November 2019

APPA  November 2019 NEWSLETTER: Focus on Membership
Meet APPA membership chair Helen Wilson

Greetings APPA members (and future members)! I am honored to support our organization as the new APPA Membership Chair. I was elected to this council role at the March 2019 meeting and will serve for the next four years. I look forward to helping others connect to APPA, which has contributed greatly to my own professional growth.

I was first introduced to APPA by my postdoctoral mentor Dr. Cathy Spatz Widom, who urged me to attend centennial meeting in 2010. I was inspired to join APPA after that first meeting and have regularly attended the annual meeting over the past ten years, even after relocating to the west coast in 2012. I gave my first APPA talk at the 2016 meeting, where I presented on “environmental aspects and life experiences on the etiology and presentation of psychiatric illness over the lifespan” as part of Thomas Schulze’s program on Improving Psychiatric Research and Care through Differentiated Phenomenology.

I am a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. I received my Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, in 2005 and completed a clinical fellowship at Yale University Child Study Center and an additional research fellowship in the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At Stanford, my work focuses on research, teaching, and clinical service related to the lifespan effects of trauma. I am the Principal Investigator of GIRLTALKWe Talk, a federally funded longitudinal study that examines links from childhood violence exposure to intimate partner violence and sexual risk in young women from low-income communities in Chicago. I am also a licensed clinical psychologist and founding Director of the Stanford Confidential Support Team, a service for students impacted by campus sexual and relationship violence. In this role, I have led the creation of a relatively novel program delivering trauma informed and evidence based interventions to ameliorate the effects of campus sexual and relationship violence. Due to the dearth of research on interventions tailored specifically to college students, I have recently launched research to examine treatment needs and effectiveness within this population. Inspired by this work and parenting my 4-year-old twins, I have also developed an interest in teaching other parents about how to talk to children across the age span about healthy relationships, consent, and respect.

As the membership chair, I intend to help expand the visibility of APPA, diversify membership across institutions and regions that are currently underrepresented, and increase participation of early and transitioning mid-career researchers.

I look forward to seeing you at the 2020 APPA meeting and hope you will connect with me about mentoring, early career development, and membership.

Helen’s membership Q&A…

Q: Who can become a member of APPA?

A: APPA now has three levels of membership. Trainee membership is available for doctoral and medical students, post-doctoral fellows, and medical residents or fellows who are active in a formal training program. Regular membership is available for researchers at all levels post-training who contribute to expanding knowledge of psychopathology, broadly defined. Fellows are individuals who have made important, original, and independent contributions to knowledge of psychopathology.

Q: Do members receive a reduced registration fee for the annual meeting?

A: Yes, members register for the annual meeting at a reduced rate. In fact, the member discount for meeting registration exceeds the annual cost of membership. And provisional membership allowing for registration at the reduced rate will be granted for anyone who submits application materials by November 22, 2019.

Q: Are there other benefits of membership?

A: APPA members receive numerous benefits in addition to reduced conference registration. Members have exclusive access to speakers’ slides from the annual meeting, with 2018 and 2019 slides currently archived. Moreover, the contributions of active members make the annual meeting possible. In addition to dues that are essential for funding the meeting, APPA members elect the council members who organize the theme of the annual meeting, provide input for determining meeting themes and making other key decisions, and nominate recipients for the Robins-Guze award for promising junior scholars.

Q: Can members participate as presenters in the meeting program?

A: APPA members are encouraged to submit poster presentations for the annual meeting. APPA members also generally represent a large proportion of the speakers selected by APPA Presidents for the meeting program. In addition, authors of a few outstanding posters are selected to present brief talks at the meeting.

Q: Do I have to be nominated for APPA membership?

A: No! Any individual interested in joining APPA at the Member level can self-nominate by submitting a letter of interest and CV to the Membership Chair. Prospective trainee members can also self-nominate including a note from their advisor indicating their trainee status.

Q: Can I apply for membership at any time?

A: Yes! The Membership Chair welcomes interest and applications at any time. However, we have a yearly cycle for granting membership. Application materials for 2020 are due by February 1st (or November 22, 2019 for provisional membership to register for the meeting).

Learn more about APPA membership online or by emailing Helen Wilson, PhD (

In This Issue…

  1. Meet Helen Wilson
  2. Ask Helen Wilson


November 20th webinar, Psychedelics: Risks and Opportunity. Find out more and register online at

Submit nominations for the 2020 Robins-Guze award by December 31st to

Register for the 2020 meeting by December 13th for the lowest rate

APPA member benefits

Discounted registration rate

Members’ access to content on including meeting archives and webinar recordings

2020 Session Highlight – Substance Use Policy

Session 2 of our 2020 Annual Meeting will present a range of speakers addressing current controversies in drug policy: Dr. Magdalena Cerdá on policy solutions to the opioid epidemic, Dr. Rosalie Pacula on marijuana policy, and Dr. Benedikt Fischer opioid-cannabis dynamics.


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