ECP Corner

This blog contains submissions from STP's Early Career Psychologists (ECP) Committee to the ECP Corner column in STP News from January 2020 to the present.  The ECP Corner first appeared in the November 2016 issue of the newsletter, which was then called ToPNEWS-Online.  You can read ECP Corner columns from November 2016 through December 2019 in past issues of ToPNEWS-Online here.

Submit questions to ‘Ask an ECP’

For their monthly column, the ECP Committee wants to research and answer questions that mean the most to you. If you have a question, fill out this simple form and your question may be featured in an upcoming column.

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  • 10 Nov 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear STP ECP Committee,

    I was teaching during much of this year’s virtual Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT) and wasn’t able to participate in as much of the (great-looking!) programming as I was hoping. I’m particularly interested in knowing about things to check out for ECPs! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! 

    Please inform,

    Catching Up

    Dear Catching Up,

    We’re so glad to hear that you’re still interested in checking out the programming for this year’s virtual Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT)! Like last year, this year’s ACT was exciting and engaging, in spite of—and perhaps sometimes because of—the virtual modality. Because registration costs were so low (e.g., $25 for members), the conference was widely accessible and attendance was massive. (In fact, it was our biggest ACT ever, with well over 400 attendees!) There were dozens of posters, on-demand videos, and synchronous talks, workshops, and keynotes that are now being hosted on the conference website. These materials will remain available until October 1, 2022; register here.

    Those who register can browse all the programming on the conference website:

    ·        recordings of the synchronous presentations, 

    ·        recordings of the on-demand presentations, which are conveniently divided into 

    ·        Best Practices presentations, 

    ·        Professional Development presentations, 

    ·        Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) presentations, 

    ·        Equity, Inclusion, & Liberation presentations, and

    ·        STP presentations (e.g., awards, task forces), and 

    ·        on-demand posters, divided into 

    ·        Best Practices and Professional Development posters, 

    ·        Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) posters, and 

    ·        Equity, Inclusion, & Liberation posters. 

    There are a wealth of amazing resources for teachers of all stages, including ECPs. It’s challenging to narrow them down to a reasonable number to highlight here, but we’ll do our best! 

    One excellent piece of programming that will be useful to teachers of all experience levels is the synchronous presentation by Kristina Howanksy, India Johnson, Melanie Maimon, and Eva Pietri, titled, “Inclusify Your Syllabi: A Practical Guide to Incorporating Identity Safety Cues into Your Course Syllabi.” We would also recommend checking out another synchronous presentation, titled, “Half Data, Half Heart: Reflections on the Teaching Life,” by Jordan D. Troisi. While the former is more of a practical, hands-on, data-driven discussion of inclusive syllabi, the latter is marked by reflective musings about teaching (still with important practical implications). 

    In terms of on-demand presentations, in this day and age we would highly recommend checking out Carey Bernini Dowling and Rebekah Smith’s “Designing Asynchronous Online Courses for All Class Sizes.” Similarly practical is Julie C. Hill’s “My Students ACTUALLY Read: Techniques Beyond the Reading Quiz for Increasing Reading and Preparation Before Class.” (This is certainly a struggle for many of us, and these recommendations are awesome!) Finally, Marie S. Hammond, Peggy Brady-Amoon, and Ruth L. Greene’s “Best Practices: Engaging Diverse Students in Career Development in Psychology” presentation is a must watch for anyone wanting to be career champions for their students. 

    Finally, we would be remiss if we failed to mention our own workshop specifically designed for ECPs, titled, “The Holistic ECP: Centering values, boundaries, and equity as cornerstones of career decisions.” In this workshop, we completed a variety of activities together, including a value sort to help us determine what our values and priorities are, an activity to develop goals that are Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic, and Timely (i.e., “SMART”), and an activity that required us to think through how we might turn those SMART goals into “SMARTIE” goals (i.e., goals that address or consider Inclusion and Equity). If you missed this workshop, fear not! You can find our worksheet—containing these activities and more—by clicking HERE

    We hope you find these materials enriching, and that you feel motivated to continue exploring the many excellent resources that were not mentioned in this brief post!

    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

  • 04 Oct 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear STP ECP Committee,
    I’ll be attending STP ACT for the first time this year. Since it is now virtual, my usual conference strategies won’t work! Any advice on what to expect or what an ECP should look out for?
    E-Conference Rookie

    Dear E-Conference Rookie,

    As you know, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology 20th Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT) is almost here! As an STP member, registration is only $25 — you just need to register on the website. If you’re not already a member of STP (or need to renew), registration is $50 - and comes with one year of membership to STP!

    As with ACT 2020, ACT 2021 will once again be virtual. Based on how awesome last year’s meeting was, and how hard our current conference director has been working to switch from the in-person plans, this is shaping up to be an excellent meeting. Synchronous sessions will take place on Thursday October 14 and Friday, October 15, and asynchronous presentations as well as posters will also be available through the STP website.

    If you are new to the conference or curious about the line-up of events, make sure you explore the full schedule. However, here are a few activities that we would recommend for a first-time ECP attendee (or any ECP attendee, really!). They will provide you with many opportunities for professional development and networking.

    Important to note as you pencil these into your agenda: ALL TIMES BELOW ARE EASTERN TIME.

    Take part in the ECP Speed Mentoring Event

    • We are excited to announce that our 3rd annual Speed Mentoring session kicks off the start of ACT! This is completely FREE to those who have registered for the event.

    • It will take place on Sunday, October 10 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. 

    • Speed Mentoring is a one-time event (the mentors are not signing on for a longer-term mentoring relationship) with minimal prep necessary, and more details will be sent to registrants when the time gets closer. Mentees will be able to meet with more than one mentor.

