Dip Into Psi Chi's Treasury of Ideas...
This guide is an attempt to "share the wealth" of creative and diverse activity exhibited by Psi Chi's active chapters. The following pages list brief descriptions of many of the projects and activities that have been conducted by Psi Chi chapters around the country. Chapter officers, boards, chairpersons, and members are encouraged to browse these descriptions of projects that have been tried and proven by other chapters. Remember, it's not necessary to reinvent the wheel! Your chapter can surely benefit from the ideas and experiences of other chapters.
1. Conferences and Conventions
- Research symposium
- Student research poster competition
- Special speaker series of monthly speakers in various areas of psychology
- Undergraduate psychology conference
- Sponsor/cosponsor an annual psychology convention in your chapter's area currently in existence or create your own
- Psi Chi autumn paper reading
- Organize workshops, poster sessions, programs, a Psi Chi conversation hour at state/regional conventions.
2. Membership Drives
- Have chapter officers speak to psychology classes
- Psi Chi brochures (hand out in psychology classes)
- Fliers on campus (possible title: "What is Psi Chi?")
- Mail letters to students about Psi Chi
- Email all prospective members about Psi Chi
- Create membership application packets (containing information about Psi Chi, meeting & induction dates, invitation to membership form, registration card, application form, and a member survey form)
- Questionnaires (to determine member preferences on meetings, committees, special interests)
- Establish a showcase in the student union
- Participate in Welcome Week with an information booth
- Update bylaws and induction ceremony to make membership more meaningful and to establish traditions to attract new members
- Assign current members as sponsors for prospective members
3. Chapter Resources
- Create a Psi Chi bulletin board within the psychology department (to inform students about the existence and purpose of Psi Chi and to post notices about upcoming events)
- Exchange of information program (a running calendar of psychology events of interest in your chapter's regional area, such as conferences, presentations, speakers, programs)
- Develop a detailed calendar, a timeline sequence, and interdependent tasks for all members to increase involvement with Psi Chi
- Develop a career library
- Provide Strong-Campbell tests for future planning
- Fund and award a Psi Chi chapter scholarship to member of the school's junior class
- Establish a research presentation award/grant for a graduating (or other) student(s)
- Compile a chapter website (for ideas, view other Psi Chi chapter webpages)
4. Chapter Programs on Graduate Schools
- Graduate students (can include others from several area schools)
- Faculty members
- Career counselors
- Admissions personnel
- The application process
- Taking the GRE (hold a mock GRE test)
- How to select a school
- Academic experiences
- Graduate school research projects
- Specific fields (e.g., clinical psychology)
- Program on the PsyD degree (advantages/disadvantages of which degree to pursue)
- Program on departmental honors
- Perspectives of women
- Types of graduate school programs
- Living arrangements
- Lifestyle changes, effects on family, hours of study
- Possible session titles:
-- "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"
-- "GREs: A Guide for Newcomers"
-- "Getting into Graduate School"
-- "Graduate School: Fact and Fiction, Fear and Frolicking"
-- "Is Graduate School for You?"
-- "PsyD Program"
-- "The Transition from Undergraduate to Graduate to Career"
- Graduate school information night
- Graduate student orientation day (with icebreakers, meeting and greeting time, group-building skills, and introduction to graduate program)
- Graduate information conference aimed toward sophomores and juniors (so that they can utilize information given and properly prepare for graduate school)
- Graduate school fair (with several graduate schools represented)
- Question-and-answer session
- Research roundtable (featuring faculty members' research)
- Compile a graduate school library and timeline for application to graduate school
- Make a resource file on graduate schools
- Mentoring program pairing 2nd-year graduate students with 1st-year students as a support network
- Host a mentoring program of graduate members matched to undergraduate members to assist with graduate school applications, research assistance, and volunteer/internship opportunities
5. Chapter Programs on Careers in Psychology
- Psi Chi alumni (who share information about their present career)
- Faculty members
- Career planning counselor
- School psychologist
- Career planning
- Practicum opportunities
- Differences between clinical and research careers
- Career day (to inform all university students of various psychology careers)
- Symposium featuring speakers from as many as possible fields of psychology
- Career night colloquium
- "Ask the Doctor" series
6. Chapter Program Topics/Titles
"Aggression and Violence"
"Alfred Adler and the Development of Freud's Thought"
"Berlin, Now and Then: Reflections on the New World Order"
"Beyond the Classroom: 10 Sure Steps Toward Student Excellence"
"Beyond the Undergraduate Years: What You Need to Know"
"Biofeedback: Fact or Fiction"
"Body Image and Its Effect on Self-Esteem and Performance"
"Career and Family Issues"
"Careers in Psychology and Related Fields"
"Career Opportunities in Social Work"
"Clinical Psychology: The Next Century"
"Counseling a Dying Person"
"Creativity and Learning"
"Criminal Neglect: Society's Failure to Deal Effectively with Sex Offenders"
"Defining Success for Yourself"
"Developmental Patterns of Self-Comforting Behavior"
"Disability Advocacy and Awareness"
"Domestic Violence: Abuse in Relationships"
"Eating Disorders: Bulimia and Anorexia"
"Effective Solutions in Dealing With Stress in the Workplace"
"Ever Wonder about the Practicum?"
