Presidential Letter from ISARP President Alicia Esperanza Meuret, Ph.D.
Dear Members and Friends,
On behalf of ISARP, I hope that your new year has gotten off to a fantastic start and that the remainder of the year will be full of happiness, good health, and productivity. This year, ISARP will hold its annual meeting October 9th to the 11th in the magical city of Seville, Spain. Seville is the birthplace of my mother and my grandfather who spearheaded the field of psychiatry in the early 1920's. Thomas Janssens and Thomas Ritz and the Program Committee are in the midst of planning for the meeting with invited addresses, symposia, and social events. As President of ISARP, I look forward to our upcoming meeting in the fall with great excitement. Announcements and updates will be available on the Web at http://isarp.org/index.html.
I would like to thank Paul Lehrer for hosting last year's terrific meeting at the University of Rutgers. As not otherwise expected, Paul once again inspired us all with an exquisite program, wonderful speakers, and unforgettable social gatherings. The scientific presentations covered a broad range of topics relevant to our discipline and were only topped by the impressive state-of-the-art lectures of the distinguished keynote speakers. As in previous years, the highlight was Phyllis Lehrer's beautiful piano concert! Anyone who has organized these meetings know the effort and time that goes into them, thus we can only salute Paul for his dedication and success!
Student mentorship is one of the major priorities of ISARP. We continue our efforts to highlight and reward this work, most visibly through the mentor-mentee program and the awards for student presentations. The students of ISARP are the future of ISARP, and their involvement and commitment to the goals of the society will shape the next generations of society leaders and ambassadors of our discipline.
ISARP holds a special place in my heart – both academically and personally. The 2000 conference in San Diego was my very first conference I attended during my graduate studies. I distinctly remember the excitement of my first presentation, getting to know the society’s extraordinary members, and the high caliber of scientific talks. What has made ISARP unique to me is the members' unflappable pursuit of innovative, interdisciplinary science. I believe there are few societies where members of a wide range of disciplines – pulmonology, psychology, psychiatry, physical therapy, just to name a few – can come together to find common groups in the pursuit of novel ones. ISARP provides an extraordinary academic forum, particularly for young scientists, due to its collegial exchange. I am thankful for the many giants in our society who have gracefully lifted their mentees on their shoulder to explore new horizons. Personally, much of my best research has grown out of the critical, yet constructive exchanges I had with ISARP members. These are just a few of the many reasons why I felt overwhelmed by joy and humbleness when I was invited to be the president last year.