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A Brief Overview of Ongoing Psi Chi Initiatives
by Michael D. Hall, PhD - Psi Chi Society President - James Madison University (VA)
Categories: Presidents' Messages
et me first convey to you a heartfelt thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. I also feel that we collectively owe a debt of gratitude to Alvin Wang, our out-going President. Alvin has been (and continues to be, as Past-President) an outstanding leader for Psi Chi, effectively guiding our society through one of its most complex transitional periods. This period has included the vote for Psi Chi to become an international organization, as well as personnel changes and extensive technology development within the Central Office. (You might even be reading a new, digital version of the Eye on Psi Chi right now). Thanks, Alvin, for all your continued hard work and for showing me the ropes.
I consider this one of the most exciting times in our organization’s distinguished history. This excitement can be captured by an examination of three of Psi Chi’s primary initiatives for the upcoming year. First, our Society is already large, and is likely on the cusp of unprecedented growth as our promotion of Psi Chi as an international organization continues. We anticipate the installation of many new chapters around the globe and will be seeking initial connections with major psychological organizations that sponsor international conferences.
The Board of Directors also is concentrating efforts on establishing additional award and grant opportunities for student members. Particular attention will be paid to expanding opportunities across educational levels. This includes fostering the involvement of graduate students, as well as improving the strength of Psi Chi connections with community and junior colleges. Graduate student members have traditionally overlooked the fact that Psi Chi can be of further assistance to their educational goals, and additional awards targeted at funding graduate-student research or conference presentation would help address this problem. Strengthening connections with related groups at community colleges and junior colleges would further help to foster the development of potential future leaders in Psi Chi. We also want to hear about what kinds of award programs you feel are most needed. Toward this end, your chapter should already have received notification about a very brief online survey of award interests that we would like each of you to complete. This survey is accessible from a direct link that is available on the Society homepage, www.psichi.org.
Finally, understanding diversity is critical to the advancement of psychology, and thus the Society’s mission. Its importance lies not only in the contributions that it can make to effective clinical practice, but also in helping to identify a host of potentially important sociocultural variables for explanations of individual differences in experimental psychology. As a result, Psi Chi is very interested in helping to better serve populations that have long been under-represented in our organization. The Board of Directors recently re-established a diversity task force. This group is focusing on creating opportunities to encourage greater involvement from ethnic minorities, to share fundamental information about diversity as it relates to the advancement of psychological science, and to support the work of Psi Chi members on diversity-related issues.
Suffice it to say, I am looking forward to a great year in our organization, and to meeting many of you at regional and national conventions. I also know that the organization would be very interested in hearing from you or your chapter if there is anything that you would like to suggest with respect to further expanding the availability of information or benefits to members. This open communication is absolutely necessary if Psi Chi is to ultimately address the needs and interests of its members. So please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Central Office staff (you can e-mail them individually at www.psichi.org/About/staff.aspx).
Fall 2010 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 4), published by Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright, 2010, Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology. All rights reserved.