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Member Spotlight: Lisa Finkelstein

Lisa Finkelstein

Professor and Area Coordinator, Social-I-O Psychology, Northern Illinois University

How long have you been a SIOP member?
I joined as a student member in January of 1992, during my first year of my Ph.D. program. Wow, that was a long time ago!

What roles have you had within SIOP?
Program chair, Conference chair, secretary of the Executive Board, Strategic Planning Committee member, and currently Conference Subcommittee chair for the Disability Inclusion and Accessibility Committee. Probably a few more things I'm forgetting from awhile back.

Interest area(s)
My research areas include perceptions of age and work, all kinds of stigmatized identities, mentoring relationships, HiPo selection processes, and humor at work. I also really love teaching, both undergrads and grad students.

What sparked your interest in I-O psychology?
I had a great undergraduate class in Org Psych at the University of Vermont with Dr. Bob Lawson and that had me hooked. I think he also inspired me to want to be a great teacher and mentor.

What role do you see I-O psychology playing in the future of work?
I tend to be an optimist - I think I-O psychologists will always have an advantage having been trained as research scientists with a strong underlying understanding of human behavior.

What workplace issues do you think are trending right now, and how can I-O psychology practitioners, educators, and students impact this trend?
I think a combo of number 1 trend from 2023 (re-thinking the employee experience of remote workers) and the number 2 from 2023 (best practices for managing a hybrid workforce) is what I hear people asking/talking about the most outside our I-O world - remote and hybrid work! Some of what we know about I-O will still apply in these situations, but I think we need so much more data to understand what we don't yet know we don't understand!

What advice would you give to students or those early in their career?
I think students and early practitioners, and everyone really, should not be afraid to ask questions or ask for help when needed. No one expects everyone to know everything, and the people who you think know everything definitely don't. I know my work life got significantly less stressful when I stopped worrying about admitting when I didn't understand something.

What is one of your favorite SIOP Annual Conference memories/highlights?
I've been to every SIOP starting with 1994 Nashville, so there are soooo many favorites. I'd say my favorite professional memory is of my first IGNITE talk - it was at the Hawaii conference and there was a huge crowd, and I was terrified and then completely exhilarated! One of my favorite social memories is of the Flash mob dance to "9 to 5" at the closing party when Tayla Bauer was president - so much fun dancing and seeing the surprised looks on everyone's faces when we busted out the routine.

Please share one non-I-O-related bit of information about yourself.
You know how some people mistake Organizational Psychologist for someone who helps you get organized? Well, that's actually what I want to do in retirement - organize people's houses and closets. That's one of my favorite things to do. I have a whole business model for making it really fun - stay tuned!

Is there anything you would like to add?
SIOP has been a huge source of connection and happiness in my life, and many of the most cherished people in my life (including my life partner - shout out to Kurt Kraiger!) - I met through/at SIOP. Thanks, SIOP!

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