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#VUHRD at SIOP 2017

In April, things are looking sunny for our faculty! Next month, Dr. Thoroughgood and I will attend the annual conference of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology in Orlando, FL. This year, we will be very busy sharing the research we have been working on for the past year and networking with other faculty and consultants to bring back cutting-edge practices to the program. First, I will be attending an all-day session intended to facilitate dialogue between faculty members at various universities about increasing their research productivity and teaching skills. I coordinated this event last year, so it will be nice for me to sit back and enjoy the session as an attendee this year. Then, Dr. Thoroughgood and I will attend the opening session of the conference, during which an award that I coordinated will be granted for the first time – the Humanitarian Award. This award highlights someone in I/O Psychology who has given back to others over the course of their career. Next, my thesis student, Jaclyn Siegel, will be presenting her thesis work on the management of eating disorders in organizations on a panel about mental health in the workplace. There are some real heavy-hitters on the panel, so Jaclyn is really excited to convey her findings to what is sure to be a big crowd.

I will then present a session that I coordinated on I/O research as activism, with some of the top scholars in I/O discussing how research can be leveraged to create social change. Next, Dr. Thoroughgood will be presenting a paper that he and I collaborated on with Dr. Craig Russell at the University of Oklahoma, regarding the creation of a measure of same-sex couples’ experiences of work-family conflict. After that, Dr. Thoroughgood will be presenting a poster that he and I collaborated on with Dr. Jennica Webster at Marquette, which is a meta-analysis of LGB employees’ workplace experiences. At the same time, I will be facilitating a Community of Interest group which covers how I/O psychologists can help organizations respond to hate crimes.

Soon after, I will be taking part in a new type of SIOP session called “Shaken and Stirred” where I will be giving a 2-minute presentation, which takes the format of a mini-TED talk. My topic is on social innovators and why we don’t value them as much as business innovators. The other folks in the session are some of the “legends” of I/O psychology, so I am excited to take the stage and give it my best shot. Additionally, Dr. Thoroughgood and I are committee chair and subcommittee chair for SIOP’s LGBT committee, so we will be running the LGBT Business Meeting, social hour and dinner meeting. This year, a guest speaker is being brought in to discuss transgender issues and what I/O psychologists can do to help at the business meeting. Because the conference is being held in Orlando, where the Pulse nightclub shooting happened last year, the committee is also fundraising this year for an Orlando-based LGBT organization that provides scholarships to LGBT students, which was founded in the name of a psychologist who was killed during the hate crime (The Dru Project).

Finally, I will round the conference out by attending SIOP’s all-day executive board meeting to help train the incoming chair for the LGBT committee and to learn about the exciting initiatives SIOP has planned for next year. All in all, it will be a busy but productive conference for both Dr. Thoroughgood and myself!


Katina Sawyer, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University. Learn more about her here!

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