2008 Cousins National Chapter Award Winner
Friends University Chapter of Psi Chi
2007-2008 Ruth Hubbard Cousins/Psi Chi National Chapter Award
Row 1 (Front Row):
Glenna Andrews, Kristina Thielen, Antoinette Bannister, Kelli Brooks, Amanda Brands
Glenda Greene, Dr. Donna Stuber-McEwen (advisor), Rozetia Richardson, Prof. Bill Allan (advisor), Sally Jensen
Faith Martin, Vinessa Waltemire, Jesse Andrews, Deborah Butner, Deanna Bush-Kunc, Felicia Burris
Row 4 (Back Row):
Micah Gassie, Matthew Gentzler, Casey Urban, Adam Heerey, Rexanna Harvey, Steven James, Marva Hill
Sense of Community Creates Psi Chi Success
~ One can acquire everything in solitude - except character.
~Marie Henri Beyle
The markers of success are found in many areas and defined in many ways. The Friends University chapter of Psi Chi has chosen to create its success by intensifying group cohesion through acts of service to others and carefully nurtured ties to other campus organizations. This enduring sense of community has been fostered by exceptional faculty and executive leadership. Through directing much of our focus outside of the immediate group, our leadership has truly accomplished much in the way of “offering a climate congenial to members’ creative development,” along with promoting a strong sense of social responsibility (Psi Chi: The National Honor Society in Psychology, 2006a, ¶ 3).
To build our chapter’s character, we engage in many community service projects throughout the year. For example, chapter members cook dinner once a month for the Anthony Family Shelter, sponsor an on-campus coat drive during the fall, and participate in the Christmas for Kids and Friends for Kids programs each Christmas and Easter season. We also collaborate with many on-campus organizations to enrich our educational environment. This is evidenced by the “Evening of Jazz,” in which Psi Chi, the Psychology Club, and the Jazz Club come together to provide an evening of entertainment and refreshments for fellow students, and also by the Faculty/Staff Auction, co-sponsored each year by Psi Chi and the Spanish Honor Society, during which many interesting experiences and services are sold to support chapter activities.
As well as contributing to our community, these acts of service and cooperation function to reinforce members’ practical experience with the population they will most likely serve upon graduation. This method of education has a long history: the early Settlement Houses that spawned American studies of social psychology and social work were hotbeds of practical experience mixed with a healthy dose of social responsibility and altruism (Chaskin, Goerge, Skyles & Guiltnan, 2006).
Although the focus of the group is outside of itself, our leaders are very much involved in what is going on inside. In order to reinforce the mission of Psi Chi at Friends University, our leadership is well-organized and very efficient at creating and maintaining effective programming. Faculty and executive members (made up of Psi Chi and Psychology Club officers) meet bi-weekly to plan and organize events that seek to “encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly psychology” (Psi Chi: The National Honor Society in Psychology, 2006b, ¶ 1). Our leadership also strongly encourages the diversification of our knowledge base by immersing itself in both research and practice. We follow Psi Chi’s ideals by experiencing the research process first hand, by widening our foundation of knowledge through such things as taking field trips and hosting campus-wide lectures, and involving ourselves in the practical side of psychology through community service and social activities.
In addition to promoting practical and educational experiences, our leadership’s focus also helps to ensure that our members achieve social integration while furthering their career goals. Herrero and Gracia (2004) state “it is likely that young people with greater integration and participation in the community can extend their social network in more relevant ways to their career development than young people who are more isolated from the wider community (p. 708). The realization that present service activities impact their future helps our members to better understand the role of social capital in the area of career development, and to plan accordingly.
Our focus on community service and good relations with other organizations has definitely defined our success. Through focusing outside of our immediate group, we broaden our horizons, foster professional growth, and help to create a better future for others as well as ourselves.
Chaskin, R., Goerge, R., Skyles, A., & Guiltnan, S. (2006). Measuring social capital: An exploration in community-research partnership. Journal of Community Psychology, 34, 489-514.
Herrero, J. and Gracia, E. (2004). Predicting social integration in the community among college students. Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 707-720.
Psi Chi: The National Honor Society in Psychology. (2006a). What is Psi Chi? Retrieved January 15, 2007 from http://www.psichi.org/about/what_is_psichi.asp
Psi Chi: The National Honor Society in Psychology. (2006b). Purpose and Mission Statements. Retrieved January 15, 2007 from http://www.psichi.org/about/purpose.asp
Faith Martin, Chapter President
Kristina Thielen, Chapter Vice-President
Vinessa Waltemire, Chapter Secretary
Antoinette Bannister, Chapter Treasurer
Deanna Bush-Kunc, Chapter Student Government Association Representative
Donna Stuber-McEwen, PhD, Chapter Faculty Advisor
Bill Allan, MA, Chapter Faculty Coadvisor