Regional Chapter 1997-1998 Award Winners
Psi Chi congratulates the chapters named below for winning the Regional Chapter Awards for the 1997–98 year. 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 $300 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. Listed alphabetically, the chapters are as follows:
Hunter College, CUNY
Eastern Region (large school)
Saint Anselm College
Eastern Region (small school)
University of Missouri–Columbia
Midwestern Region (small school)
The Hunter College Psi Chi Chapter was reactivated in the fall of 1994 by an enthusiastic group led by Faculty Advisor Jason Young and Chapter President Jimmie Lou Harris. Since that time, as their submission letter states, the chapter has been at the forefront of Psi Chi activities in the greater New York metropolitan area with a wide array of services and activities. “The highly motivated chapter members and officers have consistently put Psi Chi among the most active student clubs at Hunter College . . . by organizing, developing, and producing events, lectures, and conferences that would rival many small private organizations’ agendas.” The chapter annually sponsors the Hunter College Psychology Convention, bringing prestigious researchers and authors to speak at this yearly convention. The award money from the Psi Chi Regional Research Award will be used to supplement the funding for speaker honoraria for the 26th Annual Hunter College Psychology Convention to be held on May 2, 1998. Also, five times a year the chapter publishes Psych News, which has become a staple in the Hunter College community providing both students and faculty with up-to-date information on what is happening in the social sciences at Hunter College. The most recent chapter achievement, led by President Julie Rathke, was a grant proposal for Martin Luther King Day Community Service Project to promote higher education among underprivileged high school students by providing them with the opportunity to attend a day of college in the company of a student mentor at Hunter College.
President Julie Rathke submitted the award-winning application for this Regional Chapter Award, and Dr. Jason Young continues his active involvement with the chapter as the chapter’s faculty advisor.
The Saint Anselm College Psi Chi Chapter was chartered seven years ago. Since that time the members have demonstrated exceptional dedication to overall academic achievement within psychology. The chapter’s award-winning application was submitted by Chapter Secretary Sarah Gelinas, who credits Faculty Advisors Paul Finn and Elizabeth Ossoff for their guidance and advisement in the development of this accomplished chapter. (See Dr. Ossoff’s article, “Involving the Undergraduate in Faculty Research,” on page 18.) Among the chapter’s award-winning practices are its interactions with the many different psychological organizations in the area. All Psi Chi chapters in the state were invited to a joint chapter meeting during the New Hampshire Psychological Association meeting on the campus, with Psi Chi members presenting their research at the meeting. The chapter also cosponsored the New England Psychological Association (NEPA) meeting on campus, again providing opportunities for Psi Chi student presentations. Chapter members annually present research at NEPA, EPA, and New Hampshire State meetings, with many chapter members receiving awards for these presentations at regional psychology conferences. The chapter additionally cosponsors with the psychology department a poster session for the Saint Anselm College community involving all the science departments on campus. Outstanding speakers who have been sponsored by the chapter include Dr. Neal Miller, Dr. Wilbert McKeachie, and Dr. Edith Kaplan (see St. Anselm chapter activities in this issue).
The chapter will use this Regional Chapter Award money to increase student-alumni relationships by inviting Psi Chi alumni to a dinner reception held in conjunction with this year’s senior undergraduate research presentations. The chapter hopes to continue to further its alumni relationship and to establish with the chapter’s alumni a strategic plan of chapter development for the next five years.
The University of Missouri–Columbia Psi Chi Chapter was also recognized for its initiative in starting an undergraduate psychology research conference. In the words of Faculty Advisor Dennis Wright, “The officers and members of our chapter have made our chapter the model of what this type of organization should be. Their efforts at creating a sense of collegiality amongst our undergraduate majors has been outstanding, and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a faculty advisor for this group.” Department Chair Thomas DiLorenzo further states, “Although Psi Chi has always provided a great service for our undergraduate students, they have worked especially hard this past year to increase their visibility and provide quality programs for our department. Their attempt in starting an undergraduate research conference at the university represents this chapter’s dedication to providing opportunities that are both useful and important for furthering the science of psychology. Psi Chi’s other activities in the past year have also facilitated a greater amount of communication among undergraduates and the faculty and graduate students. Psi Chi has informed undergraduates about available resources that would otherwise go untapped (e.g., research opportunities, conferences and conventions, presentations, grant money for research, etc.). The department is grateful for Psi Chi’s time and effort; they have truly made a difference, not only to the undergraduates, but also to the entire department as well.” Chapter President Stephanie Rudi compiled and submitted the chapter activities and membership practices for this award-winning application.