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The Society is managed by a professional office staff, but the vision and goals of the organization are directed by its Board of Directors, various committees and task forces.

2019 Organizational Chart

For more information on each committee, see below.

To see the current members and contact info for each committee, please visit the Leadership page.

The SPSP Awards Committee appoints, oversees and works closely with the Award Nomination Panels, who nominate and select SPSP award recipients using various processes, criteria, and the spirit of this award. The Awards Committee also works to continuously improve and expand SPSP's awards program.

The Convention Committee organizes numerous aspects of SPSP's annual convention and preconferences, such as selecting convention locations and awarding convention travel funds. Convention programming also falls under this committee’s responsibilities.

The Diversity & Climate Committee monitors diversity in the organization and funds efforts to support the conference attendance of students who come from underrepresented groups (e.g.,ethnic or racial minority students; first-generation college students; lesbian, gay, or bisexual students; transgender students; and/or students with a physical disability), in an effort to increase the diversity of personality and social psychology.

The Fellows Committee works to identify SPSP members with longstanding contribution to SPSP and the field of Personality and Social Psychology. Those selected by the Fellows committee then become SPSP fellows themselves.

The Publication committee works to maintain and improve SPSP journals and discuss new initiatives of knowledge dissemination. Some tasks include finding editors, selecting Student Publication Awards Winners, assisting with challenges around publications and specific inquiries, etc.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology offers bi-annually (in odd-numbered years) a two-week intensive summer experience for up to 80 pre-doctoral students in social and personality psychology. The SISPP committee works to select SISPP locations, candidates, faculty, and curate courses and workshops.

The Student Committee works to promote the interest of SPSP's student members. This includes producing helpful student content, organizing events for student members at the annual convention, and much more.

About the Student Committee

2018-2019 Student Committee:

Miao “Kitty” Qian, Chair (email)

Kitty headshotHello! I am Kitty. I am a third-year Ph.D. student enrolled in Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto. I completed an MA in Developmental Psychology at Zhejiang Normal University in China. Broadly, I am interested in the development of children’s racial bias and gender stereotypes. Specifically, I am interested in social, cognitive factors (e.g., essentialist thinking, race salience) affect the development of social stereotypes. I am also working on different strategies to reduce children’s stereotypes across different cultures. You may email me at


Heidi VuletichVice Chair (email)

Heidi headshotHello everyone! I am a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a dual-program student, I’m officially enrolled in both the Developmental and Social Psychology Programs there. I attended Regis University in Denver, CO, for my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience. My current research focuses on the psychological factors contributing to inequalities by socioeconomic status (SES), gender, and race. I examine how subjective SES influences behavior in academic contexts; how gender and race stereotypes affect students’ beliefs and expectations; how success and failure attributions differ by race and gender, and how they change across development. I also explore the determinants of adults’ attitudes towards economic inequality, their  perceptions of “having enough money,” and their implicit race biases. I’m really excited to serve you and be a resource to you as part of the student committee! Please feel free to contact me at


Brenda Straka, SPSPotlight Co-Editor (email)

Brenda headshotI am a first-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Sarah Gaither's Duke Identity and Diversity Lab. I completed my undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia where I double majored in Psychology and Cognitive Science and minored in English. Currently, I study questions around biracial identity, particularly relating to Hispanic/Latino groups. I am especially interested in social pain as it relates to social exclusion and cross-group interactions and how these effect identity, as well as the health outcomes stemming from these experiences.


Lucy Zheng, SPSPotlight Co-Editor (email)

Lucy headshotHello! I am a second-year Ph.D. student at UC Davis. I received my B.A. in Psychology and Government from Cornell University and my M.A. in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University. As a previous high school teacher and a current college applications consultant, I have experience in mentoring adolescents through exciting (but often stressful) transitions in their academic life. These experiences led to my interest in examining the relationship between personality and academic achievement and how those associations may change from childhood to adulthood. Graduate students often suffer from stress, and as part of the student committee, I will work to connect us on professional and personal levels, to combat “graduate school culture,” and allow us to learn and teach one another. Ultimately, I plan on consulting with the state and federal departments on educational policy at both the K-12 and higher education levels.


