Tribute to Virginia Andreoli Mathie, PhD (Psi Chi Executive Director, 2004-08)
Ginny, the past four years have been special for Psi Chi: You have served as our first Executive Director, a new position made necessary by the expansion of the National Office. Not only have you fulfilled that role with exceptional tact, skill, and commitment, but you have set the parameters of this new position. Other activities are calling you now and, as you leave us, it is a privilege to pay tribute to you.
When the search committee recommended you to the National Council, my immediate reaction was an enthusiastic, “Yes!!” I fully agreed with Diane Halpern— your close friend, colleague, and former APA President—who wrote in her letter of recommendation, “Stop the search! You have found the right person!” I believe all the Council members felt the way I did. You had built a national reputation within psychology as an individual of extraordinary leadership and organizational skill, with a fervent commitment to students. All of us were extremely pleased that a person of your stature would be serving in our new position. I was to learn that you also had a work ethic that should have given me pause. (It’s never been easy to keep up with you!)
Psi Chi owes you a great deal, Ginny. Your sterling example has put both the National Council and the office staff on notice that nothing but the best is good enough for Psi Chi. You have played an important role in virtually every recent initiative of the National Council, but your contributions to four have been exceptional:
John M. Davis, PhD
- The first National Leadership conference: You did much to make it the success it was;
- The establishment of Psi Chi liaison to the APA Education Directorate, the APA Science Directorate, and the APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology: These are important relationships for Psi Chi that increase our visibility and effectiveness in psychology as a whole; • The process for chartering new chapters: You have improved it greatly;
- The effort to encourage the establishment of international affiliate chapters: Thanks to you we have moved forward considerably in this important aspect of Psi Chi’s future development. Thank you, Ginny!! I wish you well…and look forward to our continuing association.
Psi Chi Past-President
Texas State University-San Marcos
Ginny has been Psi Chi’s champion and protector, and I will sorely miss her. I have been awed by Ginny’s quiet, confident, humble, and outrageously competent leadership over the years. She has been a strong foundation for the organization and for each of its members. Ginny has been a wonderful role model; I have personally enjoyed watching an amazing scholar and courageous woman in a top role in an important academic organization. I have also deeply appreciated her support and warmth at both personal and professional levels. I will miss Ginny tremendously, and I am grateful for her dedication to Psi Chi and her legacy, which will be beneficial to all of Psi Chi.Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, PhD
Psi Chi Rocky Mountain Vice-President
Utah State University
It was a pleasure working with Ginny and getting to know her. Ginny is one of those people who has the vision to see the big picture yet is also able to flawlessly manage all the nitty-gritty organizational details. Ginny was exemplary in that no task was "below" her; everything she ever asked of anyone she would gladly do herself. She truly led by example with a joy and dedication that is seldom found in today's leaders. Ginny consistently saw the good in everyone she came in contact with and never said a bad word about anyone or any situation; her optimism is a gift and was contagious!
Ginny, it is my privilege to have worked with you, and I'm glad Psi Chi hired you. My only regret is that Psi Chi only had you for a relatively short amount of time, as you truly continued the great legacy of past Psi Chi directors such as Ruth Cousins and Kay Wilson. All the best to you and your family.Scott Gast
Psi Chi Information Manager (1998-2007)
Ginny, you have been such a pleasure and inspiration to work with over the last four years. When the Executive Director position was created I must admit I had reservations about the new person that would be joining our close-knit team. Needless to say my reservation were put to rest after our first meeting. You have always been one of the first to offer a helping hand, no matter the task. Your generosity within and outside the office is unmatched! Personally, your guidance with policies and procedures, particularly with Psi Chi membership has been invaluable. Although I am grateful for the time we worked together, I hate to see that it has come to an end. I wish you and Jim a very happy retirement and hope to receive lots of updates about your travels and relaxation. If anyone one deserves it most, it is you!Amie Austin Hearn
Director of Membership Services
What a great privilege it has been to work with Ginny the past four years. She and I started working at Psi Chi within a few months of each other, and I knew in a Blink that I had met someone truly special. Her devotion to Psi Chi is unquestionable. No request was too great or too small—whether it came from a council member, staff, or a student with a last minute need—she selflessly dedicated herself to the task. And despite the numerous projects she juggled, she always set aside time to request articles, write her column, and proof Eye on Psi Chi. Always a teacher at heart, she spent countless hours helping students and faculty publish the best articles possible. For Ginny, your success is her success. An email from Ginny always begins and ends with a kind word of encouragement and support. Her diplomacy in all matters is unfaltering. What a strong and solid foundation she has built for future Executive Directors to stand upon! Ginny, each and everyday working with you was nothing less than inspiring! The things you taught me are invaluable, and I owe much of the success of the magazine to you. Thank you for sharing your gifts with me and Psi Chi.Susan Iles
Director of Publishing
I am honored to write this tribute for Dr. Virginia Andreoli Mathie. I know that Psi Chi will greatly miss you; you are more than just Psi Chi’s Executive Director. Your dedication and enthusiasm these past four years symbolizes the purpose of Psi Chi. You and your contributions to Psi Chi’s members, chapters, officers, and the organization is admirable. I was very fortunate to work with you and to see firsthand your many talents. You began your tenure with Psi Chi with only a paragraph as a job description and accomplished far more than anyone could have foreseen. You continuously impressed me with your many talents and your “jump in with both feet” attitude. You worked tirelessly to provide future opportunities for Psi Chi members, as evident through your numerous accomplishments including the first ever Psi Chi National Leadership Conference, The APA Science Directorate Internship Grant and The APS Summer Research Grants. Many of these programs would not have come to fruition without you Ginny, and for this Psi Chi benefited greatly from your commitment. I wish you immeasurable success in whatever direction life takes you. I know you will be as successful in future endeavors as you were with Psi Chi. You were one of Psi Chi’s most influential persons and I know that your next venture will benefit from your leadership, experience, and drive just as Psi Chi did. Good Luck!
