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Eye on Psi Chi: Winter 2007

2005-06 Year in Review
Christopher Koch, PhD, George Fox University (OR)

Psi Chi continues to grow as an organization and in financial stability. For the fourth consecutive year, Psi Chi inducted 23,315 new student members for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. In addition, 20 new chapters were added throughout the year giving Psi Chi 1,063 chapters and a total of 513,950 members since its founding in 1929. The size of Psi Chi makes it the largest student psychological organization in the world.
Several chapters enjoyed significant growth in new members this past year. Two of the reasons offered for their growth were more active recruitment of new members and increased communication. Coincidently, new member recruitment and multiple methods of communication are frequently noted by winners of the Ruth Hubbard Cousins National Chapter Award as important activities for chapter success.
Psi Chi once again surpassed the million dollar mark for its annual income. The continued increase in membership and financial resources has allowed for the development of new programs for the organization's members.
A significant program developed during the 2005-06 year was the National Leadership Conference (NLC) which is scheduled for January 5-7, 2007, in Atlanta, GA. The purpose of the conference is to provide workshops, keynote speakers, and interactive sessions to help student officers develop leadership skills that will enable them to be effective leaders to their chapters, become involved professionally in the field of psychology, and be better equipped to become future leaders in the profession. Drs. Alan Kraut and Diane Halpern will be the distinguished speakers at the NLC.
The two newest Psi Chi grants, the Psi Chi/APA Science Directorate Internship Grant and the Psi Chi/FBI NCAVC Internship Grants, were awarded for the first time this year. Psi Chi also administered the Bandura and Newman awards for outstanding graduate student research, the Allyn & Bacon and Guilford awards for empirical undergraduate research, and the Erlbaum award for undergraduate and graduate cognitive science research. Seventy-seven regional research awards were presented to student presenters at the six regional conferences and 12 members won National Convention Research awards. Psi Chi also awarded 10 Faculty Advisor Research Grants, 3 NSF/REU Grants, 10 Summer Research Grants, 3 Thelma Hunt Research Grants, and 10 Undergraduate Research Grants. The SuperLab Research Grant was not awarded this year due to lack of adequate proposals. It is also important to note that the NSF/REU Grant was increased from $5,000 to $6,400. In regard to chapter awards, the University of Mary Washington (VA) received the Cousins National Chapter Award, Kenneth Weaver (Emporia State University; KS) received the Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award, and Kristena Kons (Weber State University; UT) received the Wilson Leadership Award for the outstanding chapter president. Twenty-two chapters earned Model Chapter Awards and the University of Albany, SUNY; Drexel University (PA), and Morningside College (VA) earned Regional Chapter Awards. Ludo Scheffer (Drexel University), Larry Sensenig (Morningside College), and Ngoc Bui (University of La Verne; CA) were presented Regional Faculty Advisor Awards. Three chapters won the Website Award and 19 chapters received Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference Grants. Despite the number of grants and awards given throughout the year, the grants and regional awards were not fully utilized to their budgeted amounts for the fiscal year. Finally, 106 chapter officers and 32 faculty advisors received Certificates of Appreciation, 9 members received Service Award Certificates, 106 members received Certificates of Recognition for Scholarly Contributions, and 166 Anniversary Certificates were sent to chapters celebrating anniversaries.
In addition to participating in Psi Chi programs, chapters were also encouraged to participate in APA's Exploring Behavior Week and the Neuroscience Society's Brain Awareness Week. Members, through their chapters, also approved amendments to the Psi Chi Constitution adding the option of mail and/or electronic ballots, inclusion of the Executive Director as part of the National Council, and modifying the procedure for amending the Constitution to include pre-approval by the National Council with a 2/3 vote before publishing the proposed amendments in Eye on Psi Chi for chapter voting.
Psi Chi organized member-related programming with a variety of symposia, speakers, paper and poster sessions, and social events at each of the regional psychological association conferences and at the annual APA and APS conventions. Distinguished speakers at the regional conferences included Debra Zellner (Montclair State University, NJ), David Myers (Hope College, MI), Katherine Ramsland (DeSales University, PA), Charles Spielberger (University of South Florida), Tom Pyszyczynski (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs), Diane Halpern (Claremont McKenna College, CA), and Richard Petty (Ohio State University). Daniel Schacter (Harvard University, MA) presented the Lewis Lecture at APA and Martha Farah (University of Pennsylvania) presented the invited address at APS.
Psi Chi depends upon individuals dedicated to its purpose of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining "excellence in the scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology and to advance the science of psychology." As a result, Psi Chi developed the distinguished member status to honor those who have had a significant impact on psychology and Psi Chi members. This year, Psi Chi awarded Distinguished Member status to Drs. Guillermo Bernal, John Cacioppo, Robert Cialdini, Daniel Schacter, and Michael Wertheimer for their significant contributions to the field of psychology, their commitment to student development, and their long-term support and advancement of Psi Chi's purpose and mission.
Psi Chi also depends upon the quality leadership provided by its elected officers and National Office staff. Leadership for the 2005-06 year was provided by Vice-Presidents Vincent Prohaska (Lehman College, CUNY), Michael Newlin (University of Central Florida at Cocoa), Scott VanderStoep (Hope College, MI), Richard Kasschau (University of Houston, TX), Melanie Domenech Rodriguez (Utah State University), and Deana Julka (University of Portland, OR) as members of the National Council and led by President Robert Youth (Dowling College, NY), President-Elect John Davis (Texas State University - San Marcos), Past-President Chris Koch (George Fox University), Executive Director Virginia Andreoli Mathie, and Executive Officer Paula Miller as members of the Executive Committee. Vincent Prohaska was elected as President-Elect for the following year along with Vice-Presidents Susan Whitbourne (University of Massachusetts Amherst) in the Eastern region and Betsy Morgan (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse) in the Midwestern region. Michael Newlin and Richard Kasschau were re-elected to a second term in the Southeastern and Southwestern regions respectively. The National Office staff of Amie Austin Hearn (Director of Membership), Scott Gast (Information Systems Manager), Susan Iles (Director of Publications), and Melissa Strickland (Director of Finance/Awards) also made significant contributions to the success of the organization throughout the year.
Unfortunately, Paula Miller (Executive Officer) resigned from her position at the end of the year. Ms. Miller has worked at Psi Chi with increasing levels of responsibility for 13 years. During that time, she has exhibited outstanding leadership which has contributed to Psi Chi's continued growth. Her loyal and dedicated service to Psi Chi has made her a tremendous asset to the organization. She will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege of working with her.

Chris Koch, PhD, received a BS in psychology with honors from Pennsylvania State University, a MS in experimental psychology, and a PhD in cognitive-experimental from the University of Georgia. He is currently in his 12th year at George Fox University (OR) where he has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology, Director of External Scholarship, and headed University Assessment. During that time, he has also promoted research in psychology by planning a biannual undergraduate research conference, editing the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Psychology, and working with youth organizations and local high school classes on psychologically-based research projects. He has served as a councilor for the Psychology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research and the President and Western Region Vice-President of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. He has held a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities at the University of Virginia, was a Fulbright Scholar to Russia, and is a fellow of the Western Psychological Association. His primary research interests focus on the interaction between attention and cognitive and perceptual processes.

Copyright 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 2) by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology


Eye on Psi Chi is a magazine designed to keep members and alumni up-to-date with all the latest information about Psi Chi’s programs, awards, and chapter activities. It features informative articles about careers, graduate school admission, chapter ideas, personal development, the various fields of psychology, and important issues related to our discipline.

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