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Get Ready for the 2009 Psi Chi National Leadership Conference
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by Virginia Andreoli Mathie, PhD, Psi Chi Executive Officer - Psi Chi National Office
Category: Executive Director's Message
Now that the spring semester is underway, it is time to start thinking about the 2009 Psi Chi National Leadership Conference (NLC). Yes— the 2009 NLC is less than one year away! The second Psi Chi leadership conference will be held January 2–4, 2009, in Nashville, Tennessee. Members of the Psi Chi National Council and the NLC Program Committee are finalizing plans for this special event. The conference is shaping up to be another exciting opportunity for chapter officers and advisors to participate in workshops and interactive sessions designed to enhance their leadership skills.
The 2007 NLC was a big success and we received excellent suggestions from conference participants about how to make the next one even better. We are using this feedback to guide our plans for the 2009 conference. We will post details regarding the conference registration, criteria to receive funding from Psi Chi, and conference program on the Psi Chi website in the spring, but here is a brief overview of what to expect. The deadline for registration will be October 1, 2008. Psi Chi will again provide funds to cover most of the expenses for chapter presidents, presidents- elect, and chapter advisors on a first register, first funded basis. For the 2009 conference, we are increasing the number of participants funded by Psi Chi, accepting more registrations from participants who do not receive funding from Psi Chi, and opening up some of the non-funded slots to other chapter officers. Because Psi Chi cannot cover all expenses, even for funded participants, I encourage chapters to begin fundraising activities that will provide additional funds to offset the expenses of their representatives to the conference.
You might be asking yourself: “Why should I bother applying for the NLC?” or “Why should my chapter send a representative to the NLC?” To answer these questions, let me share some quotations from the evaluations completed by participants in the 2007 conference.
- “I really benefited from coming here and sharing/learning from others. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”
- “This was a wonderful experience. I’m very inspired.”
- “It was energizing, enlightening, and fun.”
- “My advisor and I had a great time and spent 3+ hours Saturday night after the conclusion of the conference talking about ideas that really struck us for our chapter. It gave us a sense of pride and enthusiasm that we can bring back and share with our members.”
- “I will continue reflecting on and applying all that I leaned for quite a while. What an informative and pleasant experience!”
- “It was truly energizing and rewarding.”
- “It was a wonderful way to learn more about Psi Chi and really encouraged me to use my role as faculty advisor to help our chapter become active.” These comments are typical of the feedback we received about the 2007 conference.
What was it about the conference that led to these glowing remarks? One unique aspect of the conference was that participants had the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the Psi Chi National Council and all of the staff members from the National Office as well as other chapter presidents and advisors. The interpersonal connections forged at the conference were an important element of the conference experience. Of course the focus of the conference was on developing leadership skills. From the formal presentations to the informal discussions around the lunch table or in the small group discussions, participants had opportunities to assess their own leadership style, discuss how to be a more effective leader, share ideas about how to deal with difficult situations in a chapter, develop strategies to mentor new officers, and implement successful transitions from one set of officers to the next. Reports from the small group discussions indicated that participants also heard new ideas for professional programming, service activities, fundraising activities, improving communication among chapter members, increasing members’ participation in the chapter, enhancing induction ceremonies, making better use of Psi Chi resources (e.g., grants and awards), increasing faculty involvement in the chapter, publicizing the chapter and its events, and much more. Participants left the conference with a notebook full of ideas they could implement in their own chapters.
We are making every effort to ensure participants in the 2009 conference will leave the conference with the same sense of inspiration, excitement, enthusiasm, and energy as well as many new ideas and strategies to help them in their leadership roles. Watch for more information about the 2009 NLC in the spring. We hope to see you in Nashville in January 2009!