Sixty exceptional college freshmen and sophomores are preparing for a summer's worth of scientific psychology with some of the discipline's most energetic teachers and researchers. The APA Summer Science Institute (SSI) will help prepare these students for upperclass and graduate study in psychology.
"We are thrilled that 100% of our first-choice students acepted our invitation to attend SSI," said Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., PhD, the SSI leader. More than 350 students applied for the 60 coveted places, and the competition was rigorous. Of the 60 who will attend, nearly a dozen were Westinghouse Science Talent Search semifinalists or finalists, and many scored a "5" on the Advanced Placement psychology examination.
The students represent institutions from across the country, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large research universities. Students were selected based on their academic records, essays, and recommendations from professors.
The theme of the SSI is the nature of psychological research. "We want the students to leave the Institute with a considerable understanding of the intellectual processes of research: the questions that begin research and how they get framed in testable ways, the methods used in psychological research, the analysis and interpretation of data, the answers and questions that arise from research, and the generation of subsequent studies that are part of programmatic research," said Dr. Benjamin.
Faculty members are integral to the success of the SSI, and this is a stellar group. Dr. Benjamin, of Texas A&M University, has many years' experience running summer high school psychology teacher workshops. Drs. Linda Bartoshuk (Yale), Douglas Bernstein (University of Illinois), Diana Cordova (Yale), Arthur Glenberg (University of Wisconsin), G. Alan Marlatt (University of Washington), Jack Nation (Texas A&M), Sharon Nelson-LeGall (University of Pittsburgh), Michael Sayette (University of Pittsburgh), and Robert Sternberg (Yale) will join Dr. Benjamin on the faculty for the two sessions. These researchers will make presentations in their specialty areas of sensation and perception, social, cognitive, clinical, developmental, biopsychology, and methodology. Faculty members will combine lecture and experiential learning to engage the students.
The University of Maryland will be the site of the SSI for the two 1-week sessions in June and July. Students will also visit research laboratories on the National Institutes of Health campus, including labs of Drs. Mortimer Mishkin, Judith Rapoport, and Thomas Wehr, where they will see demonstrations in cognitive neuropsychology, behavioral pediatrics, and sleep and sleep rhythms.
The Summer Science Institute is one of several special projects funded by the APA Council of Representatives to enhance the support of science by the Association.