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Twelve Strategies to Increase Participation in Your Chapter

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Looking to boost the number of students who join and participate with your chapter? Here are twelve ideas that officers and advisors can implement to get new members more involved and excited about your chapter.

1. Increase Your Chapter Communications

More often than not, the reason members become inactive is because they simply don’t know when or where upcoming chapter events will take place. Sometimes they don’t even know who to ask. To correct this, try sending out e-mails, posting information on a highly visible bulletin board in your psychology department, or creating a social media page(s). Remember: no single form of communication will work for everyone. Consider sending out your message in as many ways as possible.

You can also take advantage of technology advancements. For instance, consider hosting a live Facebook video for any students who are off campus and unable to attend your meetings. You could also upload a video of meetings to YouTube or have someone at the meetings (e.g., your chapter secretary) post a brief “meeting minutes” to social media. For online institutions, check out the Eye on Psi Chi magazine article, “Learn From Kaplan University’s Online Chapter Success.”

2. Create a Points System

One creative way to encourage participation is to establish a unique points system. For example, every time a member attends a meeting or event, they get a point (which will be tracked by the chapter’s president or secretary). Once members have attended three, five, or however many times that you would like, then they will be eligible for a special “elite membership category,” which can be recognized on your campus.

(Important: If you decide to create a points system, please keep the following in mind: Psi Chi chapters may not impose any type of service activity as a condition for eligibility to join—membership eligibility must be based on academic performance only. And of course, hazing is strictly prohibited.)

Want to create additional interest in your chapter’s points system? You could also offer a special gift to those attend your chapter meetings and events a set number of times. For example, consider purchasing a bundle of graduation regalia, which your elite members could then borrow during their senior graduation ceremonies! Speaking of rewards, that brings us to our next suggestion . . .

3. Offer Prizes and Raffles

Give away the occasional free raffle item, like some of these awesome Psi Chi T-shirts or maybe Psi Chi gift cards so that the winner can choose the perfect reward. Here are some other ideas:

  • Get your advisor to agree to conduct an in-depth review of a student’s paper or resumé of their choice. Then, raffle off this attractive opportunity, which won’t cost you or your chapter a dime!
  • Advertise that you will donate a few dollars to an organization or cause of your choice for each person who shows up at a particular meeting or event. (You were probably already planning to donate to a cause anyway, am I right?!)
  • If you’re hosting a graduate school workshop, consider purchasing copies of Psi Chi’s Graduate School eBook for attendees.

4. Feed the Troops!

Sometimes, just the briefest mention of refreshments is all it will take to fill a room for your upcoming events. Plus, if your food smells really good (e.g., pizza or hot brownies), you’ll probably also draw in nearby psychology students who just happened to be in the area!

5. Provide Course Extra Credit

Many professors provide a list to their students each semester containing possible activities that count for extra credit. Why not ask your professors to add Psi Chi events to these lists? Or perhaps your professors would provide extra credit to students who support your chapter in some other way!

6. Create Engaging Content for Your Meetings

Promoting interesting talks is a great way to pull in new and returning members. For example, invite a guest speaker such as a professor at your campus or a Psi Chi alumnus who could give helpful career advice. No topic is off limits; consider programming about fascinating fields of psychology, career support, or graduate school advice. View Digest 275 for some popular topic ideas for your meetings.

Members also like to conduct regular community service projects at meetings such a making cards for military personnel who are overseas. When getting to know your members, it is sometimes fun to have movie nights or go out to eat as a group too!

7. Show Everyone the Value in Participating

Students sometimes do not know what they’re missing at your chapter events. They might even think that applicable membership benefits end as soon as they add Psi Chi to the resumés. It is your mission to tell them otherwise.

Psi Chi provides countless Membership Benefits such as this blog and $400,000 in annual awards and grants. But that's just where it starts! Your individual chapter also offers countless leadership, community service, education, and friendship opportunities.

Let others know that your chapter is a perfect platform for them to have fun and build meaningful relationships with others who have similar passions. To do this, try informing them about some of the activities your chapter plans to conduct this year. Your sense of excitement will likely show through, and more members are sure to participate as a result. With more members, you chapter will be able to accomplish bigger tasks (e.g., community service projects) than ever before!

