Glenn Geher’s Final “President’s Welcome Letter” for the Meetings of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS)

NOTE: This posting is the President’s Welcome for the 2010 meeting of NEEPS.

Welcome Back to New Paltz – NEEPS 2010!

Good news – we’re back! Four years ago, NEEPS was born at SUNY New Paltz. This fledgling society started as a hair-brained scheme that was plotted in 2006 by me along with several others who dared to dream big. At that point, I was certain that there was no area of psychology that rivaled Evolutionary Psychology in terms of its potential for uncovering our nature. And the resistance to EP that seems to spring up in all kinds of places seemed all the more reason to take steps to ensure the success of this awesome intellectual beast. In 2010, I’m as certain as ever of EP’s importance in academia and beyond.

Luckily, I’m not alone – and NEEPS has made this point abundantly clear. While the powerful nature of EP is certainly a pillar of the success of NEEPS, EP is only a slice of the story. What really makes NEEPS special is the NEEPS community. NEEPSters make up a particularly supportive, effective, and well-functioning group. Products of the NEEPS community include our highly successful conferences, our world-class invited speakers, our selective peer-reviewed journal (JSEC), as well as such extra-curriculars as Darwinian charades, whiffleball, poker, and the beach at Lake Ontario. NEEPSters work hard, play hard, and look out for one another.

I’m thrilled to say that NEEPS continues on its upward trajectory. Submissions for this year’s conference were record-breaking – with some 70 total submissions. This year’s NEEPSters come from 11 different states – California, Georgia, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Pennsylvania – and 5 different countries – Austria, Canada, England, Germany, and the United States. And this year’s keynote speakers, Richard Wrangham and Marlene Zuk, allow us to continue to elicit reactions such as “How in the world did you get her?” and “How in the world did you get him?”

Topics covered at this year’s conference represent the dauntingly broad scope of modern-day EP, including sexual selection, emotion, resource-allocation, competition, skeletal morphology, literature, irony, abnormal psychology, evolutionary clinical psychology, and the nature of the self. And lots more. Special features of this year’s conference will include a session on the international Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) consortium, our first-ever kickball tournament, and the first-annual meeting of our sister society: FEPS – the Feminist Evolutionary Psychology Society.

So that’s the happy news. Here’s the sad news: I write near the end of my third year of a three-year term as president of NEEPS. Starting in June, I’ll officially be “past-president of NEEPS.” Doesn’t quite have the same ring! Our election of this past fall, implemented skillfully by the one-and-only Jay Landolfi, was perhaps NEEPS’ biggest hurdle. Thirteen positions needed to be filled. I was nervous. What if no one stepped up? Who will be the next NEEPS president? What will come of my most precious intellectual offspring?

Well, it turns out there was nothing to worry about at all! Not only is each slot staffed – but the incoming NEEPS officers represent the best of the best. And with Rose at the helm, I can retire knowing full well that the future of NEEPS is bright like the mid-day sun.

On behalf of our local hosts (Alice Andrews, Kim Belmonte, Mike Camargo, Rachael Carmen, Haley Dillon, Ben Crosier, Nicole Giordano, Laura Johnsen, Abbey Kurtz, Heather Mangione, Kyle Titus, and myself), this year’s never-miss-a-beat program chair (Maryanne Fisher), and NEEPS vice president Rosemarie Sokol Chang, welcome to New Paltz!

Glenn Geher, NEEPS President

NOTE: This meeting is scheduled for March 25-28, 2010. Be there!

Glenn Geher

About Glenn Geher

Glenn Geher is professor and chair of psychology at the State University of New York at New Paltz. In addition to teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and conducting research in various areas related to evolutionary psychology, Glenn directs the campus’ EvoS program, one of the most successful, noteworthy, and vibrant features of a campus that prides itself (rightfully) on academic vibrance. In Building Darwin’s Bridges, Glenn addresses the details of New Paltz’s EvoS program as well as issues tied to the future of evolutionary studies in the rocky and often unpredictable landscape of higher education.
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One Response to Glenn Geher’s Final “President’s Welcome Letter” for the Meetings of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS)

  1. Rosemarie Sokol Chang Rosemarie Sokol Chang says:

    I am ready for NEEPS 2010, and to be the past-VP, present P. Look out world!

    First on the agenda is to seal the NorthEasterly-ness, where are you Vermont and Connecticut?

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