Welcome to NEEPS 2014—New Paltz Reprise

Welcome to the meeting of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society

Posted Mar 13, 2014

This blog is a copy of my "host's welcome" letter for the program book of the 8th annual meeting of NEEPS

Welcome Back to New Paltz!

by Glenn Geher, Past-Past President of NEEPS and Professor of Psychology at SUNY New Paltz

Welcome back to New Paltz. Or welcome to New Paltz—whichever the case may be! I can’t overstate how happy our New Paltz team is to host the eighth annual meeting of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society—which held its first-ever meeting on our campus in 2007. NEEPS was borne of a combination of factors—including (a) the enormous interest that is sparked among scholars by the ideas of evolutionary psychology, (b) the community spirit that the evolutionary perspective somehow naturally fosters, (c) an enormously supportive campus community found here at the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains, and (d) the blood, sweat, and tears of many.

Our eighth annual conference, as our wise and formidable leader, NEEPS President Dan Kruger, tells us, provides extraordinary reason for optimism and pride in the society. NEEPS registrants this year come from five continents. That’s almost all of them, if you're counting! And the caliber of our invited and special speakers, affiliate-event speaker, and symposium leaders/discussants, includes the likes of David Buss, Rosemarie Sokol Chang, Gordon Gallup, Dan Kruger, Philip Kitcher, Chris Reiber, and David Sloan Wilson. Pick up any good book in the field of evolutionary studies—on any continent—and you’re likely to see these names show up. With no question, NEEPS 2014 includes some of the world’s most significant scholars who study and teach about the interface of evolution and the human animal.

The people and sponsors to thank for their efforts regarding NEEPS 2014 are many—and I’ll take the liberty here to do my best to acknowledge the above-and-beyond volunteer efforts of the  individuals and agencies that stand behind the conference. Our local sponsors are many, speaking to the enormous support that our campus and local community provide as a backdrop. These sponsors include the Athletics Department, Evolutionary Studies Club, Honors Program, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Psychology Department, Sojourner Truth Library, Student Association, and the Undergraduate Psychology Association. And the official pub of NEEPS remains Bacchus Restaurant (bring your nametag to Bacchus any time during the conference for $1 off drinks!). And esteemed New Paltz President (who happens to be a distinguished biologist) Don Christian deserves special thanks and recognition for his willingness to welcome NEEPSters to this special place we call New Paltz.

And our affiliate (or offspring?) societies, the Feminist Evolutionary Psychology Society (FEPS) and the Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society AEPS), both of which have shown enormous strength and success, serve as perennial members of the NEEPS family.

The folks with their boots on the ground here at New Paltz who helped make this happen include Alice Andrews, Ana Canas, Andrew Shimkus, Bernadine Gangemi, Chris Farrington, Chris Tripoli, Christine Waldo-Klinger, Crystal Vaccaro, Dave Chapleau, Gokce Sancak Aydin, Jane Lehman, Jay Landolfi, Jarem Bagnato Jessica Fell, John Montgomery, Keron Lewis, Liz Levy, Megan Geher, Morgan Gleason, Rachael Carmen, Rachael Cea, Raina Hafftka, and Sarah Roberson. And special thanks to New Paltz Juggernaut Briana Tauber (and formal NEEPS 2014 co-host), whose dedication, skill, smarts, and fully unflappable and positive nature, touched pretty much every facet of this event. I can’t thank these folks enough for their support of the mission, progress, and future of that animal we call NEEPS.

From a distance, NEEPS President Dan Kruger, Vice President Becky Burch, Past-President Rosemarie Sokol Chang, and Program Chairs Eddy Sturman and David Widman, have made sure that NEEPS 2014 will be as important, productive, and positive an intellectual experience as can be had.

Marked by intellectual curiosity and a truly innovative spirit—and surrounded by apple farms and ancient mountains filled with Devonian fossils—I can’t think of any place I’d rather call home. I hope and trust that NEEPS 2014 is the enriching, stimulating, and fun experience that we have worked hard to cultivate.

Welcome to New Paltz.


Glenn Geher, co-host of NEEPS 2014