Regional Chapter 1999-2000 Award Winners
Psi Chi congratulates these chapters for winning the Regional Chapter Awards for the 1999-2000 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 $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 1999-2000 winning chapters are as follows:
Eastern Region (small school)
Emporia State University (KS)
Midwestern Region (large school)
Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY
Eastern Region (large school)
Indiana University East
Midwestern Region (small school)
Southwest Texas State University
Southwestern Region (large school)
The Connecticut College Psi Chi Chapter currently does a lot of on-campus work to educate others about the importance of psychological research. The chapter holds the Annual Psychology Department Conference and publishes the Connecticut College Psychology Journal each year. The journal features the work of members and nonmembers who have submitted research material. In addition, each semester, the chapter invites the college community to watch a movie and engage in the scholarly conversation that follows. After each film, a psychology professor leads conversation about the film's relevance to the field of psychology. Previous movies shown include Eating, Sybil, Primal Fear, As Good as It Gets, and Leaving Las Vegas. The chapter attempts to make the work of the National Honor Society in Psychology visible on campus.
The chapter also supports and recognizes the accomplishments of its individual members. Students work with faculty members to further educate themselves while at the same time working to further the field. Several of the chapter's members have received awards, including the Annual Psi Chi Award, Honorary Undergraduate Fellows of the New England Psychological Association, and Conn Sharp Grants. Activities in which the chapter participates include service on behalf of the Covenant Shelter, a home for children. The chapter sponsors a Halloween party for the shelter, complete with costumes, candy, pumpkins, face painting, and festive games, and also provides stocking stuffers for the children, which chapter members decorate and distribute during the holiday season.
Another major activity undertaken by the chapter was the sponsorship of a booth at the college's annual Harvest Fest. Visitors to the booth were challenged to insert a metal rod into a very small hole without hitting the edge. Successful participants were rewarded with candy. Psi Chi T-shirts were also sold. The chapter uses the annual Harvest Fest booth to raise money and increase awareness about Psi Chi within the community.
Attendance at conferences is also a regular part of the chapter's annual schedule. Members of the chapter frequently travel to conferences, accompanied by faculty members who are also associated with Psi Chi, in order to present their work.
[Right] Emporia State University's spring 1999 Psi Chi induction ceremony.
The Emporia State University (KS) Psi Chi Chapter holds monthly business meetings on the first Thursday of each month. The monthly meetings are used to plan future organizational activities and to elicit feedback from the Psi Chi members. Occasionally, the meetings are used to host a speaker for all Emporia State University students. Speakers are also invited to address a campuswide audience during both fall and spring semesters. Topics range from general social concerns to specific psychological issues. The chapter also holds an induction banquet each fall and spring semester. All faculty at Emporia, all Psi Chi members, and any guests the inductees wish to bring to the induction banquet are invited. The banquet also features a guest speaker who talks to the inductees about being a Psi Chi member and a pro-fessional in the field of psychology. Recent speakers have included Dr. Bernard Lubin and Dr. Rick Miller. Aside from the guest speaker, the guests and inductees are served dinner, and the new members are then inducted into the organization using the Psi Chi induction ritual.
Besides holding an induction ceremony each semester, the chapter also participates in the Adopt-A-Highway community program. According to the chapter's letter of nomination, in each semester for the past 11 years, Psi Chi members have gathered in the wee hours of the morning to pick up trash along a two-mile stretch of Highway 99 south of Emporia. Students brave the elements--wind, rain, and dead animals--all in the name of community service.
The chapter sponsors two large fundraisers each year. The annual Midwinter Bridge Tournament has been held for the last 11 years, and it has become a tradition not only for the Psi Chi organization, but for the community as well. Prizes are awarded to every participant in the tournament, with the grand prize awarded to the first-place winners. Lunch is provided for the players by members of Psi Chi through donations. The chapter feels that the bridge tournament is an excellent opportunity for the Psi Chi members to interact with the community--for two reasons. First, the players are nonuniversity-affiliated members of the community and are generally comprised of an older group of individuals. The tournament is a great way to keep these individuals in touch with each other and to keep them out in the community. Secondly, the prizes awarded to the players are solicited by the Psi Chi members from area businesses in exchange for publicity for their organizations via the tournament. The Psi Chi members are actively sent into the community to meet the shop owners and obtain donations. Each year they earn approximately $300 from the Midwinter Bridge Tournament. However, the most profitable fundraiser is the Halloween Care Package Sale. Each fall chapter members send out letters to the parents of students taking Introductory and Developmental Psychology classes, asking if they would like to send a Halloween Care Package to their children. The chapter purchases bulk candy, soft drinks, apples, and plastic toys and then stuffs bags full of these goodies. Chapter members then deliver the packages. The chapter generally earns about $800 from this fundraiser. Psi Chi also performs several other services for the university, including the monthly publication of its newsletter, The Proprium. All clubs involved with psychology and/or special education are asked to contribute. The chapter also participates in new student orientation days and high school visitation programs.
President Telisa Purdy submitted the award-winning application for this Regional Chapter Award, and Dr. Ken Weaver continues his active involvement with the chapter as faculty advisor.
[Left] Members of the Regional Chapter Award-winning Lehman College Chapter, preparing for the spring's first bake sale (from left): Khema Chan, Gladys Alvarez, faculty advisor Dr. Vincent Prohaska, Yvonne Feliciano, Gregory Santiago, and Quailan Pantin.
The Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY, Psi Chi Chapter has worked diligently to accomplish Psi Chi's mission, maintaining a strong and continuously functioning chapter for over 30 years. Chapter members and officers recognize the importance of maintaining academic excellence and of becoming involved in research. Many members work as research assistants in faculty labs and have presented at local conferences, such as the Greater New York Conference on Social Research and the EPA Convention. Several of their members have also won National Research Awards. This year their chapter was proud to host the 11th Greater New York Conference on Psychological Research on November 12, 1999. The primary focus of this conference was undergraduate research. Seven past, current, or soon-to-be members presented and two other members chaired sessions.
As well as maintaining individual excellence, chapter members have concerned themselves with helping others. A primary activity in this area is the chapter's tutoring program, which began in 1995. Each member is asked to volunteer one hour per week to tutor students in General Psychology, Statistical Methods, and other psychology courses. Currently the chapter offers about 16 hours of tutoring a week. The tutoring program has been so successful that this year the chapter associated it with the College's Learning Center, which now refers students to the Psi Chi program for tutoring and pays the chapter for its services.
According to faculty advisor Dr. Vincent Prohaska, "The chapter has become more of an extended family than a student organization." The chapter continually looks for opportunities to meet, interact with, and learn from psychologists as well as members of other Psi Chi chapters. One example is that last spring chapter members served as hosts at the EPA Convention. At the March 2000 EPA meeting in Baltimore, three chapter officers will participate in a Psi Chi panel to discuss ways of keeping chapters active. President Michael G. Ainette submitted the award-winning application for this Regional Chapter Award. In Michael's words, the chapter is "a diverse group, consisting of Hispano-American, African American, Afro-Caribbean, Native American, and Anglo-Saxon students. Many of us have children and work outside of school. Our budgets and our available time are always limited. But our chapter has still provided activities that stimulate, encourage, and maintain our pursuit of academic excellence and the achievement of Psi Chi's goals."
The Indiana University East Psi Chi Chapter was chartered in 1995. According to faculty advisor Dr. Randall E. Osborne, "Since that time the Psychology Club and the chapter have worked closely together to meet both the service and the academic needs of the students, the campus, and the community." The Psi Chi members at Indiana University East participate in many original research presentations at national and regional conferences as well as being coauthors of published works. Together with the faculty, and in conjunction with other students, a multitude of research projects have been published. Three articles have been published in scientific journals with Psi Chi members as coauthors. One Psi Chi member was a coauthor on an article about biased first impressions in the International Journal of Psychology. Five booklets, book chapters, and teaching-related publications have been published with students as coauthors, as well as three research and professional development presentations, eight teaching and technique presentations, and two university and community service presentations--a grand total of 21 projects coauthored by Psi Chi members in the span of three years.
The chapter also encourages its fellow students to strive for academic excellence by working hard and employing effective study skills. This is accomplished by openly inviting students to meet with chapter members so as to help them develop effective study strategies in psychology as well as other disciplines. Many of the members are also teachers' assistants in psychology.
Many fundraisers are organized and executed both on and off campus to help charities and to offset student research expenses. The chapter also volunteers for community service. For the past several years, members of Psi Chi and the Psychology Club have adopted a shelter and volunteered their time to promote that shelter's best interests. Other activities the chapter performs include panel discussions, brown-bag presentations, and showcase displays. Chapter Vice-President Don Spurgeon compiled and submitted the chapter activities and membership practices for this award-winning application.
[Left] Members of the Regional Chapter Award-winning Southwest Texas State University Psi Chi Chapter, from left: Kris Wideman, vice-president; Trisha Keough, president-elect; John Davis, faculty advisor; Tammy Silakowski, secretary; Jocelyn Taijeron, president; and Jennifer Houp, treasurer.
Southwest Texas State University Psi Chi has built a strong organization over the past several years. Chapter goals for the past three years have been: (1) to increase the number of members, (2) to celebrate the chapter's 15th anniversary, (3) to become more active at the national level, and (4) to hold its first conference. The chapter reports that they have met and exceeded these goals.
The chapter revamped its membership drive and increased its annual membership from 20 to 30 to 49 new members. Psi Chi members also celebrated the chapter's 15th anniversary in 1997 with the help of Dr. Jesse Purdy, then the Psi Chi vice-president of the Southwestern Region. The chapter also became more active on a national level. Members participated in national voting this year, and the chapter's faculty advisor, Dr. John Davis, participated in the Psi Chi Miniconvention in San Francisco in 1998.
The chapter also participated in many activities through the year, a summary of which was published in the Fall 1999 issue of Eye on Psi Chi. Additionally, chapter members participated in the Adopt-A-Shelter national service project by volunteering their time at the Hays-Caldwell County Women's Center in San Marcos, Texas. The chapter also sponsored a holiday donation drive in which food, clothing, supplies, and toys were collected for the Women's Center. In addition, the chapter scheduled fundraisers and activities to raise money for UNICEF, Psi Chi's newest national service project.
The Southwest Texas State University Psi Chi Chapter is proud of the success of its first annual conference on campus, held September 24-25, 1999, and entitled "Futures in Psychology." The conference featured several speakers, including Dr. Jesse Purdy, Psi Chi national president-elect. Other speakers were Dr. Eddie Vela of Chico State University, Dr. John Edens of Sam Houston State University, and chapter advisor Dr. John Davis. More than 80 students and faculty from schools in Texas attended the conference.
Other fall 1999 activities included an induction ceremony, a canoe trip on the San Marcos River, a reception, a 17th anniversary pizza party, and the creation of an official psychology department class ring by JPT Jewelers. Chapter President Jocelyn Taijeron submitted the award-winning application for this Regional Chapter Award.