Regional Chapter 2000-2001 Award Winners
Psi Chi congratulates these chapters for winning the Regional Chapter Awards for the 2000-2001 year and commends the Psi Chi National Council for its continuing expansion of the Psi Chi award program to recognize outstanding Psi Chi chapters, members, and advisors. Regional Chapter Awards will continue to be presented annually to chapters in each of Psi Chi's six regions. Within each region, there may be chapter winners in each of the two categories of large schools (over 5,000 students) and of small schools (under 5,000 students). Psi Chi chapters that best achieve Psi Chi's purpose "to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology" will be named as winners. Each winning chapter was presented a check for $500 and a certificate suitable for framing to display in the winning chapter's department. The awards are intended to perpetuate the chapters, to identify chapters as role models for others, and to promote the purpose of Psi Chi. The criteria for selecting the winners were evidence of effective chapter activities for the past three years, strict adherence to the application procedures, and creative and effective presentation of application materials.
Sonoma State University (CA)
Western Region (large school)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Midwestern Region (large school)
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Eastern Region (large school)
Sonoma State University Psi Chi Chapter organized weekly roundtable discussions that helped students to deepen their understanding of the course material by exploring it with their peers and professors. In addition, the chapter offered writing tutorials by arrangement that not only cover basic writing style, syntax, precision of language, clarity, and grammar, but also explored content and purpose. They also organized and hosted two workshops: a Graduate School Workshop and a GRE Workshop.
The chapter hosted an APA Division 32 Symposium entitled, "The Future of Humanistic Psychology." This past semester the chapter hosted a Celebration for Esteemed Faculty. They made Achievement Awards for all honorees and for the Psychology Department at Sonoma State University. The Awards are all prominently displayed in the office further connecting Psi Chi with the department. Lastly, in an attempt to promote psychological research in the department and to contribute to the field of psychology as a whole, the research team of Psi Chi conducted and submitted a research study to the American Psychological Association Convention 2000, Washington, DC under Division 9, (Social Justice). Their research study was accepted and presented and now the team has begun an exciting online experiment which examines perceptions of fairness among "In-Groups and Out-Groups."
At the beginning of every semester the chapter sets out a rigorous campaign to enroll new members. Due to this, the chapter has created an informative and inviting web page that provides year round information about the chapter and its board members. In addition the chapter visits classrooms, hangs banners, and posts flyers on the campus and within the department. They also have two boards in the department. One is an activity Board and the other is an Identification & Information Board. The boards offer applications, the Eye on Psi Chi magazine and American Psychological Association literature. At the end of the Membership Drive the chapter hosts a Pizza Party and General Election.
At the end of every year the chapter hosts an Induction Ceremony for new members and honors those people who have served on the board. The Induction Ceremony is co-hosted by the Department Chair and by their Psi Chi Advisor, Dr. Heather Smith. During the ceremony, each new member is called before the board to receive their certificate, sign the ledger, and make their pledges to their fellows and to the field of Psychology. The ceremony ends with a candle lighting processional, followed by food and drink.
President Aileen McLeod submitted the award-winning application for this Regional Chapter Award, and Dr. Heather Smith continues her active involvement with the chapter as the chapter's faculty advisor.
[right] Aileen McLeod, president of the Sonoma State University Psi Chi Chapter, winner of the Regional Chapter Award for the Western Region.
The University of Illinois at Chicago Psi Chi Chapter have the major goals of recognizing outstanding achievement, promoting academic growth and research skills, and serving the campus and its community. The chapter's service mission also includes making the large and admittedly intimidating campus more accessible and friendly for students with interests in psychology and related disciplines.
The chapter formally inducts new members once per academic year, typically in February. One of the main ways in which they reach out to potential members and promote research involvement is through the biannual "Matchmaker" event, held the first week of Fall and Spring semester. Undergraduates are invited to hear brief presentations by researchers in the psychology and allied departments with the goal of placing every interested undergraduate in a research program that best matches his or her interest.