8. Introduce Yourself and Others

This may seem obvious, but including others can be easily overlooked in group settings. Please always make sure to reach out to each and every new member and visitor at your chapter meetings and events. Consider asking them their opinions or encouraging them to tell everyone a little about who they are.

Students who leave meetings feeling a stronger connection with current active members are more likely to return. You can learn more about being inclusive in the recent Eye article, “Campus Protests Highlight Student Concerns: Can Your Chapter Help?”.

9. Update Newcomers About Your Chapter

Students are also less likely to put forth their ideas if they don’t feel “in the loop” about your chapter. So, let them know what projects your chapter has recently been involved in.

To do this, ask someone such as a chapter secretary to start each meeting by describing the events at the last meeting so that any new visitors feel as informed as possible. It is also helpful to keep handouts about upcoming projects or copies of your chapter’s Strategic Plan nearby to share with others.

10. Seek Out Diverse Groups

Is it possible that there are groups of eligible members who your chapter might have overlooked? See this recent blog post for a full list of eligible groups of people. The post also describes the new changes to make it easier for transfer students to join, and advice to start promoting your chapter to members who will soon be eligible is also included.

11. Institute Annual Chapter Goals

Are you unsure what cool things your chapter will accomplish this year? If so, your chapter may be at a heightened risk to accomplish little or even nothing at all. No worries. Here's how you can fix this:

At your next chapter meeting, review our Strategic Plan as a group to come up with activity ideas throughout the year that everyone can look forward to. This is a sure method to give your chapter a definite direction for the months to come. Just as important, decide then and there, who will take on any specific responsibilities to ensure that these plans become a success.

12. Give Everyone Something to Do

Most important, students who are given ways to get involved are more likely to return to future meetings. At each and every opportunity, try to give new participants at least one small task that they can each perform.

For example, maybe you could ask a first-time visitor to suggest what snack you should bring to the next meeting (they are definitely more likely to return if they know your chapter will be having their favorite snacks!). Or perhaps a new member might be interested in leading a five-minute discussion at the next meeting about a psychology-related issue they are passionate about. Involving new students could even be as simple as bringing a few Psi Chi flyers to each meeting so that you can ask newcomers to hang up a few across campus on their way back to their dorm rooms after the meeting.

Related Articles

Note. This post was updated 11/20/2019 in order to add sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10, and make other minor modifications. The previous title of this post was “Modern Enthusiasm: Getting Students Excited About Your Chapter.” The changes above were inspired by feedback provided in the “Leadership in Community: Ideas for Strengthening Your Chapter From the 2009 National Leadership Conference” article published in the spring 2009 issue of Eye on Psi Chi.

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Scientists Center Student Training at SIPS

Posted By Jordan Wagge, PhD, Avila University (MO), Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) is a very new professional organization, having first met in 2016 at the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, VA. I attended the 2019 meeting (the fourth annual) this past June in Rotterdam, Netherlands (along with over 450 other people, which represents a huge increase in participation in just three years).

Aside from representing Psi Chi, what I hoped to achieve at this conference was to develop new partnerships, procedures, and materials for the Collaborative Replications and Education Project. What I happily found was that teaching and training were central to the conference, something that should not have surprised me so much: the first bullet-pointed objective in SIPS’ mission statement, after all, is “Improving the training and research practices of psychological scientists.” They aren’t just talking about training opportunities for established researchers. They’re also talking about students—undergraduate, graduate, community college, prestigious college… students going on to PhD or not, research assistants, students in research methods and statistics, students in Intro Psych, first-generation students, students who work full-time, and the entire gamut of the other things that define the modern student across continents.

For some context, one of the first things you should know about SIPS is that it’s not a normal conference (although I now believe that this is how conferences should be run). There are three types of sessions—unconferences, hackathons, and workshops—which represent the evolution of project planning stages. The purpose of unconferences is to get a group of people together to identify problems and brainstorm solutions, while hackathons get groups of people together in a room to actually start working on and implementing solutions. Workshops represent more of a final stage in a project and are meant to disseminate information that could be helpful to researchers interested in that topic. I’ve linked some examples here for further exploration, but these are not comprehensive. I recommend looking at the full 2019 schedule not only to get a feel for the conference themes but also to be directed to resources that you’re likely to have an interest in if you’ve read this far.

