordination with Executive Committee. 63
Consider Finding a Partner. 64
On-Site Orientation to Venue. 64
Multimedia Needs. 64
Room and Space Requirements. 64
Physical Space and Display Needs. 64
Local Restaurants, Entertainment Establishments, and Special Activities/Events. 65
Petition for Local School Support. 65
Contact Publishing Companies. 65
Contact Local Schools or Other Enterprises for Table Space. 65
Mark the Event in Your Calendar. 65
Six to Nine Months Prior to Conference 66
Recruiting Student Volunteers. 66
Ongoing Dialogue with Executive Committee. 66
Coordinate with the Program Chair. 66
Include Local Schools/Programs. 66
Prepare a travel guide. 66
Three Months Prior to Conference 67
Select and Train Student Volunteers. 67
Schedule Student Volunteers. 67
Re-Contact Local Merchants. 68
Construct a Supplies List. 68
One Month Prior to Conference 68
Arrange for and/or Purchase Needed Supplies. 68
Check in with Student Volunteers. 68
Test Equipment. 68
One Week Prior to Conference 68
Assemble Name Badges. 68
Review Registration Processes. 69
Collect and Label all Registration Desk Supplies. 69
Registration Table Office Supplies. 69
Breakout Room Multimedia Supplies. 69
The Conference Weekend 69
On-Site Arrangements. 69
Poster Boards 70
Multimedia Check. 70
On-Site Registration. 70
Monitor Front Desk Student Volunteer Conduct. 70
Maintain the Image. 70
Registration and Event Glitches. 70
After the Conference 70
Make a Report to Executive Committee. 70
Build a Plan for Returning All Equipment. 70
Manage Reimbursements. 71
Review Attendee Survey. 71
Follow up with Thanks. 71
Coordinate with Next Year's Convention Managers. 71
Serve as a Resource for Future Meetings. 71
Conclusion 71
References 71
Chapter 9 73
Ensuring Diversity is at the Forefront of a Student-Centered Regional Conference 73
Abstract 73
Introduction 73
The Development of the Diversity Council 73
The Expansive Role of the Diversity Council Chair 74
RMPA Student Awards 74
Ensuring Diversity is Present on RMPA’s Website 75
Promoting Diversity at a Broad Level for the Conference 75
Convention Programming. 76
Collaboration is Key to Success 77
Challenges faced by a Diversity Council Chair 78
Conclusion 79
References 79
Chapter 10 81
Facilitating Student Awards for a Student-Focused Regional Conference 81
Abstract 81
Introduction 81
Rationale for Student Awards 81
Student Awards at RMPA 81
Developing a Submission Process 82
The Judging (Reviewing) Process 83
Co-Ordination across Responsible Parties 84
Challenges 84
Conclusion 85
References 85
Chapter 11 87
Running a Teaching Conference at a Student-Centered Convention: The Role of the Teaching Conference Coordinator 87
Abstract 87
Introduction 87
Goals of the Teaching Conference 87
Values 88
Audience 89
Overview of a Typical Schedule 89
Psi Chi coordination. 90
Community Planning 90
Reviews 91
Administrative Supports 91
Funding 92
Assessment 92
Conclusions 92
References 92
Chapter 12 93
Better Together: Partnering with Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology 93
Abstract 93
Introduction 93
About Psi Chi 93
Psi Chi Support 95
Programming/Psi Chi Track 95
Diversity & Leadership Programming 96
Evaluating Student Submissions 97
Awards & Grants 98
Financial Impact 98
Conclusion 99
References 99
Chapter 13 101
View from the Trenches: A Compilation of Student-Friendly Conferences 101
Abstract 101
Introduction 101
Undergraduate Psychology Research Conferences 102
Undergraduate Multi-disciplinary Conferences 104
Professional Psychology Conferences that Accept Undergraduate Student Presentations 106
Professional Multi-disciplinary Conferences that accept Undergraduate Psychology Students’ Presentations 107
Why Students Should Attend a Conference 107
Summary 108
References 109
Suggestions for Further Reading 109

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The individual essays and chapters contained within this collection are Copyright © 2020 by their respective authors. This collection of essays and chapters as a compendium is Copyright © 2020 Society for the Teaching of Psychology. You may print multiple copies of these materials for your own personal use, including use in your classes and/or sharing with individual colleagues as long as the author’s name and institution, and a notice that the materials were obtained from the website of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) appear on the copied document. For research and archival purposes, public libraries and libraries at schools, colleges, universities and similar educational institutions may print and store in their research or lending collections multiple copies of this compendium as a whole without seeking further permission of STP (the editors would appreciate receiving a pro forma notice of any such library use). No other permission is granted to you to print, copy, reproduce, or distribute additional copies of these materials. Anyone who wishes to print, copy, reproduce, or distribute copies for other purposes must obtain the permission of the individual copyright owners. Particular care should be taken to seek permission from the respective copyright holder(s) for any commercial or "for profit" use of these materials. ISBN: 978-1-941804-60-5

Suggested Reference Format

We suggest that the overall text be referenced in this fashion:

Woody, W. D.  & Miller, R. L. (Eds.). (2020). Administration of a Student Friendly Psychology Conference: Challenges and Opportunities. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:

Individual chapters may be referenced in this fashion:

Landrum, R. E. (2020). The nature of student-focused regional psychology conferences: Characteristics and continuing changes. In Woody, W. D.  & Miller, R. L. (Eds.). Administration of a Student Friendly Psychology Conference: Challenges and Opportunities. (pp. 13-16). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:
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