"Gender Issues on Campus"
"Grandparents Raising Children Without the Help of Parents"
"How the Brain Works"
"How to Become a Clinician"
"How to Deal With Grief and Bereavement"
"How to Make a Poster"
"How to Present a Conference Report"
"How to Use I/O to Get a Job in I/O"
"How to Write a Vita"
"Human Factors Psychology"
"Jobs for Psychology Majors"
"Legal and Environmental Issues in Research"
"Mathematical Abilities of Normal and Disabled Children"
"Meditation, Hypnosis, and Faith Healing"
"Migraine Headaches and Chronic Pain"
"Mild Head Injury: Does Anyone Really Suffer?"
"Morita and Naikan Psychotherapies: Japanese Pathways for Constructive Living"
"Nature of Consciousness in Eastern and Western Systems"
"Optimism: Predicting Depression, Physical Health, and Achievement"
"Personal Happiness and Well-Being"
"Personal Myths and Human Lives"
"Perspectives on Abnormal Behavior"
"Psychologists in Behavioral Medicine"
"Psychology and the Internet"
"Psychology of War"
"Psychoemotional Techniques in Chiropractics"
"Psychology in the Courts"
"Questions and Answers about Clinical Psychology"
"Rats, Type A Individuals, Death Anxiety, and Psi Chi"
"Relationship of Psychological Well-Being and Physical Health"
"Self in Social Psychology"
"Sexuality in a Confused Culture: An Ex-Gay Speaks Out"
"Sleep Disorders and Dreaming"
"Soviet Psychology: Some Sociopolitical and Intellectual Roots"
"Stigma Surrounding the Mentally Ill"
"Survival in a Male World"
"Teen Suicide and Depression"
"The Costs and Benefits of Multiculturalism: A Psychological Analysis"
"The Effects of Substance Abuse on the Family and the Developing Child Within"
"The Use of Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies in Building Self-Esteem"
"Training and Practice of Soviet Psychologists"
"Treatment for the Sexual Offender"
"Victims Advocacy Program"
"Vitae and Resume Writing"
"What to Do With a Psychology Degree"
"What's Happening With Psychoanalysis?"
"Working with Violent Clients"
7. Chapter Publications
- Newsletter (monthly, quarterly, online)
- Scrapbook (mementos, pictures, officer duties, member guidelines, alumni address list)
- Psychology handbook/booklet
- Chapter activities and meetings
- Research project opportunities available
- Faculty member profiles
- Research experience needed for graduate school
- Student research
- Interviews with professors
- Reviews from psychology journals
- A listing of psychology faculty members' professional affiliations
- To give information on class descriptions, dates of classes, graduate school, career planning, and other pointers on college life
8. Research Programs
- To introduce members to faculty member and/or graduate student research projects on which help was needed
- Institute a research assistance program to link members with those needing assistance (faculty, graduate students, others) with research projects
- Faculty members speak on areas of interest and research opportunities in the department
- Chapter paper reading session with awards presented to undergraduate and graduate categories
- Survey professors' needs for research assistants to enable Psi Chi members to volunteer for their projects
9. Chapter Service Projects
- Volunteer to serve at a local veterans hospital
- Volunteer to serve in a soup kitchen
- Volunteer time to work at a local thrift shop
- Volunteer time at community events (festivals, fairs)
- Adopt individuals with mild disabilities and provide special treats/events for them
- Assist with public television's pledge campaign
- Assist high school students
- Members talk to area school children about drugs, alcohol, and other related issues
- Cohost a blood drive
- Sponsor a field day for children with various developmental abilities
- Conduct a canned food drive for the Hunger Coalition
- Walk-a-thon to benefit the Alzheimer's Association
- Collect aluminum cans to benefit the burn unit of a local hospital
- Collect and donate books for international universities
- Participate in fundraisers for school and/or campuswide service projects (e.g., beautification)
- Paint faculty members' offices
- Pet therapy (gather puppies/kittens from a local humane shelter and take them to visit elderly tenants at a nursing home/retirement center)
- Halloween (hold a party for special children, hold party/volleyball for inpatients at a psychiatric hospital)
- Thanksgiving (collect canned food for the needy, deliver food to the needy, adopt a family)
- Veterans Day (hold celebration featuring Vietnam veterans)
- Christmas (sponsor a needy child, sing carols at a nursing home, provide gifts/canned food to shelters, hold party for hospital patients)
- Easter (make Easter baskets for children at local hospitals)
- Adopt-A-Highway, Adopt-A-Road
- Big Brother/Big Sister program
- Food for Families
- Habitat for Humanity
- Head Start (donate items to)
- Home for Boys
- Leukemia Society of America
- National Depression Screening Day
- Salvation Army
- Special Olympics
