It’s off to Portland: The Western Psychological Association

The Western Psychological Association is hosting its 94th annual convention from April 24 through April 27 in Portland, Oregon at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

The WPA hosts the event every year in order to bring professional psychologists, from different disciplines and the western region of the United States, to present research, give talks and host workshops.

“Sometimes we have students who present their work there,” said Dr. Kimberley Duff, professor of psychology at Cerritos College.

The convention allows for students to be able to present their findings to large groups of people and get a feel for what it’s like to be a psychologist.

Students also get the opportunity to meet with famous psychologists and get the chance to network, which could be viable to their careers.

“When these students come back from the convention they will usually present to students in our psychology club, sometimes to student Senate or the Board of Trustees, so that we can share with current students the importance of attending this conference,” said Dr. Duff.

“100 percent of the students say that it is such a life changing event for them because it validates for them their passion in psychology. This is what they want to do but also it gives them a glimpse of what professional life is like as a psychologist.”

In prior years, Cerritos College has funded the event for students to attend but as of a few years ago, students have had to pay out of pocket to for the convention.

Students who plan to attend have hosted fundraisers to help pay for the cost of their flights to and from and also the cost of the convention itself.

“It’s a really good opportunity for our students because for psychology students, at a two year institution, it is important that they get their research out there. There are some graduate students who it’s their first year of grad school and they haven’t had a research presentation,” said Dr. Jaclyn Ronquillo, the Psychology Club’s co-advisor, “It helps [junior college] students be competitive for transfer.”

A member of the Psychology Club, Cristina Zuniga, who is also a psychology major says that she chose to go to the conference because she wanted to get the opportunity to present her research.

“I want to get a feel more on the research side and know exactly what it’s like to present and to network and link up with other students and psychology scholars, “said Zuniga.

Any student can attend the conference, whether they are a psychology major or not, and anyone with questions is encouraged to contact Dr. Duff with any further questions.