The second thing you should know is that programming can be proposed and scheduled “on the fly,” which means that you can get to the conference, get ideas, and start working on them immediately. I’m someone who gets really excited about things I’ve heard in conference sessions and loses that momentum pretty much immediately after getting home, but SIPS has taken steps to actively work against this momentum loss by capturing the energy of scholars while they are present and inspired. A big plus here is that all people who are present can participate; instead of ideas getting floated in “social hours” and back-channel meetings that you have to be in-the-know to attend, they are out there on the schedule for all to see and attend. Instead of ideas leaving the conference and being followed up on by a handful of established researchers who know each other, early-career folks and students get to be “in the room where it happens.” This doesn’t mean back-channel meetings don’t happen, but SIPS is purposeful about bringing everyone along for the ride whenever possible.

Some extraordinary things have come from SIPS conferences, such as StudySwap, PsyArxiv, and The Psychological Science Accelerator. These are important innovations in the improving-psych community, but I had been more familiar with some of the teaching resources, such as the modular course materials for research methods courses that were created during a 2017 hackathon (and that I’ve been using since several weeks after the 2017 conference). I’m not sure if the hackathon responsible for these materials was on the original 2017 schedule or created on-the-fly, but either way, I don’t think anything like this has come from any conference I have ever attended. It’s central to the SIPS conference that there are takeaways from all three types of sessions that are curated on an OSF page unique to that session, which means workshop attendees get materials, hackathon attendees get to help create materials, and unconference attendees get a place to curate materials. It’s not just attendees, either—I was not at the 2017 session linked above, but I still get to benefit from their work… which means my students also benefit.

The student experience itself was centered in many ways at SIPS. I personally attended several sessions on research methods, statistics, and open science training, and was also able to create a session on-the-fly to help get feedback on my own project. Leaders and participants from hackathons cross-participated and found obvious ways to collaborate. The entire spirit of the conference was one of forward-thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving, and I can’t think of anything more helpful to someone planning their courses.

If you are reading this as a student, you may be thinking “great, but what do students get directly?” and my answer is this: Come to SIPS to be treated like a colleague. What I experienced was that students who attended were addressed as equals and active participants in improving the science, which is what I suppose makes this group special. If we’re talking about improving the science, after all, then we are talking about future researchers… and if the people you want to support aren’t at the table—not the kiddie table, but the real table—you won’t achieve that. One of my core beliefs about teaching is that students are active scholars who can contribute meaningfully to their field, and I have found this mirrored in SIPS.

Tags:  Conducting Research 

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Making the Most of Your Chapter Advisor

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, September 16, 2019

Local chapter faculty advisors are the backbone of our Professional Organization. Although student officers come and go each year with their own unique ambitions and plans, your local advisor (or advisors) make sure that each student transition is successful. Advisors provide invaluable guidance to student officers. They serve as a meaningful connection between students and other faculty. And they help students obtain unique and hands-on educational experiences outside of the classroom. Of Psi Chi’s 1150+ chapters, I think it is safe to say that almost every single good chapter has a great advisor!

And yet, did you know that your advisor faces many challenges with regard to leading your chapter? Fortunately, as a student officer or member, there are ways that you can help to increase your local advisor’s support and communication with your chapter. This article addresses possible challenges that your advisor may be facing, as well as five specific steps that you can take to increase their support of you and your chapter.

1. Time Takes All

In a 2018 survey taken by 37 advisors, 43% identified “time” as a major challenge for their chapters, and an additional 46% identified it as a moderate challenge. This was the top challenge identified, which really isn’t too big of a surprise. As you can see in this recent magazine article, teaching is only the “tip of the iceberg” of responsibilities that faculty members possess. They also often chair honors theses, supervise student conference presentations, write educational articles and books, write letters of recommendation, and so much more! Fortunately, there are many ways that you and your chapter could help to alleviate your advisor’s time.

First of all, you could always offer to help your advisor with her other priorities. For example, perhaps your chapter members could get together to assist in data collection for one of your advisor’s research projects. This will give student members useful experience that they can put on their CVs, plus it will also help your advisor see how managing your chapter can be rewarding for her too, not just a distraction from her other duties.

