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Eye on Psi Chi: Spring 2010

Society Service Projects
Martha S. Zlokovich, PhD, Psi Chi Executive Director

What is your chapter’s service project plan for the spring and next academic year? Although chapters may choose from among a wide variety of service projects, and Psi Chi encourages all service endeavors, there are three main service options supported by Psi Chi as Society projects. These are Habitat for Humanity, Food Drives, and Adopt-A-Shelter, each of which offers much more than one choice for chapter activities supporting them.

Habitat for Humanity international is a nonprofit organization which seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness worldwide, and has built over 350,000 houses around the world—more than 30,000 in the U.S. (Habitat for Humanity Fact Sheet, http://www.habitat.org/how/factsheet.aspx). The process provides a helping hand for low-income people, not a handout. Those for whom these safe, affordable homes are built become partners in the building process, donating many hours to building their own home as well as other habitat homes. They are provided with a no-profit, no-interest loan and must show they have the ability to make their down payment and mortgage payments.

Psi Chi chapters have many different activities to choose from in supporting Habitat for Humanity. Among these are:

  • Collect and donate building materials or furniture to your local Habitat Restore.
  • Raise funds to donate cash to your local Habitat for Humanity organization.
  • Organize a group of chapter members and psychology faculty to help build a house in your area.
  • Join a Global Village Work Trip, where volunteers help build a house, renovate, or assist with disaster relief.
  • Take a Collegiate Challenge trip rather than vacationing during spring or fall break.
  • Work with local affiliates to participate in Act! Speak! Build! Week.
  • Participate in World Habitat Day on October 4, 2010, by beginning your chapter planning now.
  • Participate in National Women Build Week, May 1-9, 2010, in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.
  • Donate or volunteer to help with the Gulf Recovery Effort in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama.
  • Volunteer your time to A Brush With Kindness, which helps low-income homeowners maintain the exterior of their homes.

You can find more detailed information about these options and others on the Habitat for Humanity webpage, www.habitat.org.

Food Drives are another important Society service project which chapters may participate in year round. In light of the current economic recession, food pantries are seeing record demands for their services. According to a 2008 Agriculture Department report, the rate of food-insecure households in the U.S. was the highest since the agency began tracking food security in 1995 (Nord, Andrews, & Carlson, 2009). Although we may focus on food bank needs during major holidays, these organizations need support throughout the entire year. Check with your city’s food banks, food pantries, charities, and soup kitchens to find out how your chapter can best support the local community. Options include raising money for donation, organizing or participating in a canned food drive, or serving meals to the needy.

The Adopt-A-Shelter Society service project also allows your chapter to tailor your volunteer efforts to the needs of your local community. Psi Chi encourages all chapters to discover what shelters are operating in their area and to pick one (or more) to support with time, cash, or donations. Examples of these shelters include homeless, battered women, runaway, or animal shelters. When you volunteer your time to work with specific populations, that hands-on experience can provide important benefits to yourself as well as the people you are serving.

We hope that your chapter will become involved in one or more of these Society service projects. Please let us know how your chapter participated in service projects throughout the year by submitting an annual report by June 30 and a quarterly activity report to Eye on Psi Chi. In addition to the reports, be sure to include pictures of your members in action!

References
Habitat for Humanity fact sheet (frequently asked questions). Retrieved December 9, 2009 from http://www.habitat.org/how/factsheet.aspx

Nord, M., Andrews, M., and Carlson, S. (2009, November). Household food security in the United States, 2008. Economic Research Service/USDA. Retrieved December 9, 2009 from http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err83/


A high school teacher in Pensacola, Florida, inspired Dr. Martha S. Potter Zlokovich to pursue psychology as a career. She completed her BA in psychology at UCLA, and MS and PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Florida.

Dr. Zlokovich joined Psi Chi in 2008 as its second Executive Director, leaving Southeast Missouri State University after teaching there for 17 years. This move, however, was not her first involvement with Psi Chi. She served as chapter advisor since 1993, as Midwestern Region Vice-President (1998-2000), and as National President of Psi Chi (2003-04). In 1996, Southeast’s chapter won the Ruth Hubbard Cousin’s National Chapter of the Year Award, and several chapter members have won Psi Chi Regional Research Awards at MPA and/or had their research published in Psi Chi's Journal.

At Southeast, Dr. Zlokovich taught Child Development, Adolescent Development, Lifespan Development, Advanced Child Psychology, and Introductory Psychology for Majors. She also served as chair of the department. Her research interests have focused on student study habits, study beliefs, and persistence to graduation as well as adolescent and young adult contraception and sexuality.

Dr. Zlokovich and her husband Neil have two sons and a daughter-in-law. Aaron (Truman State University, 2010) and Stephanie live in Lexington, KY and Matthew is a senior civil engineering major at the University of Alabama.

Copyright 2010 (Volume 14, 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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