Convention Trips

Sterling strives to develop leaders

President Lauren Scharff acknowledges New President-Elect Arn Froese

SWPA Convention in San Antonio Holds Special Significance for Sterling

Nine psychology students braved the long drive to San Antonio with Arn and Carol Froese in April. Their destination was the 55th annual meeting of theSouthwestern Psychological Association (SWPA).

This meeting was special for several reasons. Arn Froese was acknowledged as President-Elect of the organization at the social hour and the business meeting. In addition, Arn was involved in two symposia presentations.

Having completed three terms as Kansas State Representative on the Executive Committee for SWPA, Arn had the responsibility of preparing an invited symposium on a topic he chose. Arn invited speakers from Washington, D.C., New York, and Arkansas to discuss with him how psychology can prepare students for productive participation in a global environment. The symposium was well-attended, and psychologists involved in teaching particularly connected with the presenters' lessons.

Dr. Ralph McKenna from Arkansas invited Arn to present a paper in his symposium on late career issues. Dr. John Hall from Texas was a third speaker in that symposium. Ralph described reactions to health issues; John spoke about how he responded to burnout, and Arn spoke about conflict between administrators and senior faculty. This session was one of the last events at the convention, and attendance was low. However, Sterling's students were intrigued by the open discussion and evident love for their discipline by all three presenters.

Students selected from a wide range of program options. They all attended a fascinating symposium on new trends in people's sexual behavior. Participants described the effects of new social networking on sexual relationships, as well as new forms of relating that are widespread today. The challenges for maintaining intimacy and quality in human relationships are great.

Denyse Inman commented on her first experience at SWPA with these words: "I am so excited that I was able to attend SWPA this year. The whole experience was one that offered great encouragement for my further exploration of psychology. Although I still do not know exactly what I want to do I now realize how many different directions I could possibly go."

Attending SWPA has been an annual event for students who choose to take advantage of this incredible experience for well over 25 years. Sterling College has an evident presence at this event, and the department looks forward to more student involvement in the coming years.