- Toys for Tots
- Walktoberfest (American Diabetes Association)
- Volunteer work at homeless shelters
- Collect food, clothing, and toiletries for a domestic violence shelter
- Entertain children in shelters
- Support a shelter with funds and necessities
10. Chapters Offering Tutoring Services
- Peer advisory group (for incoming freshmen)
- Peer advising services (on various aspects of psychology department/classes)
- Peer counseling center
- Mentoring program (to encourage students in research & experimental design procedures)
- GRE workshops/sessions
- Undergraduate psychology students
- 1st- and 2nd-year psychology students (to encourage them to stay in the major)
- Entering freshmen
- Student athletes
11. Chapter Participation at Fairs
- Handwriting analysis
- Lie detector testing
- Buy your way out of jail
- Managing stress (campus health fair)
- Graduate school
Activities During Event
- Distribute literature and information about Psi Chi
- Promote the chapter and membership in Psi Chi
- Provide information on psychology-related professions
12. Chapter Field Trips
- Mental health care center
- State hospital, psychiatric hospital
- Behavioral medicine building (to observe various research projects being conducted)
- Rehabilitation center dealing with sleep disorders
- Local museums
13. Chapter Fundraisers
- Bake sale (baked goods, candy)
- Concession stand (at university or other location)
- Cake sale
- Pizza sale
- Lasagna/spaghetti lunch sale
- Provide coffee and refreshment center in the psychology department's lobby
- Books (get faculty/members to donate)
- Yard sale
- Car wash
- Phone-a-thon (to psychology alumni)
- Work with a local flower shop and sell flowers at graduation services (flowers given free of charge); when finished selling, send 80% of the money taken in back to the flower shop, and keep 20%
- 5K Fun Run, Psych-Run, Walk-for-Fun
- Rent-a-Psi-Chi-Member-for-a-Day (in which members are "rented" by faculty members to go to their homes to do yard work, clean, etc. in exchange for professors making donations to the Psi Chi chapter)
- Bridge tournament (open to both campus & community participants)
- Compile graduate school packets of information to sell through the campus bookstore
- Sponsor a race involving mice in a WISC-R type maze with each mouse named after a professor
- Operate booths at school and community fairs/festivals (Oktoberfests, etc.)
- Work with local businesses (e.g., JC Penney's, Barnes & Noble) in various projects
- Recycle cans/paper
- Halloween (pumpkin sale)
- Thanksgiving (harvest bake sale)
- Christmas (sell Christmas cards, gift baskets; wrap gifts at a local bookstore or other store)
- Valentine's Day (flower delivery service, sell flowers & candy)
- St. Patrick's Day (cookie sale)
- Easter (raffle tickets for an Easter basket, sell flowers)
14. Faculty Advisor Hospitality
- Overnight campout at mountain cabin of advisor's
- New (Academic) Year's cookout at advisor's home
- Halloween party at advisor's home
- Christmas social at advisor's house
- Volleyball/soccer games (between faculty and students)
- Pizza party, potluck dinner, ice cream social
- Ice skating
- Picnics (fall/spring)
- Pig roast
- Hay ride
- Ski trip
- Hawaiian luau
- Outing to the zoo
- Movie viewing/discussion
- Host a Freud party
- Alumni high tea
- Joint meeting and cookout with another Psi Chi chapter(s)
- Host a reception for visiting psychologists (national/international)
- Jeopardy night (cosponsor with psychology club, example categories: Commercials, Psychology Theories, Famous People, Faculty Members)
- Sponsor a psychology department banquet for all majors, minors, faculty and staff
- Welcome-back picnic
- Reception at start of year (to attract new members and renew old acquaintances)
- Ice cream social
- Thank-you dinner/banquet to acknowledge students' academic successes and efforts in helping the chapter/department
- Late-night bowling party to "vent" prefinals stress
- Halloween (party, hayride)
- Christmas (dinner, party, caroling, shopping trip)
16. Chapters Selling T-Shirts and Sweatshirts
- Royal blue polo with gold lettering
- Psychology department logo
Phrases & Pictures
- "Hug a psychologist, we're conditioned to respond"
- Rorschach inkblot with the caption, "Just Analyze Me!"
- Pavlov's dog with the caption, "Psychology Makes Me Salivate"
- Picture of Freud wearing colorful sunglasses
- Give Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment to chapter members and have interpreted by faculty
- Establish a Psychology Professor of the Year award
- Hold a Psychology Awareness Week to promote the psychology major and careers in psychology
- Sponsor a Psychology Awareness Month
- Display psychologists' pictures and quotations in an exhibit (possible title: "Look Who's Talking")
- Sponsor campuswide screenings of psychological movies
- Entertain an international exchange group with banners, games, a party
- Nominate members for Homecoming court
- Host debates