    • Registration is now closed for this event, but please keep an eye out for it next year - it’s always lots of fun!

    Attend the Keynotes and other synchronous events (including symposia, idea exchanges, and teaching demos) on Thursday and Friday

    • In addition to presentations and workshops, there’s also time to socialize! Thursday at 5:45pm and Friday at 4:30pm will be excellent chances for some less structured games and socializing.

    • Make sure you explore the full schedule

    Participate in the Professional Development Workshop presented by your ECP Committee

    • We welcome all ECPs to our synchronous session, The Holistic ECP: Centering Values, Boundaries, and Equity as Cornerstones of Career Decisions

    • It will take place on Friday, October 15 from 2-3 pm.

    As a final tip, please do ask questions, reach out to meet folks, and share your thoughts during the events - we may be biased, but we think STP can be a fabulously welcoming place! We look forward to seeing you at these activities and around other scheduled events. Please feel free to reach out to any of us at any time during the conference. We’d love to meet you!

    Do you have any other ideas or questions for your ECP Committee? Fill out this simple form and your question may be featured in an upcoming column. 


    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

  • 10 Sep 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear STP ECP Committee,

    After nearly a year and a half of living through a pandemic, I am emotionally exhausted and have been experiencing major compassion fatigue. I have also been on summer vacation for the last three months and, as a result, I feel “out of the game” and mentally unprepared to start a new academic year. I would love to know what each of you do to get ready (physically, mentally) for a new academic year. 

    Please inform,

    Needing a Break Before Even Getting Started

    = = = = =

    Dear Needing a Break Before Even Getting Started,

    Wow, we all resonate completely with your question! The last year and a half asked a great deal of us as teachers: to change our typical ways of living, to be flexible in the classroom and outside it, to be patient with our students and ourselves, and to show compassion to everyone else who is having to deal with similar sorts of challenges. While we are grateful to have had the summer to decompress, summers can also be a double-edged sword. Like you, it can be all too easy to lose your typical work mindset, which can make returning to even small tasks feel overwhelming. For others, summer becomes a time of even more work—a time to catch up on everything that was delayed by the busyness of the academic year. Despite having had a very different kind of summer, these people will typically also feel burnt out and overwhelmed by the prospect of a new academic year. Whatever your situation, your ECP Committee is here to help with a variety of ideas for how you can get your head in the game for a new academic year! 

    Molly: Honestly, I’m not ready, and I’m not sure what it would take to feel “ready” right now. I’m also stubbornly opposed to any messaging about getting “back to normal,” so I might just be reactive to anything that even hints of that! In an effort to try to get myself even a tiny bit closer to that mystical “readiness,” whatever that means, I’ve been doing everything I can to control my environment and reduce discomfort and uncertainty in the ways I can. Recently, this has meant buying new pants, since my jersey-knit joggers just won’t cut it for in person classes, and researching and purchasing a wide selection of N95/KN94 masks and mask brackets to make public speaking as comfortable and audible as possible (just search “mask” in the STP FB group for lots of suggestions). I’ve also been continuing to work on my self-compassion (with the help of this handy workbook: The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook). It’s a useful skill in the best of times, but I just know we have more months ahead of uncertainty, suboptimal choices, and unclear guidance. I try to regularly remind myself (and anyone who will listen to me) that we can only do what we can do with the information and resources we have at a given time, and that we can’t self-care (or tell others to self-care) our way out of structural problems. Hang in there, friends.

    Daniel: What a wonderful and appropriate question! I have two suggestions for how to get yourself mentally prepared for the admittedly daunting task of starting a new academic year. First, I would suggest trying to find ways to motivate yourself, for example by remembering why you care about the work you are doing in the first place. For example, I like to keep a digital folder that contains pdfs of encouraging student emails and pictures of notes and cards that students have given me over the last few years. I find it so encouraging to read about how students were positively impacted by my teaching and about what they planned to do with the information and skills they learned in my courses. For me, this simple practice shifts my mindset from being all about the tedious tasks that need to be completed for the new academic year to why engaging in this work is worth it to begin with. My second suggestion is to start small. It can be easy to get overwhelmed when staring at a big project or a new course prep that you have not yet started. Break those large tasks into small ones and knock them out one by one. Relatedly, try to follow the 2-Minute Rule: If something can be done in 2 minutes or less, get it off your mind by just doing it now! 

    Janet: I don’t know that I have any great advice for you. Instead, I’ll just share my experience and maybe that will help (or, at a minimum, offer solidarity).For me, getting back into the rhythm of the semester has been challenging. To prepare, I created four columns and listed out all my service obligations, current research projects, duties as director of instructional excellence, and teaching tasks for the coming year. I then went through each column and prioritized the tasks — which tasks are CRITICAL?  Which have the biggest benefits for myself, my students, and the faculty with which I work? Based on this process, I am trying to let go of the lower priority tasks; to give myself permission to say no or to keep my contributions reasonable. I don’t know yet if this has helped, but I’m trying. 

    Courtney: I can totally relate to this. Summer was simply not enough time to fully recoup from a year plus of pandemic teaching and with COVID numbers not looking great, it is setting us up for another year of uncertainty. For me, I’m trying to remind myself that both my students and I need that sense of connection this year more than ever! I’ll be teaching primarily in-person and am hoping that in-person discussions and activities will bring some renewed energy and excitement to students (many of whom have never been on campus before!). Thinking of helping the students reconnect with each other and the campus helps me to get motivated to make the upcoming semester a great one. In terms of preparing for all of the logistical tasks that come with a new semester, I’m making use of my Google calendar to assign myself specific tasks on various days. Carving out time for everything I need to do helps to reduce my stress (because I know there is a plan to get everything done) and also lets me enjoy any free time I have without so much worry that I should be working! Finally, I always enjoy keeping tabs on the STP Facebook page. Sometimes I get new last minute ideas for activities, projects, or classroom techniques that get me really excited about starting the new semester. Other times, I take in advice from others facing similar struggles or challenges. Either way, it’s nice to feel connected to other educators as we all begin a new academic year together.