In addition to their Matchmaker event, the chapter holds symposia on a variety of subjects to further the intellectual life and the academic goals of both psychology students and the campus in general. One example is their collaboration with campus administration in inviting Dr. Philip Zimbardo to speak on "The Psychology of Evil" in September 2000.
The chapter also invites faculty and staff at the university to give various presentations of interest to the undergraduate audience. The chapter advisor, Dr. Linda Skitka, annually offers "How to Get Into Graduate School (and Survive!)." Other topics by various presenters have included "What to do with a BA in Psychology, " "Sports Psychology," "UFO Abductions: A Psychologist's Perspective," and "Near-Death Experiences." In addition, the chapter has hosted an all-day Psychology Career Workshop, which included a mock-GRE and presentations covering all aspects of psychology both for students seeking to work directly with their BA in psychology or for students planning to go on to graduate and professional school.
Focusing on service both within the campus and community allows the chapter to offer free tutoring for students enrolled in Statistics and sponsor a Turkey and Food Drive for needy families of youths at a Chicago Public School for the developmentally disabled. In addition, the chapter is active in helping to coordinate volunteer activities at a local shelter for individuals and families in need.
The chapter plans to use the award money to continue to support symposia and other events. They feel that the funds will greatly improve their volunteer activities and will afford them better ways to attract both members and non-members to their volunteer efforts. The also plan to use the award money to advertise their events in a more diverse and effective way. They would also like to use some of the award funds as "seed" money to start a Psi Chi scholarship fund for psychology students at their university.
Internet Officer Michael Zalanka submitted the award-winning application for this Regional Chapter Award, and Dr. Linda Skitka continues her active involvement with the chapter as the chapter's faculty advisor.
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst Psi Chi Chapter focuses on serving the community and serving Psi Chi members and prospective members. The chapter searches out and organizes numerous community service activities and encourages their members to participate. Participation in such activities as Into Amherst and Make a Difference Day is beneficial to both the community and the students. The Chapter makes a point to inform all of their members of all such opportunities, and participate in as many of them as possible. The chapter serves as an excellent means of creating awareness in their members about local events as well as serving the community.
In the spirit of the Adopt-A-Shelter program, the chapter has continued to volunteer at and collect items for local shelters. The local shelters have informed the chapter that in addition to food items, non-food items (toiletries, cleaning supplies, and paper goods) are desperately needed as well. Also, they are helping the Psychology Department raise funds for a family in need through the Salvation Army.
The chapter feels that they not only benefit the community, but their members as well. The daily Coffee Table in the lobby of the psychology building supports the chapter and allows undergraduates, faculty, and graduate students to get acquainted. Due to their visability, membership is recognized as a sign of scholastic achievement. However, participation in community service and meetings is not exclusive to inducted members. They encourage all potential members to become involved in their activities. Several workshops are provided each year to help members learn about and apply for graduate school and provide GRE preparation opportunities, among other topics.
Members are rewarded for their participation in any of the chapter's activities throughout the year by the invitation to attend the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) convention. Through a tally system of involvement in the chapter's various activities, they pay the way for as many active members as is financially feasible. Attendance at EPA immerses students in the many facets of psychology research. This is only one of the many ways the chapter supports the research endeavors of their members.
The chapter plans to use the award money to finance an evening with a colloquium speaker. The Psychology Department has already invited Robert Sternberg to speak at the University in the spring. While all psychology students are invited to attend the lecture, Psi Chi members will attend an informal dinner and social hour at a local restaurant. The funds from the award will provide dinner for approximately twenty-five members, providing an open forum in an intimate setting for discussion about Dr. Sternberg's work in social psychology and related topics.
President Jennifer Plumb submitted the award-winning application for this Regional Chapter Award, and Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne continues her active involvement with the chapter as the chapter's faculty advisor.