Angelo M. DiBello, PhD
Melissa R. Hatch, MS
Hello everyone, welcome to the Summer 2023 SoAP Box (The Addictions Newsletter) and my last issue as editor.
For this issue, be sure to start with Dr. Aaron Weiner’s President’s Column. We are also excited to have several spotlights in the issue. First, Dr. Lindsey Rodriguez, is featured as the Mid Career Psychologist (ECP) spotlight. We are also happy to have Dr. Dale Maglalang highlight his recent publication and important work in our Diversity Science spotlight. Melissa Hatch is our Student spotlight for the Summer. Finally, our new incoming editor, Dr. Jennifer Fillo has written an Incoming Editor spotlight.
In this issue, I am thrilled that Dr. Matthew Meisel agreed to provide useful insights about embracing academic transitions, detailing his experience navigating next steps in academia as he comes to the end of his K01 training grant. Further, Dr. Nancy Haug has written a Clinical Pearl focused on changing addictive behaviors using ACT processes. Finally, Dr. Jalie Tucker has written a Clinical Translation piece focused on final cause analysis of teleological behaviorism.
In addition to all the excellent content that was submitted for the newsletter, I want to take a moment to use my last column to say thank you. Thank you to my family, my mentors who are now colleagues, to my team of collaborators, and to my students/trainees.
Fifteen years ago, I was sitting outside Kristen P. Lindgren’s office at the University of Richmond doing homework and we struck up a conversation. Over time, I got to know her research area, applied to be in her lab, and she took a chance on me. She cared, showed patience, instilled the values of scientific rigor and responsibility, and gave me a foundation in research upon which I could build. I will never forget that encounter as I believe it single handedly changed the trajectory my career would take. Further, the support provided while I worked in her lab and the mentoring she still gives me 15 years later is incredible. I have met few better, more caring people in the academy and am humbled by her support, guidance, and care all these years later.
Next, I was off to the University of Houston to chase the dream of getting my PhD. I’d be working with Clayton Neighbors, arguably one of the very best mentors a student could ask for. He saw drive and desire and knew what it would take to train, encourage, and foster my research interests and skills. More than that, he recognized that his students were more than just students, we had lives that we were building outside of getting our degrees. He cared just as much about those aspects of who we were and allowed me the opportunities to develop an early sense of work life balance. He’s become a constant pillar of support who remains caring, committed, and a resource whenever I need.
Finally, it was time to round out the training and do postdoc. Who better than the incomparable, supportive, and giving Kate B. Carey. I learned so much in those years, scaffolded by her guidance throughout the whole process. She helped me redefine my research area, focus up, and get it done. To this day, she’s one of my first phone calls if I need career advice and remains a committed supporter, colleague, and mentor. Working with her on various projects over these last years has been some of the most fulfilling work I have ever done. Additionally, while at Brown, I had the privilege of having Dr. Suzanne Colby serve as the training director for the postdoc program. She was an incredible support, at times a secondary mentor, and a fierce advocate for early career psychologists. She is someone who demonstrated what it meant to be a leader dedicated to understanding all sides of an issue and helping where she could. I learned so much from her, her approach, and her ability to take perspective and make people feel heard even in instances where she may not have agreed with them.
Along the way, I’ve met the most brilliant, dedicated, and giving collaborators and students. Samantha G. Farris, Mary Beth Miller, Jennifer Merrill, Nadine Mastroleo, Camilla S. Øverup, Lindsey Rodriguez, Melissa Hatch, Omar Elwasli, to name a few. They work with me, they challenge me, and they make me better at this than I was before any individual project started.
I guess the point is this; I have arrived at this place in time in my career where I have had the privilege to do what I love. To advance the spaces I have been in and my research career in ways that are meaningful to me. Some of the organizations I am a part of have humbled me through the recognition of my work. Folks, I did not do it alone. The lines on my CV are a culmination of the support, care, mentoring, and collaboration of those who saw something in me and decided to give me a chance. To each and every one of you who have impacted me, supported me, and sustained me in times where this was hard, I offer the deepest and most sincere thank you. Science is, at times, a full contact team sport — and I have got just about the greatest team I could ever ask for.
So, find your people. Find your home base. And enjoy yourself, because with the right people around you, this job can be lots of fun.
Be on the lookout for future emails from Dr. Jennifer Fillo, our new incoming editor! I am sure she will continue to produce excellent issues reflecting the important work and perspectives of those in our division. It has been an honor to serve in this role. Thank you to Dana M. Litt for encouraging me to take on this role, thank you to everyone who contributed when I asked, and I hope you do the same for Jen.