Thank you for electing me to serve as
your national president for the 1996-97 year. It is a great honor to serve in
an office that has been filled by so many distinguished presidents. The current
Psi Chi National Council is introducing many new and exciting programs for
students and advisors and has many others in the works. It is most exciting to
be on the Council with all of these individuals who have distinguished
themselves in countless ways. I hope to follow in the footsteps of all those
I would like to take time to thank
especially the "pioneer" in my background, who is known well by many
of you. If it were not for Ms. Ruth Cousins (Psi Chi's executive director from
1958-91), I would not have accomplished what I have today. I have been a Psi
Chi faculty advisor in my own department for many years, and Ruth was always
ready to give me help on many chapter matters whenever I called the National
Office. Kay Wilson followed closely in blazing the next trail as executive officer,
and a week does not go by that I don't benefit from her knowledge as well. You
should know that the executive officer, along with the national staff, is our
valued resource. And, before I even had any contacts with the National Office,
I found the newsletter especially helpful to me as a Psi Chi member and
Your current Council members are
carrying on the tradition of building a strong foundation for all those future
members of our dynamic organization. As your national president, and as chair
of the recent midwinter Council meeting, I helped orchestrate our revision of
the mission statement and our discussion of additional awards and recognition
for chapter members and advisors, regional conference participants, and
national conference participants. For close to 70 years Psi Chi has worked from
the grass roots up to the Council to provide opportunities for members to
increase scholarships, research awards, and national honors. You have read
about many of these in the newsletters and have received calls for submissions
to Psi Chi research awards and chapter hondrs. More is yet to come! The motive
behind these efforts is to encourage scholarship and to advance the science of
psychology through the achievements of our members (you may recognize these
words as those from the purpose statement in Psi Chi's Constitution).
In addition, one of the major goals of
Psi Chi that is perhaps more immediate and viable in your chapter is the
provision of recognition for your chapter members. The Society has made
available honor cords, medallions, and pins to be wom on special academic and
professional occasions. I wear these insignias on my university regalia and am
always stopped by students who want to know what Psi Chi is and how they can be
involved. Each day I wear my gold and blue Psi Chi button to my classes on
campus and actively advocate for my chapter and the ideals of the organization.
Many of our college honors program. Others hold research award competitions on
their local campuses and in conjunction with nearby universities and colleges
or through university consortium activities. Other chapters sponsor student
travel to professional meetings to help members network, meet important
contacts, present research, and attend various sessions that may lead to
opportunities for future work or graduate programs. Thus, the local chapter and
the recognition and assistance it provides to students is vital in helping
members realize their professional and academic goals.
Also, remember that one of the first
and most immediate goals of Psi Chi is to invite to membership students who the
chapter believes will be the future scientists and leaders in our field. The
recognition provided by attaining membership speaks for itself. When Psi Chi is
viewed on student resumes by potential employers and graduate admission
officers, it speaks well of the professional accomplishments of the student.
Active membership conveys a clear message of high academic standards,
organizational abilities, and future orientations. These are the precise
characteristics listed as "second order" criteria deemed important
for admission to graduate programs in psychology and allied fields, and are
also the traits desired by potential employers.
So, where do we go from here? The
Council is now organizing all regional and national programs for your pleasure
and professional development. As you know, Psi Chi sponsors programs in all
regions at the annual meetings of the regional psychological associations, and
at the national level at the annual meeting of the American Psychological
Association in August, during which Psi Chi holds its National Convention, and
also at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society in May. We
will again hold our one-day Miniconvention the day before the APA meeting
(August 14), and we invite all of you to come to Chicago. It will be an
exciting time, and the Council promises to provide wonderful opportunities for
each of you and your advisors. Our programs are chosen based on what we know
will be of greatest value to members, advisors, and chapters. A special effort
is being made to recognize faculty advisors at the regional meetings and at the
National Psi Chi meeting. If I could lapse back into my southern drawl, I would
say "Y'all come."
Please do not hesitate to contact me if
I can be of assistance. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for later messages on a variety of topics, including "The
Twenty-First Century: So, Has Humankind Changed?"
Have a wonderful year! Students, study
and play hard. Your university and college life will leave you ever changed and
using more than the usual 10% of your brain. Think of this time in your life as
having a "light" turned on and realizing how clearly you can see.
Peace and prosperity to each one of you, and I will be talking with you soon.