Psi Chi Executive Officer/Chief Operations Officer (1997-2007)
Ginny Mathie served Psi Chi with her whole heart and head and both are of the highest quality! Ginny brought to the position her love of education and her breadth of knowledge regarding students and psychology as a discipline. She has provided mentorship, leadership, and friendship to students; the National Office; and the National Council. I wish her the very best in her retirement and look forward to seeing more pictures of great travels.Betsy L. Morgan, PhD
Psi Chi Midwestern Vice-President
University of Wisconsin– La Crosse
I was just beginning my service on the National Council when we hired Ginny to be Psi Chi’s first Executive Director. I didn’t know her then, but I had heard people refer to her at conferences. And of course, as part of the hiring process I read letters of recommendation about her. Now I get to write about her, and I realize that I face the same problem that everyone before me has faced: It is simply impossible to say or write something about Ginny without being guilty of understatement. I now understand what those who have worked with Ginny at JMU, in STP, in the P3 project, and in all of the other organizations and programs she has influenced, have come to understand: Ginny is quite simply the most perceptive, competent, inventive, creative, and overall helpful person you could ever hope to work with.
For Psi Chi, Ginny has been invaluable. She has created opportunities for us to move beyond being an honor society and into a position to truly assist in the advancement of psychology, fulfilling our mission and purpose. She also has been instrumental in updating and streamlining many of our procedures, such as the process for establishing new chapters. Given the relatively short time she has been with Psi Chi, she has created an enormous body of accomplishments. For me personally, working with Ginny has been a terrific learning experience. She has a unique ability to see into the heart of a problem, and perhaps more importantly, see potential solutions. I wish I could do that half as well. I have tried to copy her organizational skills, because she is one of the most organized persons I’ve ever met (and I always thought I was organized!). I’ve tried to learn her attention to details; it just does not seem as if the slightest thing gets by her. But one skill I know I’ll never learn is her ability to consume Diet Cokes.
As Psi Chi’s first Executive Director Ginny was the quintessential “right person” at the “right time.” I’ll miss her, as I’m sure all of us at Psi Chi will. But I keep clinging to the hope that we’ll get to work together on some project somewhere down the line.
Vincent Prohaska, PhD
Psi Chi National President
Lehman College, CUNY
I am enthusiastic for the opportunities that await Ginny following retirement, but I am saddened at the loss to Psi Chi. Psi Chi will change as an organization with the departure of Ginny. We will experience some growing pains and learning curves that transformation always brings. At the end of this process, Psi Chi will emerge as a better, stronger, more resourceful organization because of the foundation that Ginny laid as Executive Director for the past 4 years.
Ginny began working at Psi Chi after a rewarding career as a professor of psychology. She personally could relate to the issues that face Psi Chi’s members and faculty advisors. This unique perspective of being able to see both side of the equation helped her to establish programs and policies that will benefit Psi Chi for years to come. Her work ethic, dedication, and initiative can be matched by few and will be missed at Psi Chi. I hope Ginny has a fantastic retirement and that she has the opportunity for memorable experiences with family and friends.Melissa Strickland
Psi Chi Director of Finance/AwardsGinny, Bond Builder.
I first got to know this warm, nurturing, and inspiring teacher, Ginny Mathie, through emails and telephone conversations when I was Executive Director of Psi Beta. She was developing the P3 collaborative network and was most helpful and encouraging to me and Psi Beta’s National Council by emphasizing that we had a contribution to make to P3. The whole council attended her first P3 conference in 1999.
In 2004, I had the pleasure of meeting Ginny in person. What a delight! This dynamic, beautiful, petite woman was Psi Chi’s new Executive Director. At her request, I took her to meet my mother, former Psi Chi Executive Director Ruth Cousins. Ginny spent unrushed time with her discussing memories of Psi Chi. My mother felt very special that day. When she unexpectedly died in 2007, Ginny honored us by giving a glowing eulogy at her memorial service. Then Ginny invited my husband and me to be her house guests in Virginia when we drove to Washington, DC, for my mother’s burial.
