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The Value of Student Membership: Supporting the Future Generation



Let’s secure a bright future for psychology and mental health by supporting the outstanding work of our students and trainees.
Publication of the Florida Psychological Association Fall 2021
F l o r i d a
The Value of
Student Membership:
Supporting the Future Generation
See page 10
The Value of Student Membership:
Supporting the Future Generation
By Rita M. Rivera, MS, FPAGS Chair
As we wrap up the most
successful student poster
reception in the history
of FPAGS, I want to invite all
faculty members, academics,
professionals, and mentors to
continue supporting FPA’s student
division. Through several initiatives,
such as participating in FPA’s annual
convention, developing publications
for our organization’s magazine,
actively participating in social justice
groups, and leading efforts to increase
the scope of practice in the state, our
student members help advance and
diffuse psychological knowledge.
The value of student membership
needs to be recognized, and we
can start by supporting our student
members. The following are some
recommendations for faculty
members, academics, professionals,
and members interested in supporting
the future generation of our
1. Consider serving as a
mentor for students. Lack of
guidance and support may lead to
feelings of isolation, inadequacy,
and helplessness which, combined
with a lack of rst-hand experience,
may result in imposter syndrome.
These factors can make students less
likely to engage in extracurricular
projects and initiatives, such as
research endeavors and participation
in professional organizations. Often,
students cannot nd mentors who
can answer their questions, connect
them with professional organizations,
and help navigate challenges in
the pursuit of higher education.
Mentorship is a signicant resource
that can provide a safe space for
students to acquire guidance and
knowledge. Also, if you are a mentor
who identies as an individual from
a minority or underrepresented
group, consider offering advice to
students from these communities.
It is very common for students to
experience a lack of representation
in their academic institutions; having
a mentor they identify with can
help them become more condent
in their academic and professional
2. Foster environments
conducive to learning. Trainees
and interns may experience high
levels of anxiety tied to that sense of
perfectionism and desire to achieve
what they may consider an ideal
evaluation in their academic and
clinical performance. It is essential
for faculty members and supervisors
to normalize feelings of inadequacy
and have honest conversations
regarding clear expectations and
responsibilities. Supervisors may
also help students experience fewer
imposter feelings by providing
constructive criticism, normalizing
mistakes, and sharing their own
learning experiences.
3. Invite and connect students
with professional organizations.
Trainees and students experiencing
10 • Fall 2021
New Members
As of July 1, 2021
low self-esteem or imposter
syndrome may feel undeserving of
leadership roles. They may also feel
nervous or reluctant to communicate
with other professionals outside their
institutions and joining professional
organizations in their eld. It has
been noted that when students
are encouraged by their faculty,
mentors, and advisors to join these
organizations, they are more likely
to join and participate in initiatives
conducive to professional growth.
Encourage students to join their state
organizations (such as FPA) and other
psychological institutions (e.g., APA).
Without a doubt, the past year
has been challenging for all of us.
However, it is worth highlighting
how students have persevered and
continue participating in scholarly
work. Students’ commitment to
their professions and elds of
study is inspiring, and it drives the
success and future of psychology.
Students are the next generation of
professionals in the eld; they are
the future of psychology and have
proven to be capable of meaningful
contributions that impact and shape
the profession. Let’s secure a bright
future for psychology and mental
health by supporting the outstanding
work of our students and trainees.
Author’s Bio:
Rita M. Rivera, MS, CTP, is pursuing
a Psy.D. in clinical psychology at Albizu
University in Florida. She is chair of
the Florida Psychological Association
of Graduate Students (FPAGS), student
ambassador for APA Division 15, student
representative for APA Division 49, and
co-chair of several working groups of the
APA’s Interdivisional COVID-19 Taskforce,
including the Higher Education working
group. Rita is also a writer for APA’s Society
of Counseling Psychology-SCP Connect Team
and her Psychology Today blog, “Physio
& Psych.” Her areas of interest include
elds that explore the relationship between
physiology and mental health. Rita has
clinical experience working with Hispanic
patients and high-risk populations both in
the United States and in her home country,
Zahra Abouzied - Student
Sandra Baskharon - Student
Cynthia Caia - Student
Lisa Costas -
1st Year Member
Kevin Croswell
- 1st Year Member
Madison Dobreff - Student
Evin Janik - Student
Kelly Pires - Student
Diana Rodriguez - Student
Taylor Severance - Student
Meara Thombre - 1st Year Member
Cailyn Caskey - Student Afliate
Monica Freissle - Student
Janette Rodriguez - 2nd Year
Brenda Apagueno - Student
Jennifer Oseroff - Afliate Member
Michael Rodriguez - 1st Year
Veronica Steller - Student
Susan Welnel - Semi-Retired
Olivia DeAngelo - Student
Pamela Hughes - Student
Daniel Krizan - Student
Martha Mason - Regular Member
Sara Staley - Student
Hannah Warshowsky - Associate
Ginger Martin - 1st Year Member
Jennifer Pechenik - Regular Member
Bruce Kristol - 1st Year Member
De’Von Patterson - Regular Member
Breeda McGrath
Vincent Barbieri - Student
Jennifer Starke - Student Afliate
Naomi Tarlow - Student
Deborah Muench - 1st Year Member
Lily Sarfaraz - Student
Florida Psychologist • 11
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