Jonathan Gordils, Member-at-Large (email)

Jonathan headshotHey everyone! My name is Jon Gordils, and I am a 3rd year doctoral student at the University of Rochester. Prior, I graduated from the University of Connecticut and worked as a research associate for two years at Haskins Laboratories. My research interests include social inequality and social conflict. Currently, I am investigating how income inequality (including racial income inequality) and resource inequality affect downstream psychological processes, as well as exploring the affective, behavioral, and physiological consequences of interpersonal conflict. I am looking forward to serve as a 2018-2019 Member-at-Large of the student committee, and I am excited to help make this conference a great experience for everyone. Feel free to email me at


Jaboa LakeMember-at-Large (email)

Jaboa headshotI am a 4th year in the Applied Social Psychology doctoral program at Portland State University. I received by BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Merced. My research explores responses to systemic forms of bias from the target's perspective and their allies. More specifically, I am interested in intraminority intergroup relations and coalition building towards social change, with an intersectional perspective. Beyond a researcher, I also identify as a community organizer and work with organizations on various projects and campaigns combating oppression and working towards liberation. Bridging these roles, I am looking to bridge the gap between research and the community to promote more equitable and action-oriented research. I also love exploring outdoors, creating hand embroidery and textiles, and trying new foods. You can email me at


Harrison OakesMember-at-Large (email)

Harrison headshotHi there! I am a 4th year PhD student at the University of Waterloo. I am passionate about improving the quality of our science through mixed methods to ensure our theories reflect the lived realities they aim to capture. Gender, sexuality and social justice make up the core of my interests. In my quantitative work, I study the influence of social environments on our likelihood of conflating behavior with identity. Using qualitative inquiry, I also study the impact of "hook-up" apps (e.g., Tinder, Grindr) on gay men's sense of gender and sexuality, and on their experiences of intimacy and relationships. I am thrilled to be a part of this year's GSC, and I aim to make your experience at SPSP in Portland next year the best you've had yet. In particular, I would love to help bring voice to those who feel they are generally not heard or considered in the planning of a convention like SPSP. If you have suggestions or experiences you'd like to share with me to help make that happen, please feel free to contact me at I look forward to hearing from you!  


Ashley Weinberg, Member-At-Large (email)

Ashley headshotMy name is Ashley Weinberg and I am serving as the SPSP Student Committee Member-at-Large.  I am from San Clemente, California and a PhD student in my fourth year of graduate school, studying at York University in Toronto, Canada. I am working with Dr. Jennifer Steele and Dr. Kerry Kawakami studying interpersonal social cognition. On a large scale, my research is driven by a passion to help reconcile hostile and systemic oppression of minority group members, by understanding the nuances of intergroup interactions, relationships, and perceptions that influence intergroup relations. In my role I hope to help foster community and natural networking opportunities.  Additionally, I aim to make diversity a main focus within my role in as many ways as I can.  When I’m not working on research and SPSP committee work, I find time to attend dance classes and go to live music events!


Gohar Harutyunyan, Member-At-Large for Undergraduate Affairs (email)

Gohar headshotHello! I am from the Republic of Armenia and I am a third-year PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior at Rutgers Business School. My research focuses on the psychology of social hierarchies. Specifically, I study how social class and economic inequality shape behavior in different domains of organizational life. I completed my undergraduate degree at Columbia University where I majored in Financial Economics and minored in Psychology. I am very excited to be part of SPSP Student Committee! Please feel free to contact me at

The purpose of the SPSP Professional Development Committee is to provide emerging, developing and evolving scholars and professionals with training on cutting edge topics and methods to maximize the impact of research in personality and social psychology as a basis for supporting and improving health, education and human welfare by:

  • Providing training opportunities on cutting edge theories and research.
  • Providing instruction about innovative research methods and data analytic tools.
  • Providing training relevant to a diverse array of career choices and trajectories both within and outside of academia.
  • Facilitating networking among those who work on related topics from different theoretical and methodological perspectives, and among personality and social psychologists working within and beyond the walls of the academy.

The Government Relations Committee provides advice and support to the SPSP staff and Board of Directors on advocacy for social and personality psychology. The Committee contributes to the specification of strategies, priorities, and mechanisms that can best permit SPSP to promote the field by engaging members to support the goals of the committee. The primary focus of the Committee’s attention is on national policy and the federal system of research and development (R&D), whether in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches of government.

Nominations Committee will solicit nominations for open positions (Boards and Committees), review nominations, and make recommendations to the SPSP Board of Directors that reflect the goals and values of the organization.