    Do you have any other ideas or questions about scholarship topics?

    Fill out this simple form and your question may be featured in an upcoming column. 


    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D. 

    For regular updates on ECP activities:

    Follow us on Twitter (@STP_ECP) and Facebook (

    Email us at: 

    Visit our STP website:
  • 10 Aug 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear STP ECP Committee,

    As an early career psychologist in a primarily teaching role, how can I engage in scholarship?

    Please inform,

    Searching for Scholarship

    Dear Searching for Scholarship,

    Academic positions range widely in the percentage of time and effort that is required to spend on scholarship/research. For example, those in primarily teaching roles at research universities (like Molly, Karenna, and Daniel on this very committee) may spend ~80% of their time in teaching and ~20% of their time in service, whereas those at primarily undergraduate institutions may have formal scholarship requirements that range wildly. As ECPs learn the culture of their departments and institutions, it is important to understand what the formal and informal requirements are for scholarship. Sources to help with this issue include consulting your institution’s Faculty Handbook, your department chair, your corresponding dean, and your colleagues who have gone through the promotion/tenure process. Notably, as ECPs, scholarship can also be important to consider if you envision remaining at your institution long-term vs. are thinking you may move to another institution. Maintaining some active scholarship may make you more marketable if you see yourself applying for other jobs in the future, particularly more research-focused positions. As an ECP in a primarily teaching-focused institution, Albee provides some strategies to help build scholarship/research.

    Ways to build scholarship: Within the Institution

    ·        Attend and participate in your institution’s own research day (assuming the institution hosts this event) to support students and understand expectations for mentorship

    ·        Be part of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to get ideas of the research process at your institution as well as the types of projects being conducted

    ·        Volunteer to be a Psi Chi Chapter or Psychology Club advisor so you can mentor students who are bound for graduate school and help them develop publishable research

    ·        Start a writing group with other early career colleagues and consider collaborating with each other on new or ongoing projects to help move them towards publication

    ·        Complete any unpublished work from graduate school and if possible, stay connected with your graduate school mentor 

    ·        Learn more about and consider engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)

    ·        Consider running some of your own pilot studies in collaboration with others 

    o   Identify offices within campus that may be an avenue for research collaboration

    o   Collaborate with psychology colleagues inside and/or outside of the institution who already have established labs and networks (e.g., be a co-investigator on a project across institutions to gather more data)

    Ways to build scholarship: Outside the Institution 

    ·        Be an active member in a division of APA (e.g., APA Division 2/STP

    o   Communicate your research interests and career ambitions openly as you introduce yourself to division members (as well as colleagues in your institution) and you may have opportunities for grant projects and/or conference presentations

    o   Join a committee to build a potential collaborator network and/or have opportunities for conference presentations (e.g., STP ECP Committee)

    ·        Attend virtual or in-person conferences (e.g., ACT, TOP conferences) to get ideas for projects and to meet potential collaborators

    ·        Get on an active listserv (e.g., APA Division 2) and you may find opportunities to review conference proposals or collaborate on  research studies

    ·        Become a reviewer for a journal in your area of interest (e.g., sign up here to review for Teaching of Psychology) and/or for a journal that you would like to publish in the future for journals to gain experience evaluating psychological studies and to know what to expect when you publish

    Ways to weave scholarship into teaching: Within the Classroom

    ·        Do SoTL research which allows you to use your class/teaching environment to conduct research (e.g., STP SoTL Workshop

    ·        Identify students in select courses (e.g., Research Methods) and help them develop a publishable product as part of a directed research course or as their senior capstone project

    ·        Incorporate any data collected from pilot studies or student-led research as class exercises 

    ·        Have students work together to complete a meta-analysis paper or literature review that could potentially be submitted for publication

    Ways to weave scholarship into teaching: Outside the Classroom

    ·        Be involved in undergraduate or graduate student thesis or dissertation committees and help them develop a publishable product

    ·        Develop your identity and demonstrate what makes you unique as a faculty member

    o   Advertise your research and teaching interests in your classes

    o   Be a guest speaker about your area of expertise to other classes/departments

    ·        Identify local schools/businesses/clinic with which to do service learning activities and collect outcome data for a publishable product 

    ·        Volunteer to be on the steering or organization committees for conferences and conventions to see what topics are being presented and what projects get accepted

    If you are looking for more ideas, we recommend exploring the STP website related to early career topics on scholarship:

    ·        Becoming a Journal Reviewer 

    ·        Navigating the Research and Publication Process as a New Faculty Member

    ·        Advice for Early Career Faculty Members and Graduate Students on SoTL

    Lastly, STP’s e-books are informative and helpful in a number of topics including how to build your own research lab, how to engage in SoTL, how to find effective research assistants, etc.

    ·        Administration of a Student Friendly Psychology Conference: Challenges and Opportunities

    o   Mentoring High Quality Student Research for Conference Presentation…and Publication 

    ·        So you landed a job – What’s next?Advice for early career psychologists from early career psychologists

    o   Setting Up a Lab with a Budget and Incorporating Students into Research

    o   Engaging Students in Collaborative Psychological Research at Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities

    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

  • 10 Jul 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    Summer is in full swing, and I am trying to unwind after a very long year+ of pandemic teaching by reading. Do you have recommendations for summer reading?


