Aloha, APA!

I recently got back from a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii where I was presenting a poster at the 2013 American Psychological Association Convention! It was absolutely wonderful! I met several new contacts, presented my research, and – HAWAII! You can’t really lose when you’re in a tropical paradise.

View from our lanai.

View from our lanai.

Since we’re a military family, we got to stay at the Hale Koa. I had such a relaxing time with my husband.  The hotel was wonderful, and located right on the beach within walking distance to the convention center and Waikiki Beach. We had a few drinks by the pool at the “Barefoot Bar,” and spent time seeking out cheap Asian food near Waikiki. I was a complete moron not thinking when I made the trip budget, and decided to only allocate $200 for food for the week. We blew about half of that the night we met up for dinner with some of my old professors and classmates. Thankfully I budgeted a nice cushion, though we made some changes and hit up some Vietnamese restaurants for pho and Japanese restaurants for some ramen (which I now know doesn’t just come in 10 cent packages at the commissary)! We also went to a Chinese restaurant called Fatty’s. Such good food, and we spent $15 for both of our meals!

Ocean view from the lanai of our room in the Hale Koa

Ocean view from the lanai of our room in the Hale Koa.

Comfortable room, though I don't know why they gave us two beds! We each took one though...we like to spread out at night and I think Spencer enjoyed not being kicked in the night for once.

Comfortable room, though I don’t know why they gave us two beds! We each took one though…we like to spread out and I think Spencer enjoyed not being kicked all night long for once.

The always-empty adult pool. Perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun. The weather was better than Florida - it was a lot less humid!

The always-empty adult pool. Perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun. The weather was better than Florida – it was a lot less humid!

Enjoying our Mai Tais and Blue Hawaiians :)

Enjoying our Mai Tais and Blue Hawaiians 🙂

I was able to attend a few sessions on treatment for Military Sexual Trauma, as well as a session on LGB service members. While the sessions were mostly geared towards professionals who provide treatment to traumatized individuals , they gave me some great ideas for further research. I really want to look into preventative programs to keep military members from being sexually assaulted or harassed in the first place. As a new graduate, I no longer have access to a lot of the psychology databases, and journal articles are often behind pay walls. Thankfully, my sister is a reasonable individual who is willing to share her library password with me and let me have access to the PsychInfo databases provided by our lovely school.

My poster presentation was 50 minutes long in a hall filled with other presenters. My research on the effects of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”  on unit cohesion originally started off as my honors project to fulfill my UScholars requirement at Seattle Pacific University. Even though (at the time) I had no real thoughts about being published, I decided to count this a completion of my goal of starting a research project to be published in the Journal for the Society of Military Psychology.

Me with my poster at the 2013 APA Convention in Honolulu, HI! Such a wonderful opportunity!

Me with my poster at the 2013 APA Convention in Honolulu, HI! Such a wonderful opportunity!

At the end of the project, my first reader told me that I should submit my work as a poster to the APA Conference. I had no idea what this would entail, but I went ahead and submitted my abstract. Lo and behold, I was accepted! At the conference, I had a Navy Captain tell me he was impressed with my work (a huge compliment, seeing as he is in the same field with similar interests). I also had two different people involved with Division 19 tell me that I should really work on publishing my paper. While I’m sure there is a lot of work to be done, I’m excited that there are people out there besides my first reader who think that my research is really worth something. I’m currently working on contacting the appropriate parties to get started on the publishing process. I’m completely clueless, but I’d love to get some experience with the process (even if I just hear a resounding “no”) before grad school.

Speaking of grad school, the upcoming months will be filled with grad school applications and the GRE. I’m continuing my marathon training, fundraising for the March of Dimes, hopefully starting a new research project, and possibly fostering some puppies this month from the local Humane Society…though I still have to consult my other half on that one! Our summer vacations are over, at any rate, but we’re excited to get back to a steady schedule. We’re also excited to be home with our puppy dog who apparently did very well at the boarding facility. We missed our sweety pooch!

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What a goofy grin, and what a long tail too!

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