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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Spring 2007 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 11, No. 3, p. 5), published by Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright, 2007, Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology. All rights reserved.