    Relaxed by Reading

    Dear Relaxed by Reading,

    It really does feel like we have been working for 15 months straight, doesn’t it? Whether you read a book for course preparation or simply for pleasure, hopefully these recommendations from your ECP Committee will point you in the right direction.

    Courtney: What a crazy year it has been! With everything that has been happening, reading for fun hasn’t always made it to the top of my to-do list (aside from children’s bedtime stories!). However, this summer I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling with my daughter and it’s the perfect little escape from everything else that has been going on. In terms of work-related reading, I’m also beginning to think about teaching my Introductory Psychology course later this summer and next Fall and in relation to what I have been reading up on the Introductory Psychology Initiative recommendations and resources. I am hoping for a calmer 2021-2022 school year where I can catch up on all of these great recommendations from my fellow ECPs!

    Molly: OH MY GOODNESS, DO I! I have always been a voracious reader, and it has felt SO GOOD to completely disregard most professional duties and consume popular fiction and non-fiction almost constantly for the last few weeks. This newsletter would be book-length if I listed all of my recommendations, but here are some recent favourites.


    Literary fiction with a hint (or more) of sci-fi/fantasy: Meet Me in Another Life; The Changeling; All That's Left of Me; The One

    Fictional reimaginings of real events/people: Behave; Mystery of Mrs. Christie; 11/22/63

    Beautiful stories and perspectives of people different from me: A Woman Is No Man; This Is How It Always Is; My Sister, the Serial Killer


    Amazingly rich histories of darkly fascinating people: The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple; Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson

    Memoirs of women who have lived through extraordinary things (my personal favourite genre): Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More; A Lab of One's Own: One Woman's Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science; Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman; Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving Extremism

    I’ll stop now. Believe it or not, I restrained myself, so feel free to find me on Twitter (@metzpsych) for more recs! Some are even related to work :)

    Karenna: My current reads include board books and Indestructibles with my little one, but I admit that reading for fun is how I cope with, well, everything. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

    ·        Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

    ·        From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke

    ·        The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Daves

    ·        Noise by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein

    ·        The Couch’s Guide for Women Professors Who Want a Successful Career and a Well-Balanced Life by Rene Seltzer

    ·        And last but not least, the binge-worthy Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn

    Daniel: My committee-mates have provided wonderful reading suggestions, for fun and for career (and for both, of course). I’d like to suggest a couple of readings about something a bit different! As a white professor who often teaches courses such as Psychology of Diversity, I am constantly working to increase my literacy and understanding surrounding issues of race, racism, and the like. This desire has only magnified following the events of last year. As a result, I would recommend the following as helpful and enlightening tools for anyone looking to grow in this area. First, I recommend reading White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo, which discusses the defensiveness that white people sometimes feel when faced with a threat to their preexisting beliefs about race. In a similar vein, you can also explore So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo or I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. Finally, I recommend Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. Written by psychology powerhouses, Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald (you may know them as the creators of the Implicit Association Test, or IAT), this book explores the power of implicit biases and how we can combat them. If you are interested and would like more recommendations of books about these topics, just reach out to me!

    Albee: Like Karenna, I have been reading more children’s books this past year as my 5-year-old gears up for Kindergarten (I cannot believe it - please stay a baby forever). Our family has also been spending a lot more time in the kitchen, reading stories and then making the featured eats (e.g., Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore, Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan). In addition to learning new characters and stories such as Ladybug Girl, Pinkalicious, Fancy Nancy, Amelia Bedelia, and the Princess in Black series (there is a free booklet specifically for the coronavirus), I did find a teeny-weeny bit of time to curl up with some grown-up reads, which have informed me, like Daniel, to incorporate more diversity, equity, and inclusion themes in my courses (e.g., The Psychology of Human Development, Educational Psychology).

    ·        Arsenic and Adobo by Mia Manansala

    ·        The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

    ·        Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas

    ·        Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

    ·        Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

    From all of us, thanks again for this fun question. Self-care looks different for everyone right now. Some of us feel more relaxed by preparing for the academic year ahead of us, while others want to read the latest thriller novels. Perhaps you have recommendations you’d like to share; feel free to message us on Facebook or Twitter so we can continue to add to our book list!

    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.
  • 10 Jun 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    As it becomes more clear that we may be back to in-person classes in the Fall (at least in much of the US and Canada), I’ve been seeing lots of webinars and blog posts about “what to keep from pandemic teaching.” I’d love to know your answers to this question! What changes or improvements from the last year do you hope to keep, and what can you not wait to drop?


    Planning for the Future

    Dear Planning,

    Thanks for this question! As much as everyone seems to be excited about getting “back to normal,” we’ve also been thinking about whether “normal” is what we want to return to. Isn’t there *anything* we’ve learned over the past 15 months to help us grow, change, and be better than “normal?” Below are the thoughts of your ECP committee.

    Molly: There are SO MANY changes I’ve made that I’m so happy with! First, motivated by the limitations of online students spread across the world, three of the five courses I taught this year included shifts from paid to OER resources (texts, articles, and data analysis software). Second, now that I know how to record lectures and use autocaptions, I will always do this in the interest of accessibility (and frankly, I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t figure it out sooner!). Third, it’s amazing how much better communication was amongst my TA team for my large stats courses once I started using Slack. And finally, on a lighter note, my websites and course communications are way more fun now with the use of Canva and Bitmoji. I think these changes have all made me a more thoughtful and more engaging professor, and I look forward to being able to combine these benefits with the thing I miss most about in-person teaching: the informal, spontaneous interactions we get with students before/after class and in office hours.