Second, some chapters also create specific officer roles designed to reduce advisor responsibilities. For example, if your advisor spends a lot of time organizing an induction ceremony each fall, then perhaps your chapter could establish an Induction Officer position. A Membership Coordinator, Elections Cooredinator, or Social Media Voice could each also be useful student positions to support your advisor.

2. A Little Inspiration Goes a Long Way

Sometimes, an inactive group of officers or student members during a previous academic year might have caused an advisor to think that her efforts were not appreciated or useful. In fact, in the same survey mentioned above, 35% of advisors identified “motivating officers” to be a major challenge and 43% identified it as a moderate challenge. This was the second-highest challenge identified.

One thing you can do to correct this is to simply visit your advisor and let her know that you appreciate her support of your chapter. Perhaps you could even take this a step further by surprising your advisor with a small award or gift recognizing her good deeds for Psi Chi.

Another way to inspire your advisor is to lead by example. So if you would like to see your chapter become more active or tackle a specific project, then offer to help “get the ball rolling” instead of simply requesting for your advisor to do all of the heavy lifting. For example:

3. Ask If You Can Host a Meeting

If your chapter doesn’t already host regular meetings, then ask the advisor if you could put up some flyers in order to promote a meeting. Attendance at this meeting will help you to quickly gauge interest in having future chapter activities and establishing student leadership positions. It is possible that your advisor will also be able to tell you of other specific communication strategies (e.g., an available email list) that you could use too; be sure to ask about this too!

If your chapter already has officers, then you will want to check with them too and seek their support if possible. Or, if your chapter doesn’t have any officers, then that’s definitely something you should discuss at your upcoming meeting. Your advisor will know who the current officers are and how to best reach them.

By the way, to identify your advisor, visit Psi Chi’s Chapter Directory Search, select your chapter, and then choose “Staff.” Often, any current officers will be listed here too.

4. Other Faculty Can Help

Faculty advisors sometimes feel a little isolated and indicate that they don’t have enough support by other faculty and their psychology department. In the recent advisor survey, 22% indicated that motivating other advisors was a moderate challenge, 5% indicated that department support was a major challenge, and 19% indicated that it was a moderate challenge.

So, another way to support your primary faculty advisor is to involve other faculty and gain your department’s favorable opinion of your chapter. For instance, invite various faculty members to present about their personal research interests or their graduate programs at your upcoming meetings. Here’s a full article on obtaining Departmental Support for Your Chapter. Enjoy!

In time, one of these faculty members might even be willing to become a coadvisor for your chapter—you should ask them! Many chapters have a coadvisor or two, each of whom will take on certain duties related to running your chapter. Having a coadvisor is obviously incredibly helpful for alleviating your primary faculty advisor’s workload. And also, advisors often have fun collaborating with one another, which results in increased engagement by both individuals (for example, see this magazine article about coadvising). Having a coadvisor also ensures a smooth transition when the primary advisor eventually steps down.

5. Let Them Know You Want Their Feedback

Because Psi Chi chapters are primarily led by students, some advisors may be intentionally “staying out of the way” so that students can gain leadership skills and so forth. Indeed, there is a sort of art to facilitating student leadership without actually running student leadership. An entire magazine article about this is available, appropriately titled, “Student Advising: A Compromise Between Homer Simpson and Josef Stalin."

Therefore, if your advisor has been kind of “hands off” with regard to leading your chapter, then perhaps she is simply attempting to give you adequate space to make your own decisions and grow as a leader. However, every student is at a unique stage in life and has unique skills, so if you have questions, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your advisor for additional support. In almost all cases, your advisor will be more than happy to support you on your journey.

In conclusion, there is great value in supporting and nourishing a professional relationship with your chapter advisor. Your advisor is a key source for maintaining your chapter and pointing officers in the right direction each year. Together, there is little that your chapter members and advisor cannot accomplish.

Related Articles

Note. This article was inspired by feedback provided in the “Leadership in Community: Ideas for Strengthening Your Chapter From the 2009 National Leadership Conference” article published in the spring 2009 issue of Eye on Psi Chi.

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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10 Notable Psi Chi Benefits of the Past 10 Years

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How are you celebrating Psi Chi’s 90th Anniversary year and the start of a whole new decade? Today, I wanted to share 10 noteworthy benefits and programs released during the past 10 years. As you’ll see below, I listed the items by date, starting with the most recent.

