The Importance of Attending Poster Sessions

The Importance of Attending Poster Sessions

Sandra Llera, PhD

Sandra Llera Head Shot

Sandra Llera, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Townson University. Dr. Llera’s research focuses on anxiety disorders, with an emphasis on the further development and exploration of an emotional contrast avoidance model as a new way to understand worry and emotion dysregulation in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) . Research is conducted on three levels of observation, including self-report, behavioral observation, and psychophysiological responding. Clinically, Dr. Llera specializes in adult psychopathology, with a specific emphasis in anxiety disorders. Dr. Llera has conducted group and individual therapy, as well as psychological assessments.

Dr. Llera received her BA in Psychology in 2002 from the University of Delaware and a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2011 from Penn State University.  Dr. Llera’s dissertation focused on the emotional sequelae of chronic worry in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). She completed her clinical internship at the University of Virginia counseling center, and a year of post-doctoral teaching as an adjunct faculty at George Mason University.

 

The Importance of Attending Poster Sessions

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If you're like me, this may be one of the first in-person professional conferences you've attended for the past 2 years! I am thrilled for the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, meet and network with colleagues in my field, and drink in all the latest findings in research and clinical work. I'm also eager to attend the poster sessions!

Why poster sessions, you ask? First, as co-chair of the ADAA Poster Committee, along with Dr. Amy Przeworski (Case Western Reserve University), I know firsthand how many amazing research and clinical posters will be presented at this year's conference. In fact, we had so many outstanding submissions that it was quite a difficult job to narrow down which ones to accept.

Aside from that insider knowledge, there are many additional reasons why we should all be looking forward to attending the poster sessions at ADAA this year. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Who typically presenters a poster?
    • Often first-time attendees choose to present their work as a poster instead of a talk - and I'm sure we can all relate to this. Presenting a poster can be more intimate (and much less intimidating!) than speaking in front of a packed audience. Furthermore, poster sessions can also be a useful entry point to gain some familiarity with the conference experience, which can otherwise feel overwhelming.
    • Aside from first-timers, on average poster presenters do tend to be those earlier in their careers (e.g., graduate students and early career professionals) - though some seasoned researchers and clinicians may still prefer the casual and social atmosphere of the poster hall to disseminate their work. 
      • And keep in mind, grad students/early career professionals may not have as large of a travel budget as some seasoned professionals. As such, many have gone to great expense for the opportunity to attend the conference. (I recall my days as a graduate student when the cost of printing a poster alone felt daunting.)
      • Presenters are therefore likely to be deeply invested in this opportunity to disseminate their work and connect with other professionals. 

Given this, we at ADAA hope to provide an interactive, engaging, and supportive experience for all our poster presenters, as it builds confidence and fosters a sense of reward and acknowledgement for all those long hours of hard work!

How can we make this experience rewarding for poster presenters?

  • First and foremost, please make every effort to attend poster sessions! ADAA has prioritized poster sessions by holding them at a separate time from workshops and talks, so you don't have to make any tough decisions about what to prioritize.
    • Even if you only stop by for a few minutes, you can...
      • Gain exposure to the wide range of topics and new directions being pursued by early professionals.
      • Create an atmosphere of excitement and interest for the poster presenters.
      • Become inspired to formulate a new research or clinical idea of your own!
  • Engage with the presenters. Even if you only speak to a few presenters you can...
    • Connect with someone researching a topic that interests you.
    • Provide some valuable encouragement and feedback to burgeoning (and sometimes seasoned) researchers and clinicians.
    • Inspire new professionals!
      • If you are a seasoned researcher or clinician yourself, some of the poster presenters will likely be familiar with your body of work and eager to make a connection!
      • If you're just starting out yourself as a grad student or early career professional, you can connect with someone who shares your interests and provide some mutual support and encouragement.
    • You may even connect with a potential future post-doc for your institution.

In sum, there are numerous benefits for all conference-goers to attend the poster sessions. I know I'll be there, and I hope to connect with many of you there as well.

Poster sessions will be held on:

  • Friday, March 18th, 5:30 - 6:30 pm (MT)
  • Saturday, March 19, 3:00 - 4:00 pm (MT)

Sandra Llera, PhD

Sandra Llera Head Shot

Sandra Llera, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Townson University. Dr. Llera’s research focuses on anxiety disorders, with an emphasis on the further development and exploration of an emotional contrast avoidance model as a new way to understand worry and emotion dysregulation in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) . Research is conducted on three levels of observation, including self-report, behavioral observation, and psychophysiological responding. Clinically, Dr. Llera specializes in adult psychopathology, with a specific emphasis in anxiety disorders. Dr. Llera has conducted group and individual therapy, as well as psychological assessments.

Dr. Llera received her BA in Psychology in 2002 from the University of Delaware and a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2011 from Penn State University.  Dr. Llera’s dissertation focused on the emotional sequelae of chronic worry in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). She completed her clinical internship at the University of Virginia counseling center, and a year of post-doctoral teaching as an adjunct faculty at George Mason University.

 

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