    Albee: Interestingly, my institution was fully in-person throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Still, the post-pandemic in-person teaching experience was different in a number of ways. Despite being in-person, classes were often hybrid as students received temporary stay-at-home accommodations. Thus, I learned to hold classes on Zoom or Teams while teaching students in the classroom. Considering students' other demands, I recorded my lectures and posted slides so students could access them at their convenience. Different from what I did pre-pandemic, I gave open-notes, open-book quizzes and exams on our learning management system instead of hosting in-person, in-class, paper-pencil assignments. Additionally, I provided more non-academic opportunities for extra credit (e.g., working, volunteering), extended deadlines without penalties, and offered more times for student hours (virtually, by phone, or in-person).

    Courtney: One small thing I’d like to keep is the opportunity to schedule online office hour appointments (I discovered Calendly over the pandemic which was awesome!) and allow students the opportunity to select how they would like to meet with me. While I am feeling very “over” Zoom meetings currently, I do think giving students the opportunity to meet via Zoom, Google Meet, or phone (in addition to in-person) could be helpful-particularly for commuting students or non-traditional students who might have a harder time showing up for in-person on-campus office hours at particular times of the day. During this time of pandemic teaching, most of my classes adopted some sort of hybrid model. Given that, I found I was more intentional about creating a sense of classroom community online by using tools like Perusall to support authentic discussions about class readings outside of lecture. I think doing more to help students feel connected to each other while tackling readings and assignments outside of class might help enhance the in-person classroom environment once we are all back to our “normal” classroom spaces.

    Daniel: In addition to many of the wonderful suggestions that my colleagues here have mentioned (e.g., using open educational resources, focusing on accessibility, being more effective with your LMS, communicating with students regularly), there’s one big thing I saw a lot of this year that I would love to see even more of moving forward: compassion. During the pandemic, there was what felt like a movement driven by educators to be more compassionate toward their students—to understand their struggles, to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to be flexible in how we approach the requirements of our classrooms. It can be easy in our positions to question students’ true motives, to wonder whether they’re actually sick or whether their grandmother actually died, and so on. But students really do get sick, and grandmothers really do die (including my own this quarter). Deadlines exist for a reason, yes, as do late policies. But I hope that we all keep this spirit of compassion and empathy with our students as we enter into the next, post-pandemic phase of “normal.”

    Karenna: One thing that I want to do in my fall in-person courses is to more thoughtfully check-in with students. I used to check in at the start and end of the semester and after each exam. During pandemic teaching (asynchronous, online courses), I checked in with students twice a week, every single week. Even in my face to face courses, I wouldn’t get to know ALL of my students quite as well as I did during my online experience, because my time was heavily favored by more extraverted students even in my “small” 30-person courses. I think I will be able to foster an even more robust learning community by doing these weekly check-ins.

    Thanks again for this thoughtful question and opportunity to introspect. We also want to note that it might be useful to ask other colleagues at different career stages - would our 30 yr veteran instructors have similar insights? Or what about our colleagues who just started teaching this year, who don’t have a prototype for “normal?” Keep asking, and discussing, and thinking, and improving, and sharing with us what works for you!


    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

  • 10 May 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    I’m interested in getting more involved as a journal reviewer, but missed the recent webinar on “How to Become an Effective Journal Reviewer” led by Dr. Aaron Richmond. Can you help fill me in?

    Please advise,

    Aimless Reviewer

    Dear Aimless Reviewer,

    Have no fear! Thanks to the wonderful world of Zoom recordings, you can actually view Dr. Aaron Richmond’s webinar anytime by navigating to (STP log-in required). In addition, we are going to share some quick tips from the webinar below that you can start to use right away as you consider further developing as a journal reviewer.

    Getting Started

    • Don’t feel like you have to wait to be invited to be a reviewer! If you’d like to serve as a journal reviewer, consider journals that match your areas of interest and expertise and go to their webpage to sign up to be a reviewer! Often, this involves providing basic information and associated keywords that describe your areas of interest and expertise. It’s important to include as many keywords as you can as the keywords are often used to identify appropriate reviewers when new submissions come in.
    • Consider finding a mentor who can help you through your first few reviews or work collaboratively with a more experienced colleague on a review (just be sure to ask permission from the editor first).

    Finding the Right Fit

    • “Know thyself” and keep that in mind as you make decisions about whether to accept or decline a review opportunity. If something extends far outside your area of expertise, it may be best to decline. However, don’t feel like you have to be an expert on everything that is included in the paper to accept the opportunity to review. Editors will often pick reviewers who bring in different areas of expertise to review so you are not expected to be an expert on everything in the paper.
    • Make sure to familiarize yourself with the peer review process. Knowing the role of editors and reviewers and understanding how the peer review process works at the particular journal for which you are wanting to review can help ensure you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities and role as a reviewer. In addition, make sure you are familiar with the many different types of submissions a journal accepts as the criteria for reviewing an article can vary considerably based on the submission type.

    Providing Feedback

    • Once you have a paper to review, try reading through it without making notes first to get a good first impression of the paper.
    • Realize that writing styles can vary and consider whether the writing represents a fundamental flaw vs. just an issue of style or clarity.
    • Be specific and thorough! It helps to provide examples or give evidence related to your critiques. If you feel like an area of related literature was left out, consider providing a citation or two to give the author a good starting point. Also, provide page and line numbers and organize your review by sections to make it easy for both the editor and author to interpret the feedback.
    • Write the review as if you were receiving it. Try to provide constructive criticism and avoid being overly harsh. There is usually an opportunity to provide private comments to the editor where you can speak more candidly about an article, if needed. It is also important to think about the audience who is receiving the feedback (i.e., undergraduate authors, graduate student authors, faculty members, international authors, etc.).
    • Don’t string an author along. If the paper has fatal flaws, it is better to reject than to send them down the road of making revisions that may never be enough.
    • Don’t miss the deadline! If you consistently submit reviews late, you may no longer receive invitations to review.