1. New Webinar Series Begins

In spring 2019, Psi Chi began recording and releasing live webinar training videos. The purpose of these videos is to support students, faculty, and alumni in various relevant areas such as conducting research, diversity, careers, and graduate school. The webinars are followed by useful Q&A sessions with the presentation speakers. For a full list of available recordings, visit

2. NICE Connect and Crowd Research Projects Start Accepting Contributors

Psi Chi’s Network for International Collaborative Exchange (NICE) launched in winter 2018 in order to create new cross-cultural research opportunities for members and nonmembers. One component of the program (NICE: Connect) shares a list of research projects currently seeking collaborators. The other component (NICE: Crowd) is an organized program for researchers around the world to join together in order to investigate a specified research question. Each year, a particular Crowd project will be selected by the NICE Committee, and then participating researchers will be guided through the process of IRB approval and collecting data at their local institutions. NICE: Crowd is hosted on the Open Science Framework website. For those interested, publication opportunities using the full dataset will follow. Visit

3. First Psi Chi Blog Articles Released

Members were first invited to submit and subscribe to Psi-Chi-ology Lab in February 2017. Since then, more than seventy 500- to 1,000-word articles have been published, just like the one you're reading now! Topics range from popular areas of psychology to personal stories and chapter advice. Cue that mad science music! When you think Psi-Chi-ology Lab, think FUN! Visit

4. Career Center Launched

Launched in summer 2016, Psi Chi’s Career Center is completely free to all job seekers. At all times, this unique platform regularly features more than 1,000 active psychology-related job openings across the United States and in other countries. In the 2018–19 year alone, specific jobs were viewed more than 700,000 times and clicked on more than 50,000 times. Members are encouraged to set up a free job alert so that they will be notified about any relevant jobs in the geographic areas of their choosing. Members and nonmembers are invited to post jobs for a fee. Visit

5. First Scholarships Awarded

In addition to $400,000 in annual awards and grants, Psi Chi proudly provided its first four undergraduate scholarships in summer 2015. Due to high demand for this program, graduate-level scholarships were added only two years later. Further, the program has repeatedly expanded to a total of eight $3,000 scholarships for undergraduates and eight $3,000 graduate scholarships awarded in 2018. Our goal is to be able to provide 100 scholarships by Psi Chi’s 100th anniversary in 2029! Visit

6. Membership Assistance Fund Approved

In fall 2014, Psi Chi’s Board of Directors approved the new Membership Assistance Fund program, which grants up to 100 lifetime membership fee waivers to students who show financial need. Starting in that year, advisors were invited to submit one or two students’ names per chapter (while funds last each year) in order to waive those students’ membership fees. As awareness of this program rapidly grew, the program awarded 37 free memberships in 2015, 46 in 2016, 84 in 2017, and then all 100 in both 2018 and 2019. To learn more, visit

7. Post a Study Tool Made Available

In summer 2014, Psi Chi introduced a special tool where members can post a link to any studies that are currently seeking online participants. Psi Chi regularly promotes this unique opportunity and encourages other members to participate in the listed studies as a way to help advance the science of psychology. This tool, and additional resources to conduct research, can be found at

8. Psi Chi Journal Becomes Open Source

Since 2013, Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research has undergone a number of significant changes including opening submissions to all members (not just undergraduate students) and awarding Open Science badges in order to promote transparent, replicable research practices. To increase dissemination of our members’ research, all articles are now available online for free, indexed in the popular EBSCO and PsycINFO databases, and receive a hyperlinked, permanent DOI number. Visit

9. Psi Chi Joins the Social Media Network

In 2011, Psi Chi joined the social network. Join us and our 23,000+ followers on Facebook ( We also have 5,000+ followers on Twitter ( and 10,000+ people in our members-only LinkedIn group ( More recently, the Central Office began posting on Instagram ( in October 2017. Social media has proven to be an effective way to keep members regularly connected with our Professional Organization and to give them an opportunity to voice their thoughts.

