What Your Giving Means for the AAS Student Division
Did you know the AAS student division has a big birthday coming up?! We are almost 5 years old!
Although the student division has formally been around for less than 5 years, students in AAS have been an important part of the organization for much longer. During the 50th annual AAS conference in 2017, senior members reflected on their start in AAS as students and the home the organization has made for them. Because of this commitment to training the next generation of those in suicide prevention, students in AAS have been extremely successful.
Last year, AAS students won scholarly awards from their home universities and national organizations. Students were awarded achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Military Suicide Research Consortium among others. Senior AAS students matched at strong psychology internship training sites and accepted permanent positions at universities and medical centers as scholars and/or clinicians.
Although many AAS students are pursuing advanced degrees in psychology, the AAS student division has become far more professionally diverse. The current AAS student division is made up of young suicidologists pursuing their MDs, PhDs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and counseling education, and/or their master’s in public health, social work, and counseling.
With a growing group of professionally diverse students, it is not surprising that this group was quite productive in the last two years. Over this time, the group created new opportunities for students to be mentored by professionals in the field as well as more senior AAS students, created a university suicide prevention awareness week tool box, tips and trajectories for budding suicidologists, new annual conference presentation opportunities for students, and even a suggested reading list for those in suicide prevention. Many of these resources can be found here.
Over the next year, the AAS student division wants to continue providing mentorship opportunities for new AAS students. We plan to do this in two ways. The first is to increase AAS student representation at our annual conference. The conference is a great way for students to get to know and collaborate with senior student and professional members. Unfortunately, many students are unable to attend the conference because their home universities do not provide support for professional travel. We plan to increase scholarship support for student conference travel to ensure every student in AAS can learn from those in the organization.
Our Mentorship Committee is also looking for new ways to increase engagement between student and professional members outside of the annual conference. This group of students are reaching out to professionals in the field and conducting interviews about how these members came to develop the needed skills for their careers and tips for AAS students.
We hope you consider donating to AAS to support these future efforts. John C Maxwell writes, “the best way a mentor can prepare another leader is expose him or her to other great people.” Your donation would help students with conference travel and facilitate the creation of mentorship opportunities for AAS students. Along with my PhD program, I feel as though I “grew up” in AAS and learned from so many great members of the organization. I feel extremely thankful for the opportunities provided to me during my time as an AAS student and am encouraged that my donation to AAS will help younger students experience the same thing support. I hope you consider supporting future leaders in suicide prevention on Giving Tuesday!
Raymond P. Tucker, PhD
AAS Student Division Chair
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Louisiana State University