The Society for Military Psychology established a Student Chapter at Fielding Graduate University
The Society for Military Psychology, which is Division 19 of the American Psychological Association (APA), has promoted research and practice in military psychology since its initiation as one of the original APA chapters. Division 19 members are involved in a variety of activities including research, treatment delivery, consultation, teaching, and advising congressional committees. Within Division 19, the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) strives to promote awareness, competence, and scholarship in military psychology among students.
In 2012-2013, the Division 19 Executive Committee recognized an opportunity to incorporate an increasingly large student base. It then made student involvement a top priority of Division 19’s overall agenda. SAC formed a Student Chapter Network to foster a Division 19 presence on university campuses and connect students at different campuses. The Student Affairs Committee appointed student leaders at several of these universities, including Fielding Graduate University. Along with 35+ other Campus Representatives in universities across the country, Jeremy Jinkerson was appointed a Campus Representative to serve throughout 2014 and 2015. The Student Chapter Network allows Fielding’s Student Chapter access to other campus leaders, professional development opportunities, and inter-school collaboration. For example, Fielding’s Student Chapter is hosting an upcoming military psychology seminar in Memphis, TN on June 21st in coordination with the University of Memphis and APA’s Division 56 (Trauma Psychology).
Since initiating Fielding’s Student Chapter, which is chaired by Dr. Daniel Holland, and presided over by Jeremy Jinkerson, completed initiatives have included holding two meetings, electing officers, developing a programming schedule with notable guest speakers, securing a speaker for the national programming track, and creating a local online portal with calendars and forums (Moodle). In the creation of our programming schedule, chapter leadership has secured presentations by military leaders in psychology, current military psychology interns, and veteran researchers in related disciplines. Members have provided feedback that Division 19’s organized presence has been beneficial in uniting fragmented military psychology enthusiasts, acknowledging the need for specialized training in this area, and giving military spouses a venue to honor their spouses within psychology.
Fielding’s Division 19 Student Chapter is also actively partnered with Fielding Veterans Connection. Fielding Division 19 officers sit on the Fielding Veterans Connection planning committee, and the Veterans Connection serves in an advisory capacity to the Division 19 Student Chapter. The two groups work closely on most events and initiatives. Future initiatives include service projects related to helping active military, veterans, and military families.
Fielding's model of distributed learning can be particularly appealing to students with military connections. However, student organizations like Division 19 and the Fielding Veterans Connections serve an additional need by expressing value in military psychology, addressing the interests of those with military connections, and supporting individuals wishing to work with military populations. The Student Chapter’s intention is to not only provide practical advice, beneficial presentations, and a heightened awareness of the importance of military psychology specialization, but to foster a stronger sense of community among Fielding students with military connections.
Division 19 membership is valuable and inexpensive. Benefits include student list-serv and social media access, leading-edge webinars, career support, early information on new training programs, newsletter publication opportunities, and subscriptions to the Military Psychologist newsletter (published three times per year) and Military Psychology journal (published six times per year). Student research and travel awards are also available. Student affiliate members are $10, and more information on benefits can be found at http://www.apa.org/about/division/div19.aspx. More information on Division 19 student programs can be found at http://www.division19students.org.
We encourage all Fielding students with interests in military psychology, regardless of military affiliation, to apply for membership and to attend any of our scheduled meetings. If you have any questions or would like to be added to the Student Chapter Moodle group, please contact one of the Student Chapter officers by email. We look forward to growing the Student Chapter, serving the community, and adding to the field in innovative ways.
Jeremy Jinkerson Tiffany Duffing
Commanding Officer Executive Officer