2018 SASP Summer School Review

SASP 2018 Summer School Review

Kioloa, NSW, Australia 


In February 2018, over 50 social psychology Ph.D. students from across the globe (including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Asia, and Europe) attended the SASP Summer School at the beachside town of Kioloa, in New South Wales. The two-week-long learning opportunity, hosted by the Australian National University (ANU), showcased perspectives on topics in social psychology, including: (1) the role of psychology in our political systems, (2) how social psychology can benefit the study and practice of leadership, and (3) conceptualisations of prejudice. In the surrounds of the Australian coastline, the SASP Summer School provided a unique and invaluable opportunity to foster productive, global collaborations between research students and experienced academics.

In this summary piece, we include perspectives from not only the student attendees of the SASP 2018 Summer School, but also from the teachers from whom we were lucky enough to be taught. These perspectives span both the educational opportunities facilitated at the SASP Summer School in addition to the diverse recreational activities which made the experience so memorable. This summary piece also includes a perspective from Kate Reynolds, the 2018 SASP President.

Lastly, we would like to thank all students and teachers for their dedicated efforts toward ensuring that the SASP Summer School was such a success. We also want to express our gratitude to our wonderful hosts at ANU’s Kioloa campus for their hospitality and care for all SASP students during the camp.

Ayoub Bouguettaya, Deakin University

Georgina Lee, ANU

Chris Wang, ANU

Loren Willis, ANU

2018 SASP President Message


“SASP is an association that highly values postgraduate students and early career researchers and seeks to provide opportunities to expand knowledge in social psychology theory and research and establish connections amongst researchers. The bi-annual SASP summer school is central to this mission. I am very pleased ANU could play a central role in organising SASP 2018 and thank the Research School of Psychology and the local organising team: Ayoub Bouguettaya (Deakin University), Georgina Lee, (ANU), Chris Wang, (ANU) and Loren Willis (ANU). Other institutions strongly supported the SASP 2018 summer school and the mission of providing outstanding educational experiences for social psychology graduates in Australia and New Zealand. Thank you to the University of Queensland and University of Melbourne. This Summer School was a great opportunity to build international networks with 11 students travelling from the UK, Europe, Philippines, USA, and New Zealand including through partnerships with EASP, AASP & SPSP.”

Kate Reynolds, ANU


Workshops & Student Perspectives

Workshop 1: Political Psychology and Public Opinion

Marc Wilson (Victoria University of Wellington) & Danny Osborne (University of Auckland)

“I attended the Summer School at the very beginning of my second year. I knew few people there, and none of them well. By the end of the week I had met every summer school student, and forged professional and personal relationships with many of them. The Kioloa Campus was a fundamental to this relationship-building. Putting us all in one isolated, beautiful space brought us together in a way that an urban campus could not. The wide, open spaces provided plenty of opportunity for solitude, as well as numerous places to congregate for fun and learning. The instructors contributed enormously to creating an energised and open atmosphere. The enthusiasm and generosity with which they shared their knowledge of both their research area and their profession was absolutely inspiring and made me more determined than ever to keep going down this path. The SASP Kioloa Summer School quite simply changed my relationship with the people in my field.”

Melanie McGrath, University of Melbourne


Workshop 2: Leadership and Social Change

Emina Subasic (University of Newcastle) & Dominic Packer (Lehigh University)

“Attending the SASP Summer School has shaped my career in several ways. For one, the summer school gave me the opportunity to develop my theoretical understanding and identify new research questions. In my workstream on leadership and social change, we discussed the social identity perspective of leadership, which describes how effective leaders construct a group identity to mobilize support for their cause. I went on to apply this theoretical perspective in one of my projects about how social movement leaders build intergroup solidarity for social change. The summer school also connected me with researchers that I would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. For example, I continue to correspond with Dr. Emina Subasic from the University of Newcastle, who was a teacher in my workstream and is one of my academic role models. Given our shared interests in studying intergroup solidarity, she provided me with detailed feedback on a theoretical review paper that I am currently developing. I have also relied on her for career advice as I finish up my PhD. The summer school altogether strengthened my resolve to be a part of the collaborative intellectual community in Australia. This led me to apply for a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Queensland. I am excited to be joining Dr. Jolanda Jetten’s research team in June 2019.”

Hema Preya Selvanathan, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Workshop 3: Reconceptualising Prejudice

Michael Platow (ANU) & Martha Augoustinos (University of Adelaide)

“It’s a simple premise: bring together social psychology PhD students and give them the opportunity to talk shop. I was expecting to chat with like-minded individuals, and hopefully learn something. The reality far exceeded my expectations. Prejudice experts and leaders of my stream Michael Platow and Martha Augoustinos skilfully guided conversation that was largely stimulated by us students. I came away not with new information per se, but a different perspective on knowledge I already had – arguably more valuable when aiming to advance your understanding of a topic. What I think is even more instrumental, and unique to the Summer School environment, are the contacts I came away with. I consistently communicate with students across Australasia, and I’m currently in talks with some to publish work we conceptualised in Kioloa! If you have the opportunity to attend a SASP Summer School, DO IT! You won’t regret it!”

Kate Fahey, University of Otago



Teacher Perspectives

“The SASP summer school provides an exciting learning environment in an idealistic location. On the learning side of things, the intimate size of the specialised streams allows staff and students to work closely with one another to discuss and critique cutting-edge research on a focal topic. Because the students are of exceptional calibre, discussions were both well-informed and highly rewarding. In terms of the location, the summer school is perfectly located next to amazing beaches and beautiful running trails, with wildlife literally at your back door. The SASP summer school is not to be missed!​”

Danny Osborne, University of Auckland


“It certainly was a pleasure for me to attend and participate in the Biennial SASP Summer School last year. The students, who came from across Australia, New Zealand, the US, Asia and Europe, were nothing short of remarkable. As one of the teachers, my job was made easy by the engagement and excitement of the students. They listened, engaged, and took the lead, ultimately integrating their own interests and expertise with new perspectives considered at the Summer School by designing collective research projects. Many of these are ongoing or have been completed already, which is an outstanding achievement for all.  But beyond the academics, we all developed new colleagues and collaborators, while building new friendships. Possibly the best part of the Summer School for me was actually attending the SASP Conference in Wellington a few months later. Seeing all the students who were attending the conference for the first time really feeling integrated into our community was just great. They (you) will be the next lot of leader for our organization as it moves forward and continues to grow. Thanks to the organizers and to the students for giving me the chance to contribute to last year’s Summer School.”

Michael Platow, ANU


General Student Feedback

“It was really a great experience. I hope the friendships and collaborations continue!”

“Thanks so much for all your hard work. I owe the whole experience to you all!”

“The Kioloa campus was an excellent venue for the summer school. The location was not only beautiful and peaceful, it also made us vulnerable and pushed us to depend on each other (e.g., shared cleaning duties, living together, lots of socializing time). I think these conditions encouraged academic conversations and professional friendships that would not have blossomed otherwise.”

“I think it was great that we had planned social activities like the bonfire, the quizzes etc.”

“The SASP Summer School was an incredibly useful experience for expanding my knowledge of social psychology outside of the narrower boundaries of my own Ph.D. thesis. I would recommend the experience to all social psychology students!”