    Making the Most of It

    • As an ECP, consider your purpose in doing reviews (why do you want to do them in the first place? Scholarship requirement? Passion for a subject?). As you gain more experience and complete more reviews, you could eventually be invited to be a member of the editorial board or become a journal editor yourself.
    • Consider creating an ORCID iD and Publons account so that you can get credit for doing reviews! This can be really helpful when you go to document this service as part of your tenure portfolio or yearly progress reports.
    • Being part of the peer review process as an ECP is so important! Not only are you contributing to the field and helping to enable the peer review process, but you can learn a lot about how to write compelling journal articles as well as get exposure to some of the latest research in your field.

    Happy reviewing to you all!


    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

  • 10 Apr 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    As an ECP, I've always valued the concepts of diversity, inclusion, and equity and tried to incorporate them into my courses. However, the last year of the pandemic, public health inequities, and racist and xenophobic backlash has really highlighted just how much more proactive I need to be. What are some strategies or resources you have found helpful in incorporating DEI content and policies into your courses and other interactions with students?

    Please advise,

    What Can I Do?

    Dear What Can I Do?,

    This month marks the anniversary when the world followed stay-at-home orders due to the spread of COVID-19, which originated in an Asian country. Sadly, here in the U.S., hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian sentiment have increased by 1,900% in certain states (Lang, 2021). Recent events have shed light on how everyday life can be impacted by racism, xenophobia, and discrimination, which can have adverse impact on psychological health (Reja, 2021). As early career teachers of psychology, we can change the narrative from one of exclusion and bias to one of understanding and acceptance by incorporating diversity/inclusion/equity (DEI) in the content of our classes, our connection with the campus and local community, and our mentoring of student organizations.

    Courtney: Discussion of discrimination and racism come up naturally as part of the content of many of the courses I teach (e.g., Social Psychology, Introduction to Psychology). I also weave these important topics into less obviously connected courses (e.g., Research Methods) through some of the example studies I bring in. Some of the most interesting and meaningful discussions I’ve had with my students regarding these topics has been when we are able to take current events and/or personal experiences and to understand how that event came to be and how future negative events could be prevented (or positive events promoted) using what they have learned about psychology. Last summer, many of my discussions focused on police brutality and Black Lives Matters protests. More recently, we spent a lot of time discussing the pandemic and its impact on a variety of minority groups. My hope is that by focusing on events going on now, students can see the importance of these topics and can begin to think of practical things they can do (even small things!) to help promote a more inclusive world with less hate and more understanding. Finally, many of my classes utilize Perusall where students can comment on the text as they read. I’ve noticed many students have brought up their own personal experiences with racism and discrimination in this context and they often receive support and encouragement from their peers after sharing. This exchange can help the student who shared, but also helps the whole class to understand more deeply the direct impacts of racism on those around them.

    Molly: Like Courtney, I do my best to incorporate diversity content in my courses, whether talking about race, culture, gender, and sexual orientation in upper-level courses on emotion and relationships, or mindfully using examples with diverse actors in statistics and research methods (and editing every example that uses gender as a binary variable). In all my courses, if there is a dearth of representation, we also talk about the biases and barriers to sampling from diverse populations and talk about ways to handle those biases and barriers. There are also amazing resources for incorporating more diverse voices in course readings, and others for increasing visual representation. More and more, I’ve been moving away from solely focusing on content and thinking more about (a) how my course design can be more accessible and equitable, and (b) how I can use my position to advocate for students and to remind them as often as I can about their value and humanity outside the narrow confines of academic achievement. Here are two of my favorite instructor toolkits with tons of perspectives and resources on inclusive teaching, considering content as well as process and systems.

    Daniel: As others here have already mentioned, there are many tools, resources, and techniques for infusing diversity-related concepts and discussions into your courses. This is important and feasible, as many of these tweaks (e.g., incorporating diverse voices in course readings, editing the examples you use in research methods courses, making your courses accessible) are changes that don’t require you to overhaul your entire course. I would like to add that, if possible, I believe every institution should have a dedicated course that explicitly explores topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. At the University of Denver, for example, I designed and now regularly teach a Psychology of Diversity course, and this has been a wonderful success that has allowed me to devote an entire quarter to tackling important societal questions related to diversity from a psychological perspective. Again, it’s critical to weave this into all your courses as much as possible, but having a dedicated course allows you to delve deeper and highlights that you—and your institution—really value these areas.

    Albee: My colleagues infuse DEI topics in the classroom, which can enhance discussion and critical thinking. Engaging students in the larger community and having them see, hear, and interact with others who are different from them can also deepen their learning experience. I am an Asian American woman and one of the few faculty of color (FOC) in my department and institution. In my short time in higher education as an ECP, I found it important to address my ethnic minority status and educational background as a way to be transparent to my students and model open discussions in the classroom. One strategy is to build in two cross-cutting themes across the content in all my courses: disability awareness and cultural diversity. For example, I incorporate a variety of names and examples in my test questions and prompts (e.g., Samir vs. Sam, Avi and David as a couple vs. April and David). In courses focused on development themes (e.g., Lifespan Psychology), class discussions include differences in societal views on pregnancy and pregnant women from different cultures (e.g., hospital vs. home deliveries). Guest speakers from underrepresented groups in the college community (e.g., faculty and staff members from other departments) share their stories and how familial, religious, and cultural influences affected their birth experiences. In courses focused on academic achievement (e.g., Educational Psychology), factors including race, socioeconomic status, and immigrant status are explored. Notably, the impact of being diagnosed with and treated for neurodevelopmental disorders and mental illnesses in the school and home settings are discussed. Guest speakers from the local community include students with disabilities and individuals in their support systems (e.g., principal and teacher from a special education school).