Continuing to show how deeply she cares about psychology faculty and students working together, Ginny helped Psi Chi and Psi Beta build bonds again by working with Psi Beta to establish the Ruth Hubbard Cousins Building Bonds Collaboration Award. This award is allowing Psi Chi and Psi Beta to return to the relationship that it had at Psi Beta’s birth. Thank you, Ginny.Carol Tracy
Psi Beta Executive Director (1981-2005)The Three Best Things about Ginny…That’s Easy
Why will I miss Ginny? The standard answer includes a list of (accurate) superlatives such as: fabulous work ethic, great attention to detail, and tireless. But what about the Other Ginny—the Ginny fewer people know about? The Other Ginny has three noteworthy nuggets: First, Diet Coke. In the spirit of self-disclosure, I should stipulate that I drink too much Diet Coke. But Ginny. Whoa, Ginny. She drinks me under the table. She starts early, finishes late, and doesn’t let up in between. For all you DC-drinkin’ wannabees who think you can compete with her, I recommend you stay in the shallow end.
Second, emails. No one writes ‘em more thoroughly than Ginny. And they’re chock full of important information. These complex cogitations are assiduously analyzed and cogently crafted. I usually find a need for a 20-ounce Diet Coke to keep pace.
And finally, ballroom dancing. Ginny is a great dancer. I was proud of the fact that I learned some basic ballroom techniques in the last few years. But I never got the chance to dance with Ginny—sort of my Dancing with the Psi Chi Star moment, if you will. I guess I’m privately relieved, because she is as graceful as she is skilled. It would take more than a 20-ounce Diet Coke for this clumsy rookie to keep up.
Ginny, we will miss you at Psi Chi. When we hired you we needed a spokesperson for Psi Chi with credibility and gravitas in the scientific psychological community. You had all of that, and you delivered the Psi Chi message with a winsome style that made all of us connected to the Psi Chi community proud. You will be missed. Enjoy your travel. Enjoy your boat. Keep in touch.Scott VanderStoep, PhD
Psi Chi President-Elect
Hope College (MI)
It has been a great pleasure to work with Ginny Mathie during her extremely successful term as Psi Chi Executive Director. A vast reservoir of wisdom for all matters related both to the UMass Amherst chapter and the concerns of the Eastern Region during my term as Vice-President, she has also been consistently gracious, generous, and warm. In all of our professional dealings together going back over the years, I have greatly enjoyed her enthusiasm and excitement toward doing everything it was humanly possible to do that would benefit the education of undergraduate psychology students. I have also valued our friendship and look forward to her continued involvement in the profession.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD
Psi Chi Eastern Vice-President (2006-07)
University of Massachusetts Amherst
I’ve been on the National Council for less than a year, but it was immediately clear from the first time I met Ginny that she is a whirlwind of organization and activity, and all with such a calm air of assurance that I felt immediately at ease, despite knowing that there was a whirlwind of official responsibilities and duties heading my own way! It is abundantly clear that she sets a standard of collegiality and conscientiousness not just for Psi Chi, but for organizations in general. And beside all that, she’s a fun and interesting person to hang out with at conferences. I wish you the best always, Ginny!Jason Young, PhD
Psi Chi Eastern Regional Vice-President
Hunter College, CUNY
When Dr. Virginia Andreoli Mathie became the Executive Director of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, on July 1, 2004, a new era in the history of the organization began. It became the first time that a doctoral-level trained psychologist assumed the position. Psi Chi could not have made a better choice in terms of this decision because Dr. Mathie (or Ginny) is a truly extraordinary individual. She has brought to Psi Chi energy, imagination, dedication, a superior work ethic, attention to detail, and a wonderful personality that exudes enthusiasm and warmth. Her presence as a Psi Chi leader will truly be missed.
Dr. Mathie has long been a person who aspires toward work excellence. In this regard, she has been a perfect fit for Psi Chi. But, she has brought even more to the organization and her legacy will be hard to match. She has dedicated herself to enhancing teaching and learning through professional service. She is also an exemplary individual when it comes to shaping partnerships with others individuals and organizations. Her expertise in this area has greatly assisted Psi Chi in building bridges which have opened doors for students in Psi Chi to participate in various grant programs (i.e., with the FBI, APA, APS, etc.), as well as, other activities. It was truly an honor for me and for Paula Miller to have worked with her to establish the first Psi Chi National Leadership Conference.
Dr. Mathie is a superior individual whom, I believe, could serve as a universal role model as to how leadership should be carried out. In this regard, I would suggest that Psi Chi name a special award after her... the Virginia Andreoli Mathie Executive Director Award... to be given out every two years at the Psi Chi National Leadership Conference to the student or other individual who has contributed most to the enhancing of Psi Chi through professional service to the organization.
Tribute should be paid to Dr. Virginia Andreoli Mathie for her many, many hours of dedicated service to Psi Chi. I will long remember that I had the wonderful opportunity to have served as the last Psi Chi President to have worked with the Mathie-Miller team. Both of these women will always stand as special people to me.
Robert Youth, PhD
Psi Chi Past President (2006-07)
Dowling College (NY)