Special Events

The Emerging Scholars Pre-Conference

Are you a graduate student, post-doc, or new professional (within five years of completing your highest degree)? Are you interested in connecting with fellow emerging scholars and discussing the unique opportunities, and difficulties of this career stage? Want to know more about emerging scholar-relevant issues such as navigating graduate school, finding a post-doc, learning about job options, or how to make a great first impression on the job? If so, the Emerging Scholars Committee invites you to attend The Emerging Scholars Pre-Conference! Scheduled from 3:00pm-7:00pm on Wednesday, April 17th, at the Hilton, Chicago. This a pre-conference specifically designed to center emerging scholars. Planned events range from open forums for discussion with emerging scholars at similar career stages (e.g., How are you navigating the first years of grad school? How are you navigating the transition from R1 to small teaching school?) to panel events addressing how to get a post-doc and the job options available to PhDs (spoiler alert: its not just academic jobs out there!), to workshop space for word-smithing application materials, and more. Emerging scholars represent the future of the Society for Research on Adolescence, and the field of adolescent science, so ensuring you feel welcomed, represented, and supported is our goal. We hope you will consider joining us, and we look forward to meeting you!

Emerging Scholars Preconference: DRAFT Schedule of Events

2:30pm-3:00pm: Meet and Mingle

Welcome to the Emerging Scholars Preconference! This first half-hour prior to the start of official events is designed for you to pick up your name badge, pick up a schedule of events, and head toward your first event of choice. We also encourage you to use this time to introduce yourself to at least three other scholars and find something in common with each.

3:00pm-4:00pm: Special Interest Events I 

This initial one-hour session will have three “special interest events” occurring simultaneously. These events are designed to connect emerging scholars at similar levels and break the ice and learn from one another.

  • How to Survive in Grad School: Graduate school can be an exhilarating time but it can also bring out a variety of fears and challenges – the juggle of many competing priorities, imposter syndrome, clashes with advisors, unexpected expectations, not to mention writing… the list goes on. This session is designed to provide an open space to connect with fellow graduate students to share experiences, as well as to connect with senior graduate students and recent graduates who can speak to strategies for navigating these challenges. You are welcome to attend this session if you are a graduate student with concerns to share, or a more senior graduate student (or recent grad) with advice to offer. 
  • How to get a Postdoc/Funding: This event is designed for senior graduate students who are considering pursuing a postdoctoral position. Come hear a panel of current postdocs share why they sought a postdoc, how they prepared for and found the position they are now in, and their advice for future postdocs. After general introductions, this panel event will flow into open Q & A so bring your questions! Questions regarding not only postdoc positions but also funding-related questions are welcome. 
  • On the Job: Navigating Experiences as New Professionals: Well, it finally happened – you got the job! Now what? This event is designed for new professionals -those who may have just landed their first job but who have not yet started, or those within the first five years post-grad who are navigating new jobs and learning the ropes, to discuss top of mind issues. Since emerging scholars are represented in many fields – academic, research, industry, non-profits, etc. – attendees will be organized into groups centered loosely around these fields, led by a moderator who will guide discussion with a list of prompts for consideration and then leave time for breakouts and problem-solving. 

4:00pm-4:30pm: Happy Half-Hour 

The “Happy Half-Hour” is designed to provide scholars with a brief break between pre-conference sessions to further connect with other scholars, grab a snack/beverage, and prepare for the next planned events in the schedule.

4:45pm – 5:45pm: Facilitated Roundtable Events 

We plan to offer space in our preconference program for emerging scholars to propose a roundtable discussion on a significant issue or theme that takes adolescent science to the next level and is relevant to emerging scholars. 

Depending on the number of roundtable proposals we get, we may also want to plan a poster mini-session or provide some other all-inclusive event for scholars to attend if they didn’t feel that one of the roundtable events resonated. Also, by planning something like a poster session we could offer emerging scholars a way to justify their attendance at the pre-conference and offer a “low stakes” presentation environment that would help our newer scholars practice presenting prior to main conference events.

6:00pm-7:00pm: Special Interest Events II

  • Symposium Event: “The Doors a PhD Can Open”: Top of mind for many emerging scholars is the question: “what do I want to do with this degree once I am done with it?”. Many graduate programs, while doing a fantastic job of preparing students for academic jobs, often miss the opportunity to educate students about other career opportunities. This is problematic as less than half of PhD graduates (Christidis et al., 2017) end up in academic jobs. Therefore, in this symposium event “The Doors a PhD Can Open”, emerging scholars will get the chance to hear from professionals in a variety of job settings about the various avenues open post-grad, and how these professionals landed where they did. 
  • Natasha: Workshop: “Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation”: You know what you want – but now you need to prepare. Certainly, the job market can feel like a bit of a gamble, but given that “luck favors the prepared” – why not do so together? This workshop is designed to set aside time for preparation! Bring your initial questions (what documents do I need? What format should I follow), bring your drafts (here is what I have – now what?!), or bring your headphones (block out the noise and make some progress on those materials!). New professionals who have landed jobs in a variety of fields will be available to discuss questions and make connections for material-review mentorship.

Meet the Scientist Luncheon

The Meet the Scientist Luncheon is a traditional event at the SRA Meeting that provides a forum for emerging scholars to interact with senior scholars who have central roles in the field of adolescent development and in the Society. Over a catered lunch, emerging scholars and senior scientists will have dedicated time to discuss career development, challenges in the field, research initiatives, and where the field might be heading

 Network and Knosh event 
  details coming soon

Meet the Committee

Hyun Su Cho is a Ph.D. candidate in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Hyun Su’s professional experiences and goals center around serving and working with marginalized youth, families, and communities by strengthening their developmental assets and individual strengths (e.g., critical consciousness), interpersonal relationships (e.g., family and parent-child relationships), and commitment to critical actions (e.g., civic engagement, collective action). 




Logan B. Kochendorfer, Ph.​D.​, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Justice, and Society at Rockhurst University where she enjoys a mix of teaching courses and pursuing research goals in the area of close relationships. Dr. Kochendorfer earned her Ph.D. at Kent State University in 2021 and has served as one of the Emerging Scholar Representatives on the Board of Directors at SRA and as Co-Chair of the Emerging Scholars Committee since 2020. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of graduate students and early career professionals in the Society, and welcomes members to email her with questions, concerns, or ideas!