    Janet: Since the other ECP members have given some great examples of including diversity, equity, and inclusion in their teaching, I will discuss how I address these issues in my student mentoring. As the advisor of the Psychology Club, I bring in campus and community panel members from a variety of backgrounds, support equity-minded programs put on by students, and educate students on resources/opportunities available to them (e.g., scholarships for black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) students, department grants for undergraduate research focused on equity, etc.). In my faculty role, I try to make research assistantships accessible to all students; I no longer have “entry” requirements for research assistants in an effort to reduce barriers for these opportunities. I am lucky enough to be at a smaller institution, so I am also able to provide mentoring to any student that wants it, be it mentoring for graduate school, career readiness, or academic support. At each level of mentorship, formal and informal, my goal is to actively reduce systemic barriers that might otherwise prevent wonderful students from accessing resources and opportunities.

    Karenna: Like Janet, I would like to focus on mentoring student organizations. I’ve had the pleasure of working at two different institutions during my (still early) career. At the first institution, which was a small liberal arts college, I noticed that there was no student organization for people of color. As a Hispanic woman, this did not sit well with me. Because I was no stranger to using inclusive language and discussing “tough topics” such as race and discrimination in my courses, students felt comfortable talking to me about the lack of representation they felt. In the campus community, we started a multicultural student association, which was primarily a social and service organization. In the local community, we also fundraised and organized events on campus for Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, etc. At my current institution, I like to highlight BIPOC psychologists during their respective cultural heritage months on my office door. I leave a note up on the door to signal my pronouns and first-generation American and college student status, and that I enjoy chatting about diversity and inclusion-related issues. Lastly, I make a point to use primary source readings outside of Western, education, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD) societies. These gestures and activities are in addition to the content changes that other ECPs have spoken about in this column.

    If you are looking for more ideas, we recommend exploring the Diversity pages in the STP website, where you can find a Statement on Addressing Systemic Racism and Inequity as well as a plethora of resources within the Diversity Matters Blog.

    Lastly. two of STP’s newest e-books: Incorporating Diversity in Classroom Settings (Volume 1) centers on ability, age, culture, ethnicity/race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status and Incorporating Diversity in Classroom Settings (Volume 2) focuses on intersectionality. Here are a sample of ideas in these volumes:

    • Communication style differences between Eastern and Western cultures
    • Start! (Even if you’re uncomfortable): Infusing readings on racial discrimination into research methods
    • The frailty of human nature: Daring on local conflicts to teach against prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping
    • Even the pedagogy was White: Moving away from a single lens approach in the teaching and practice of psychology

    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

  • 03 Mar 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    Do you incorporate career readiness into your courses? If so, how?


    Workforce Curiosity

    Dear Workforce Curiosity,

    Thanks for the thoughtful question! My answer is that yes, I (Janet) always incorporate career readiness into my courses. This decision is a reflection of my personal values, the demographics of the students I work with, and the broader literature. In a national survey, 84% of incoming college students reported that a very important reason they were attending college was “to get a better job” (Stolzenberg et al., 2019). Given that there are a wide range of opportunities for psychology bachelor’s degree holders in the workforce, it is surprising to learn that only 27% of graduates report that their jobs are closely related to psychology. Sadly, the majority of psychology majors (62%) report that their jobs are only somewhat related.

    Clearly, there is a disconnect between what students are learning in the classroom and the ways in which they think it applies to their jobs. Further, most psychology majors do not attend graduate school, but move directly into the workforce (56% of them do not pursue any graduate degree, 30% earn a master's degree, and 4% obtain PhDs. The remaining 10% pursue graduate work outside of psychology).

    One way to reduce the “knowledge-skills” gap and to prepare students, no matter their career path, is to be intentional in our teaching.

    If you want to include some ways to incorporate career readiness into your course, I outline some of the ways I include it into my teaching (statistics, research methods, intro, and organizational psychology).*

    *Disclaimer: Every instructor has their own set of resources, opportunities, and hurdles. The following ideas are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather provide the opportunity to reflect on what is possible and contribute ideas and resources for those curious about supporting career readiness.

    Foundational Level: Explicitly Connecting Learning to Life

    The first step is not changing what you teach or how you teach it, but rather to make explicit the connections between course concepts and the underlying skills. One of my favorite resources I have found is APA’s resource guide for the “Skillful Psychology Student” that outlines workforce relevant skills that are learned through psychology (Naufel et al., 2018). Seriously, if you don’t have this handout already, YOU NEED IT. I use it all the time to clearly connect what we are doing/learning and how it will serve students in their future professions.

    If you need a little help or want to see an example of how I do this, you can check out my PPT. In it, you can see the slides I use to help connect course content to job-related skills/competencies at the beginning, middle, and end of semester. If you want to update the skills slide, you can look up current trends in employment skills, such as the Forbes list of skills you need to succeed in 2020.

    Finally, you can also incorporate self-reflections into your course wherein students make their own connections between course content and their lives/career aspirations. Such reflections can make salient and reinforce the connections between class concepts and their professional development.

    Moderate Level: Opportunities for Professional Skill Development

    Another way to incorporate career skills is by reframing the work in your classes. This takes a bit more effort than just clarifying skills students are already learning, but it also creates new opportunities for connection and professional growth. Let’s brainstorm some ideas!

    ·         Perhaps in a community health psychology class, students write a public policy position paper that addresses a local concern (instead of a generic research paper).

