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Eye on Psi Chi: Spring 2007

Celebrating the Success of Psi Chi's First National Leadership Conference
Virginia Andreoli Mathie, Psi Chi Executive Director

Two-thousand seven got off to an exceptional start for Psi Chi. I am pleased to announce that the first Psi Chi National Leadership Conference (NLC), held in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 5-7, 2007, was a great success! The goal of the NLC was to provide workshops, keynote speakers, and interactive sessions that help chapter presidents develop skills to be effective leaders of their chapter and in the profession and that help chapter advisors enhance their leadership skills and expand their impact on psychology education. By all accounts, the NLC was very successful in meeting these goals. At the opening reception on Friday evening, Dr. John Davis, the Psi Chi National President, welcomed 39 chapter presidents or presidents-elect and 35 chapter advisors as well as National Council members, National Office staff, and guest speakers. For some chapters, both the chapter's faculty advisor and student president attended the conference. A highlight of the evening was the tribute to Paula Miller, Psi Chi's Outgoing Executive Officer/Chief Operations Officer, for being such a wise administrator, inspirational leader, astute businesswoman, supportive colleague, and caring friend.
On Saturday, the first keynote speaker, Dr. Alan Kraut, executive director of APS, provided an example of organizational leadership as he described the key role APS played in persuading federal government agencies to be more supportive of psychological science. In the afternoon, the second keynote speaker, Dr. Diane Halpern, director of the Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, professor in the Psychology Department at Claremont McKenna College, and the past-president (2004) of APA, described the skills and abilities that are the hallmarks of good leaders and how participants could help each other learn to be better leaders. During her presentation, participants assessed their leadership style and reflected on their leadership strengths and weaknesses. The conference included sessions led by Dr. Robert Youth (Dowling College; Psi Chi National Past-President), Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne (University of Massachusetts Amherst; Psi Chi Eastern Regional Vice-President), Dr. Kenneth Weaver (Emporia State University; chapter advisor and winner of the 2005-06 Psi Chi Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award), Dr. Martha Zlokovich (Southeast Missouri State University; the Psi Chi 2003-04 National President), Dr. Richard Kasschau (University of Houston; Psi Chi Southwestern Regional Vice-President), and Dr. Betsy Morgan (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; Psi Chi Midwestern Regional Vice-President). Participants also met in small groups, led by members of the Psi Chi National Council, to discuss ways they could apply information from the NLC to their own chapters and leadership efforts and to share potential solutions to issues they confront in their chapters. The NLC concluded with a lively evening session of participant idea exchanges in which Dr. Vincent Prohaska (Lehman College, CUNY; Psi Chi National President-Elect), Dr. L. Joseph Achor (Baylor University chapter advisor), Dr. Bruce Kelly (Lindenwood University chapter advisor), Dr. Marjorie Marcotte (Springfield College chapter advisor), Dr. Christina Sinisi (Charleston Southern University chapter advisor), and Dr. Jason Young (Hunter College, CUNY chapter advisor) led small group discussions on chapter leadership issues.
Participants left the NLC with new and practical strategies to enhance their leadership effectiveness, inspire chapter members to increase their involvement in Psi Chi, mentor other members and future leaders, address diversity issues in their chapter, deal with difficult situations chapter leaders often confront, increase fundraising, and deal with many other leadership matters. Participants commented that they found the NLC interesting, informative, inspiring, and fun.
The success of the NLC is due to many people. I would like to thank Dr. Robert Youth, Dr. John Davis, Dr. Christopher Koch, and Ms. Paula Miller, the other members of the NLC Task Force, for their work and creativity in developing the program; all members of the Psi Chi National Council for their support of the NLC; staff members at the Psi Chi National Office for their assistance with conference preparations and staffing the conference; all the NLC speakers for providing the excellent program; and all participants for taking the time out of their busy schedules to attend and contribute to the conference. Psi Chi would also like to thank the APA Education Directorate for providing funding to assist with NLC planning as well as providing books to display at the conference and the APS for offering free one-year APS memberships to NLC participants as well as providing display materials.
It is now time to start planning for the next NLC in January 2009! If you have any suggestions for the next conference, please send them to me at virginia@psichi.org. Watch for announcements about the 2009 NLC in future issues of Eye on Psi Chi and on the Psi Chi website (www.psichi.org), and plan to have your chapter represented at the next NLC. I wish all of you a successful 2007.

Ever since her childhood in Toronto, Canada, Virginia (Ginny) Andreoli Mathie, PhD wanted to be a teacher. As the eldest of five daughters born to Thomas and Julia Andreoli, Ginny spent many summer days playing "teacher" in a make-believe classroom, with her sisters Dolores, Frances, Marion, and Donna playing the role of students. During high school Ginny wanted to be a mathematics teacher so in 1967 she entered the mathematics and computer science program at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. She soon became hooked on psychology as well and after completing her BMath and BA in Psychology degrees, she entered the social psychology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she completed her MA and PhD degrees under the mentorship of John Thibaut.

In 1975, Ginny joined the psychology faculty at what is now James Madison University (JMU) in Virginia. During her 29 years at JMU she taught a variety of courses including introductory psychology, social psychology, research methods, and statistics. Given her love of teaching, she was honored to receive the 1981 JMU Distinguished Teacher Award and to be named the 2000 American Psychological Association (APA) Harry Kirke Wolfe Lecturer. Ginny's research with students and colleagues investigated topics such as factors related to family violence, differences between acknowledged and unacknowledged rape victims, and the effectiveness of instructional technology. Her publications and presentations address these topics as well as issues related to teaching and professional service. Ginny served eight years as coordinator of the JMU undergraduate program and the general psychology master's program and four years as department head. A very special highlight of her JMU career was her recent induction into the JMU Psi Chi chapter!

Among the many leadership positions she has held in professional organizations, Ginny served as a member of the Virginia Psychological Association (VPA) Board of Directors, as the VPA Secretary, and as founding president of the VPA's Virginia Academy of Academic Psychologists. She served on the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP; APA Division 2) Executive Committee for several years, was the 1995-1996 STP President, and currently represents STP on the APA Council of Represent-atives. Ginny was awarded APA Fellow status in STP in 1996. She also served on the APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) from 1997 through 2000 and chaired the BEA Technology Working Group, the 1999 and 2000 BEA convention programs on technology and education, and the APA Education Leadership Conference Technology Group. She was a member of the BEA Executive Committee, the BEA Education and Training Awards Committee, the APA Board of Directors Technology Applications Advisory Group, and the APA Com-mittee for Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS). One of the highlights of her career was chairing the Psychology Partnerships Project: Academic Partnerships to Meet the Teaching and Learning Needs of the 21st Century (P3), a five-year BEA project conceived by Ginny, Randy Ernst, a former chair of TOPSS, and Jill Reich, the former Executive Director of the APA Education Directorate. P3 produced many new partnerships between psychology teachers in high schools, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and research universities as well as a variety of new resources to enhance psychology education. In recognition of her work on P3, Ginny received the APA 2002 Distinguished Contributions to Applications of Psychology to Education and Training Award.

In addition to her professional life, Ginny enjoys the special times she spends with her husband Jim, daughters Jennifer, Shannon, and Allison, son-in-law Ingmar, and grandchildren Mi Mi, Marieke, and Kees.

Copyright 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 3) by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology



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Eye on Psi Chi is a magazine designed to keep members and alumni up-to-date with all the latest information about Psi Chi’s programs, awards, and chapter activities. It features informative articles about careers, graduate school admission, chapter ideas, personal development, the various fields of psychology, and important issues related to our discipline.

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