GSTA Mission Statement

The Graduate Student Teaching Association (GSTA) provides psychology graduate student teachers with an array of services to hone their skills in the classroom. GSTA is an organization within APA Division 2: The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP). Therefore, psychology graduate student teachers who are interested in becoming a member of GSTA must first join STP, and then indicate their interest in GSTA.

A good teacher is courteous, passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated. A good teacher also has the ability to exert influence beyond the classroom, capable of helping others to change the way in which they think about specific issues in psychology, as well as broader philosophical dilemmas that we encounter on a daily basis.

GSTA recognizes the power of employing basic psychological principles to positively change the lives of those around us, and that teaching can serve as an effective vehicle toward this end. Contributing to the body of teaching-related research, both as a producer and consumer, is another way to positively influence others.

GSTA is an avenue for graduate student teachers in psychology to integrate information relevant to their career development as future contributing members of the professoriate. Ultimately, GSTA can be a powerful tool for psychology graduate student teachers to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of improving the learning process and improving the lives of others.

Services for Graduate Student Teaching Assistants

The Graduate Student Teaching Association (GSTA) of APA Division 2: The Society for the Teaching of Psychology was organized in 2002. The GSTA works tirelessly to provide graduate student teachers with services designed to enhance their teaching effectiveness. Graduate student training programs across the country seem consistently dedicated to training graduate students to conduct high quality research and to develop effective clinical skills. However, training designed to support and enhance the classroom experiences of graduate student teachers is often lacking. Membership in the GSTA is beneficial for graduate student teachers by providing them with a variety of useful services designed to help them with both their classroom efficacy and post-graduation goals.

Graduate students who are members of APA Division 2 are automatically members of the GSTA as well. Graduate student members receive a reduced membership fee and a yearly subscription to Teaching of Psychology, the world's foremost academic journal on teaching-related issues. Graduate student members also have access to many additional services. For instance, the GSTA listserv allows graduate students to pose questions and discuss issues pertaining to the teaching of psychology. In addition, this Web site has been established that will contain helpful resources for graduate student teachers across the country. Finally, the GSTA has annual programming hours at the APA convention, and this time will be used to address topics relevant to graduate student teachers.

GSTA Steering Committee

Posted January 4, 2022 (Updated April 7, 2022)

We are excited to announce four new committee members will join the Graduate Student Teaching Association (GSTA) for 2022! Additionally, two of our previous members will be moving into their new roles as Chair and Associate Chair! We are grateful to our outgoing members and look forward to working with our new team. The GSTA will be meeting later in January to discuss the budget, ways to increase engagement with graduate students, and how to maintain the visibility of Division 2 and the GSTA. We look forward to another engaging year! Over the next few months, we will feature each of the GSTA members in more depth by asking them to share about their teaching and research experiences. Be on the lookout for these interviews to come!

 Chair: Skyler Mendes

Skyler (Skye) Mendes is a doctoral student at Arizona State University, with an M.A. in Psychology from Arizona State University and Ed.M. in Prevention Science & Practice from Harvard University. Her research primarily focuses on the prevention of internalizing symptoms in youth. Skye is also interested in the science of teaching and learning and has been an instructor of record or teaching assistant for an array of psychology and academic success courses over the last 12 years.

Steering Committee Members

William Ridgway

William Ridgway is a doctoral student in Psychological and Brain Sciences at University of Nevada, Las Vegas with master’s degrees in Experimental and Forensic Psychology. His academic research focuses on the application of psychological theories to criminal justice issues. William has been the instructor of record for Introduction to Psychology and Forensic Psychology.

Associate Chair: Madeline Bruce

Madeline (Mads) J. Bruce is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at Saint Louis University. Her research currently focuses on posttraumatic adjustment, identity, and growth. Interested in evidence-based practice in her clinical work, research, and teaching, her work on trigger warnings was some of the first to subject this controversial topic to empirical scrutiny. In her free time, she enjoys ultra swimming, running, and eating.

Jackson Pelzner

Jackson Pelzner is a doctoral student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a master’s degree in Applied Psychological Science. His research touches on topics in mental model construction, visual language learning, deep fakes and deception, and melody recognition. He currently teaches remote learning sections of Introductory Psychology.

Morgan Franklin

Morgan Franklin, M.A. is a 4th-year clinical psychology doctoral student at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Her research interests include treatment outcomes, technology-enhanced interventions, and examining processes of change proposed in the ACT framework. Morgan has 4 years of experience teaching several courses in multiple instructional modalities.

Christopher Kleva

Christopher Kleva is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration on Behavioral Medicine. Broadly, his research interests involve the classification of psychopathology and clinician cognition. Chris has assisted in teaching Introduction to Psychology and has led multiple lab sections of Research Methods.

GSTA Activities and Initiatives

For regular updates on GSTA activities, follow us on Twitter (@gradsteachpsych) and Facebook (groups/theGSTA), check out our Blog, or write to us at

GSTA Links

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