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Editor’s Column: That Fall Feeling

Adriane M. F. Sanders

By the time you’re reading this, most of us tethered to academia in one way or another will be approaching fall break. However, as I write this, the semester still has that new car smell. Like any other seasonal tradition you may honor, this time feels both new to the current year but familiar to the body and our rhythm as academics. The excitement of all my graduate students from their first weeks back to class is still heavy in the air. My first-year, incoming students and my second-year (nearly outgoing) students share very similar emotions, but from entirely different perspectives—fresh energy, hope, optimism, a little anxiety, determination, and drive. I know these emotions because I have them too. I’ve gotten some version of them every year since my first fall semester as an undergraduate entering freshman year. However, I must admit, I was a little worried about this year.

As a faculty member, my fall excitement usually starts during the presemester meetings where all the faculty are back on campus, finalizing courses and celebrating new hires, promotions, and longevity milestones. Yet, I had only glimmers of that this year. As a program director, professor, editor, and mother to a toddler and a new puppy (What were we thinking??), I left for summer break feeling burnout (and I mean burnt to a crisp). Summer was filled with the usual highs and lows of equal parts joy and exhaustion that accompanies my privilege of being able to stay home with our daughter all. summer. long. There was momentary bliss in being absolutely present during summer traditions of creek stomping, mud kitchening, sno-cone slurping, and hammock reading, followed by the waves of anxiety and guilt of feeling behind on research and other work projects that never find space during the busy school year. It feels a bit like trying to shift into third gear but not fully seating the gearstick. You push on the gas again only to hear that awful revving and grinding sound but not actually get anywhere. And so, that’s how the summer continued, ups and downs, until we were back at fall, and I was a bit resentful about it all. I was happy to welcome new faculty to campus and see returning friends and colleagues, but also had a sinking feeling in the back of my mind: This is how it happens, the onset of “jaded professor” syndrome. I’ve lost my luster, my zeal for my profession with which I have so strongly identified. But then it happened. The students came to campus, they logged into their online classes, they talked about their hopes and plans for the near and distant future, why they are in my class, why they’re in an industrial-organizational psychology grad program, and what they wanted to do on the other side of it… and I smiled a big goofy smile and did a happy dance right there. I had finally caught that new fall vibe. May we all catch our second wind as we approach the break!

This issue is full of reflection—about the past, present, and future. In Max. Classroom Capacity  (Naidoo), we have a special interview with Dr. Jose Maria Peiro (SIOP’s 2022 Distinguished Teaching Contributions Award winner) sharing experiences from his decades-long career. The Bridge  (Brodersen et al.) provides a suspenseful case study (and model of best practice) of practitioner experiences navigating the early waves of COVID-19 in NYC’s Health Hospitals. (I’m not joking when I say I caught myself holding my breath more than once as I envisioned myself working alongside the authors.) We then look at what the future holds in The Academics’ Forum review of the Dobbs ruling in the context of recruiting, retaining, and supporting female academics in an industry “infamous for gender disparity” (Maupin & Chawla). The reflection continues in the remaining features. Risavy et al. take a novel yet accessible approach to address the perennial research‒practice gap. And Mishra et al. assess the trajectory of global, international, and cross-cultural representation in SIOP’s Annual Conference from 2004 to present.

I’d like to end my column similar to how it started. With all that fresh fall feeling, I can’t help but notice someone is missing from the conversation…our students! In the past, TIP has had a group of student volunteers manage the TIP-TOPics column. Given the immediate goals of the publication, we temporarily paused sending out the call for a formal, recurring set of student columnists. However, this doesn’t mean we don’t want to receive article submissions from our students for each issue! Though these can certainly be articles about student research and teaching experiences, they can also be more experiential in nature, regarding the unique opportunities and challenges of being a modern graduate student in 2022. It is my hope that having a decentralized method of soliciting student-written articles will increase the breadth of representation of the student experience: the doctoral student in the thick of “dissertating,” the nontraditional student returning to graduate school while working and/or caregiving, the fully online graduate student, the part-time master’s student, first-year students still unsure of the breadth of the field and their interests, students on the verge of graduation, all things related to THE job search, and everything in between. Collaborations among student authors (within and across institutions) are welcome and highly encouraged. As with any TIP submission, if you have an idea for an article, but aren’t sure if it’s right for this outlet, or have other questions, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Fall y’all! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

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