    Skills from APA: Cognitive (analytical thinking, critical thinking, creativity, information management, judgment/decision making), Communication (written), Personal (integrity, self-regulation), Social (collaboration, service orientation), and Technological (depending on medium)

    ·         Instead of a generic final presentation, students present to an external audience - maybe local experts, middle/high-schoolers, or non-psychology majors (audience depends on your learning outcomes).

    Skills from APA: Cognitive (analytical thinking, critical thinking, creativity, information management, judgment/decision making), Communication (oral), Personal (integrity, ethical, self-regulation), and Social (inclusivity, collaboration, service orientation)

    ·         Instead of a final paper, students create a podcast or infographic

    Skills from APA: Cognitive (analytical thinking, critical thinking, creativity, information management), Communication (oral/written), Personal (adaptability), Social (collaboration, service orientation), and Technological (flexibility/adaptability to new systems, familiarity with hardware/software)

    Note: You can still require the work to be based on quality, peer-reviewed research. It’s just that the method of communication and mode of delivery might look different than a research report.

    Advanced Level: Fully Integrated Projects

    For those desiring the highest level of skill-based career readiness, you might consider a service-learning or problem-based learning project. The applied nature of these types of projects can make professional skill development more salient for students, while also reinforcing their ability to transfer their knowledge to complex, real-world situations. For example, in my statistics course, we pair up with a local non-profit organization to analyze their data. Each week in lab, the students conduct an analysis and write-up the results. At the end of the semester, students present the results back to the community partner.

    Typically, these are large-scale projects that require a strong community partnership and are integrated throughout the duration of the course. Thus, they require significantly more planning and time to develop. If you are looking for ideas for some of these larger scale projects and high impact practices, I recommend one of STP’s newest e-books, High Impact Educational Practices: A Review of Best Practices with Illustrative Examples. Here is just a sample of the creative ideas in the book:

    ·         Chapter 13: Research Team: Impactful Team Building and Professional Skills

    ·         Chapter 17: Collaborative Assignments and Projects to Address Real-world Issues: Using a PSA Group Project to Combat Stigma

    ·         Chapter 38: Service Learning: A Review of Best Practices

    ·         Chapter 48: The Value of ePortfolios in the Psychology Curriculum

    We hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration for how to incorporate career readiness skills into your courses! The process and outcomes might look different across faculty, classes, and institutions, but the endeavor is meaningful for all!


    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

  • 04 Feb 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ECPs,

    STP has lots of great resources for professional development and course prep (like Project Syllabus, ToPIX, e-Books, and the STP Facebook and Twitter), but I’m looking to branch out. What are some of your favorite teaching/learning/professional development resources? Books, blogs, Twitter accounts - I’d love ‘em all!

    Information Sponge

    Dear Information Sponge,

    I’m so glad you asked! Especially in graduate school, when I (Molly) was trying to figure out my professional identity, I found community and camaraderie in the blogs I followed. As I have grown in my role as a teacher of psychology, I have found several other writers, thinkers, and resources that challenge me, enrich me, and help me with some good class activities in a pinch. Here are some of my faves*:

    Selected thinkers and writers on higher ed

    This post was my gateway into higher education blogs - - Terry McGlynn is a biologist and writes a lot about equity and access in higher ed. In addition, he publishes a list of recommended reads every week, and I read like 75% of them because it's all stuff I care about. You can also find him on Twitter at @SmallPondSci.

    Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an astrophysicist who writes about physics, diversity, race, and higher ed (separately and together) for the general public. This blog post about diversity and inclusion in higher ed is what drew me to her. Her writing has been published in numerous outlets, but she maintains a blog and can be found on Twitter at @IBJIYONGI.

    Devon Price is a social psychologist who writes extensively about higher ed culture, equity, disability, and more. This Medium article took off, and is now a book that was just released. It changed the way I think about my own productivity as well as that of my students. You can also find them on Twitter at @DrDevonPrice.

    Kevin Gannon is a historian and writer who has shaped my teaching philosophy. I found him from this blog on radical hope which was turned into this book, which is patiently waiting on my shelf for me -- and you can find him on Twitter at @TheTattooedProf.

    You might already be familiar with Karen Kelsky of The Professor Is In from FB or Twitter (@ProfessorIsIn), well-known for her no-nonsense advice on academia (including leaving academia). She has paid services and a book, but her blog is also super helpful (and free!).

    More higher education blogs

    The Inside Higher Education blog ranges from big picture questions to specific strategies.

    Faculty Focus usually has specific tips and strategies for class activities and assessments. They also advertise for paid resources and webinars, but you can just skip those - lots of great free advice!

    The Chronicle of Higher Education also does some good reporting though some of it is hidden behind a paywall. Subscribers can also take advantage of a weekly Teaching Newsletter.

    Psychology-specific blogs/resources

    Jon Mueller of North Central College maintains an awesome repository of Social Psych teaching resources (plus a monthly newsletter).

    Jess Hartnett of Gannon University blogs about making teaching statistics “not awful.” I am pretty sure her resources are responsible for like 50% of the variance in my teaching evaluations. You can also find her on Twitter at @NotAwful.

    A team of cognitive psychologists write for the public, for teachers, for students, and for parents on the science of learning. Useful for teachers, but they also have amazing downloadable resources for students, a podcast, videos, and all kinds of things. Also on Twitter at @AceThatTest

    That should be enough to get you started!

    * These resources write on a huge range of topics from a variety of perspectives. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement of all viewpoints held therein. This list is also not exhaustive - share your favorite resources on the ECP and STP Facebook pages!


    Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee

    Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

    Karenna Malavanti, Ph.D.

    Albee Mendoza, Ph.D.

    Molly Metz, Ph.D.

    Janet Peters, Ph.D.

    Daniel Storage, Ph.D.

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