Wilson Leadership Research Award Winner (2007-08)
Psi Chi is pleased to announce the 2007-08 Kay Wilson Leadership Award for Outstanding Chapter President. The second recipient of the award is Caitlin E. Macy
of Hawaii Pacific University. The Psi Chi/Kay Wilson Leadership Award was established to honor Kay Wilson, Executive Officer of Psi Chi from 1991-2003. Under Kay's leadership, Psi Chi doubled its membership and increased its grants, awards, and national visibility. Kay not only demonstrated excellence in leadership but also realized the role Psi Chi plays in developing future leaders in psychology. This award is dedicated to her commitment for leadership.
The award is presented annually to one chapter president who demonstrates excellence in leadership of the local chapter. Such leadership should assist Psi Chi in achieving its purpose "to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual member in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology."
As the winning Psi Chi chapter president, Ms. Macy received a cash award of $500 and travel expenses to attend the Psi Chi/APA National Convention in Boston, MA to receive an engraved plaque commemorating the award. Please see Ms. Macy's personal statement below about her role as chapter president.Biography
Caitlin E. Macy graduated magna cum laude with her Bachelors of Art in psychology this past spring from Hawaii Pacific University. While there, she worked as a research assistant to Dr. Stefan Bracha at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Honolulu gaining valuable knowledge in the area of PTSD and trauma psychology which is the field she plans to enter. Her primary interest is with combat-related PTSD and the treatment of OIF/OEF veterans. She plans to eventually attend graduate school for a PhD in clinical psychology but is first looking to gain experience in the field by traveling to sites overseas that are in need of trauma intervention. Caitlin believes that the skills she learned through her Psi Chi position have strengthened her ability to be successful in challenges she will face while achieving her goals in psychology. Personal Statement
I was extremely fortunate to develop group leadership skills by being the Hawaii Pacific University chapter president for the past year. It was a unique opportunity because as I was assuming the role of a leader, I was given the responsibility of transforming our chapter into an active group within the HPU community; something the chapter had never accomplished. This transformation entailed having comprehensive and consistent meetings for our members, starting up two new programs (the Psi Chi Peer Tutoring Program and the Peer Support Program), co-hosting the Psychology Program Conference, and inducting new members. The process for each of these provided a different learning opportunity.
Setting up meetings for the first time with the purpose of engaging our chapter as an active participant in the HPU community by initiating events and programs taught me several things. I had to coordinate the schedules of four officers and two advisors, which seemed like an easy task at first, but quickly showed me the complex balancing act that leading several people becomes. Our meetings taught me to synchronize all the various ideas from my officers and advisors into one cohesive goal that met everyone’s needs. Lastly, I had to learn to be assertive as I directed these meetings when an idea was presented that did not fit the goals of our Psi Chi Chapter and/or advisors. This was a difficult responsibility adjustment because I had never been in a role that required me to carefully reject my peers’ ideas. This last lesson in group leadership is important to learn but does not always happen, because even as a leader it is easier to avoid these situations than embrace them as a learning experience.
The planning sessions leading up to the Psychology Program Conference provided the same learning opportunities as described above, but the day of the event was altogether another lesson. It was my responsibility to coordinate all Psi Chi officers and Psi Chi member volunteers in their respective duties for the day. This taught me how to delegate tasks but also listen in return to what their needs were for the day in order for all of us to best accomplish our duties and collectively put on a great conference.
Between my two semesters as chapter president, we have inducted over thirty new members and this provided me with one of the most important learning opportunities for a group leader; the lesson of humility. With each new member, it was my goal to demonstrate to him or her that I was worthy of being his or her chapter president. I was determined to make each individual feel welcomed, express this great accomplishment by being inducted, and represent myself as someone to look up to in the HPU Psychology Program without giving the impression I was in any way a superior.
Clearly, five hundred words are in no way adequate to describe the invaluable learning experience I had as my chapter’s president, and I will carry these lessons with me forever.