10. Eye on Psi Chi Magazine Goes Digital

Psi Chi’s magazine publishes a broad range of career, graduate school, chapter growth, diversity, and other articles relevant to you. In fall 2010, the Central Office began sending out table-of-contents email notifications to all members when new issues were released. To make articles more accessible to people across the field of psychology—not just Psi Chi members—issues are now freely available in web, PDF, and digital formats. Copies of a special 16-page print edition are also mailed to Psi Chi chapters each spring. Visit

Of course, many programs and benefits aren’t included in this short article. The ones chosen above were simply the first 10 that came to my mind; I am sure that you could probably name plenty others that are similarly near and dear to you! To learn more about other Psi Chi membership benefits, visit

Last but not least, all of us at the Psi Chi Central Office are excited to continue maintaining Psi Chi’s many benefits that help to make our society special. We also look forward to establishing entirely new benefits in order to better support our members! If you are interested in supporting current and future Psi Chi programs, please take a moment to make a donation at Thank you very much for your support!

Tags:  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi Chapter Challenge: A Letter from Aisha Linnea Udochi

Posted By Aisha Linnea Udochi, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Dear Members of Psi Chi,

A challenge is defined as “something needing great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully, or the situation of facing this kind of effort” (Cambridge Dictionary, n.d.). Although we often see this word and instinctually assign it a negative connotation, without the challenges we’ve faced, we would not be the people we are today. We would not appreciate the things we have worked hard for, and we would not have the skills we developed through these challenges that allow us to continue to succeed.

The great thing about living in a social world is that we don’t have to face these challenges alone. Often, if you look around to the people, institutions, and organizations closest to you, you’ll find that they have helped you get through the hard times—be they social, financial, or emotional challenges. These people and entities are the ones deserving of your time and appreciation.

For me, Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, has not only been there to support me through my own challenges, but has also continued to assist me throughout my successes. Growing up in Arkansas, my access to psychology-affiliated events was limited due to location. Needless to say, with renowned and regional conferences cycling through locations in states such as Texas and New Mexico, travel to these areas became an expensive venture. Having recently graduated, I also no longer had access to the same financial resources afforded to me as a student. Thanks to the travel grants Psi Chi offered, however, I was able to defray some of the cost so that I was able to present my research at a conference, network with people in my field of interest, and build both my breadth of experience within a professional setting and my CV for the eventual graduate school applications.

But Psi Chi’s contribution to my undergraduate success did not stop there. My chapter of Psi Chi at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) also allowed me to meet some of the greatest people and aspiring psychologists that I could have hoped for. As officers, we were able to meet and organize biweekly events to engage our Psychology Department in both fun and educational activities that not only benefitted our organization, but also every student in our department. At UCA, Psi Chi was not an organization that only sought to support honors students—we aimed for our events to enrich the experience for all students who showed interest in pursuing a future in psychology. I feel honored to have gotten to be part of the leadership of such a great organization and even more blessed because of who I met through working with Psi Chi.

It is for these very reasons that I decided to participate in the Psi Chi Chapter Challenge this past spring. Having felt both social and financial support from Psi Chi, I found this Challenge a great venue for paying them back in kind. What better way to show my gratitude than to help raise money for an organization that invested in my future? Increasingly motivating to me was knowing where this money was going. Psi Chi was very clear that the money earned from the Chapter Challenge would be put toward awards, grants, and scholarships, and that a portion of each members’ contribution would go back to our local chapter. As I previously mentioned, I benefitted a great deal from the grants Psi Chi offered, thus I felt this challenge was a great way to literally pay them back for the money they gave me. Further, knowing that I would be leaving my local chapter to pursue my graduate career, the Chapter Challenge also gave me a way to pay back the great experience the UCA chapter of Psi Chi provided me during my undergraduate career.


Each year, Psi Chi conducts the Chapter Challenge. Listen to the Chapter Challenge Spring 2019 Top Fundraiser Aisha Linnea Udochi share her experience.

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I am thoroughly excited today to encourage every Psi Chi member and chapter to participate in this upcoming Psi Chi Chapter Challenge. This semester, Psi Chi will also be partnering with the Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation to encourage each chapter to fundraise while spreading kindness within their communities. I believe that this addition to the Chapter Challenge is a great way to motivate members to actively involve themselves in the change they want to make in this world, enrich the lives of others within their communities, and still tangibly benefit from the experience (e.g., resumé builder, volunteer experience).

