On behalf of the SAS Executive Committee, we are pleased to announce that we have identified two outstanding candidates to run for the open leadership position of President-Elect of SAS. You may read about each candidate’s past experiences in affective science and SAS below, alongside their visions for our Society’s future. SAS members will be invited in an upcoming email to cast their vote. As an expression of our collective gratitude for these candidates’ willingness to volunteer their time and energy toward the continued growth and improvement of our Society, we encourage all members to vote.
*Please note that voting closes on March 18th, 2022 at 5:00pm EDT.
Barbara L. Fredrickson, SAS Past-President 2021-2022
Paula Niedenthal, SAS Past-President, 2020-2021
Nominees for President-Elect
Nominee Biography & Statement
My work in affective science explores individual differences in how people respond to emotional ambiguity, using a variety of behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging methods. And I have been an active member of SAS since the inaugural meeting in 2014. I was drawn in and have stayed for its dynamic conference programming, and for its supportive community. To support its mission and assure the success of the Society, I have been involved in SAS leadership continuously since 2015. I served a two-year term on Program Committee and was then invited to fill a newly created position as Chair of the Preconferences. From 2017 to 2020, I generated ideas for the preconference themes, identified organizers, and facilitated the success of the events. I was also appointed to the Executive Committee, to serve a 3-year term as Member-at-Large (2019-present). While on the Executive Committee, I served 2 years on the SAS Awards Committee, including serving as co-chair of that committee in its inaugural year (2020-2021).
Being an active member of SAS has enabled me to network with many of the leaders in the field, and exposed me to many innovative approaches to affective science. More than anything else in my career, SAS has fostered my development as a scientist and as a mentor. My vision for SAS is to ensure that others – especially the underrepresented and marginalized voices in our group – can benefit from this society as I have. For example, in the remaining part of my term on the Executive Committee, I have been developing a Newcomers Reception. This event would provide an opportunity for new members to meet with longstanding SAS members, in order to get acquainted with our meeting and to build new connections in the field. My goal is to see this effort implemented as part of the year-round member benefits, so that new members can be matched with peers at their same career stage that are more tightly interconnected within SAS, and this peer support system will help to ensure our new members thrive. We are at an important crossroads, almost ten years in and having made important headway – on the shoulders of giants – in establishing SAS as an open and welcoming community for affective scientists. These next few years will be crucial in ensuring our ability to support and serve the international community of affective scientists, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. And I would be honored to take on the challenge and opportunity of leading these efforts as President of the Society.
Nominee Biography & Statement
I am honored to run for president of SAS. I am so inspired about the potential of our society to advance emotion science across a wide range disciplines, and would look forward to spearheading the next phase of that journey with you.
I am a professor of psychiatry, psychology, and translational sciences at the University of Pittsburgh where I direct the Program in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience. I have worked in basic and clinical affective science for the past 25 years, focusing on neural mechanisms of affect, how they are affected in individuals with psychopathology, and how they change as people recover. My work has consistently emphasized affective science methods development and dissemination of affect science to disciplines where affect is rarely considered.
I have been heavily invested in SAS since initial back-room discussions of what SAS might be like if it were to exist. I was involved, for years, in the SAS program committee, through which I am proud to have proposed and grown the SAS methods lunch series. My students and I have enjoyed presenting at SAS for years, and SAS is the professional home where my closest colleagues congregate.
If elected, my priorities would involve working with leadership and membership to 1) make affective science methods and insights more available to the widest group of individuals (e.g., via development of stimulus/software repositories, methods guidelines documents, mentoring opportunities, and increased public relations and affect-science ambassadorship efforts) and 2) prioritize bidirectional dialogs between diverse communities and affective science researchers (e.g., explicitly promoting and facilitating engaging with perspectives on affect from underrepresented and neurodiverse communities).
As a society, we are the guardians of the most profound aspects of humanity, from fear and sadness to love and hope. We are charged with understanding that which people hold sacred and unable to be quantified. These are no easy missions. I hope to maintain and grow our academic home to be an institution in which new researchers can enter these waters, feel support, camaraderie, and like they are not starting from scratch, feel good about asking hard questions, and build on the collective wisdom of those before and around them, within and outside academia.
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