If you are hearing or reading this, you have probably already benefited from Psi Chi without knowing it. There are resources Psi Chi wants you to take advantage of, and whether you are a graduate student, undergraduate student, Psi Chi officer, or Psi Chi member, I want you to have the same positive experience I have had with Psi Chi. I hope that you make good use of the benefits Psi Chi offers. And, in the spirit of kindness, I hope that you will want to pay them back. Please consider participating in the Psi Chi Chapter Challenge to do this, as well as becoming more involved in your local chapter.

Thank you very much for your time.

Aisha Linnea Udochi
Doctoral Student
Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
(501) 242-2279

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi Partners With Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation: Give Back to Get Back

Posted By Cynthia Wilson, Psi Chi Director of Membership & Development, Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In an effort to make the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge both fulfilling and experiential, Psi Chi has partnered with the Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation (BTWF). Together, we are proud to bring you our own special Psi Chi version of BTWF's Be Kind 21-Day Challenge, which takes place from September 1–21.

As an incentive to take this challenge, Lady Gaga has generously agreed to award one participant with a pair of tickets to an upcoming Lady Gaga show! Be sure to sign up in advance and read the details carefully to ensure that you are eligible. Feel free to invite a friend to participate in this challenge with you too!

Some Background Information

BTWF is led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. According to their mission statement: BTWF is committed to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, BTWF leverages evidence-based programming and authentic partnerships in order to work with young people to build kinder communities and improve mental health resources.

The Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge is a fundraising campaign in which we ask chapters to fundraise as a team to support Psi Chi member programs for ALL members. Although the virtual fundraising component of the Chapter Challenge is critical to the sustainability of our Society, we wanted to bring a real-world element to it to make your participation in the Chapter Challenge a rewarding one.

Spreading Kindness

Based upon the concept that it takes 21 days to develop a good habit, Psi Chi and BTWF are working together to spread kindness. We encourage Psi Chi members to join us in these efforts by taking the #BeKind21 Challenge starting on September 1.

Further, we hope that you will document what your chapter does as part of this challenge: do you provide mentoring to younger students, do you collect cans for your local food bank, or do you provide resources to support mental health issues on your campus?

As you will have documented your efforts in the #BeKind21 Challenge, we then ask you to use these pictures and/or videos in your appeals that you send out to seek donations for the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge beginning November 1. This evidence of service in your chapter will inspire others to support Psi Chi with a financial gift.


Each year, Psi Chi conducts the Chapter Challenge. Listen to the Chapter Challenge Spring 2019 Top Fundraiser Aisha Linnea Udochi share her experience.

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Our Challenge to You

For information on how you can take part in the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge, visit It’s an easy, friendly competition, and through your participation in this fundraising campaign, you can also spread kindness. We encourage you to take both the #BeKind21 Challenge and the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge this fall. Plus, this year, participation in the Chapter Challenge will make your Model Chapter Award application even stronger.

You got into psychology to help others. Promote prosocial behavior and volunteer to take part in these two, exciting challenges this fall. By giving back you can get back so much in return.


Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Chapter Leaders, Do Your Student Members Really Know You?

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, July 29, 2019

In a recent Psi Chi survey taken by 466 student members, a whopping 36% of them did not know who their chapter officers were or how to contact them. Further, 22% could not identify their primary faculty advisor or how to contact that person either.

I am sure that you will agree with me on the following: All members should know who to contact at their chapter if they have questions, suggestions, or would like to offer their services for chapter activities.

I have often heard chapter leaders wish that they could gain more participation in their Psi Chi events. In fact, to help with this, we've recently released many articles about increasing chapter engagement such as Strategies to Increase Awareness of Your Chapter and Getting Students Excited About Your Chapter. And so, I was naturally a little surprised to learn from the same survey mentioned above that 31% of students also indicated that they are not given enough opportunities to participate and lead at their chapter.

Could increasing knowledge of who your officers are and how to contact them result in the increased chapter participation and support that many officers and advisors seek? There’s one way to find out.

Today, I would like to encourage you chapter to think about some ways introduce your chapter leaders to others at your school and in your community. As it turns out, these efforts to be more connectable are not only extremely important—they are also fun. For example, last year, the Help University Chapter in Malaysia posted some really creative and professional looking officer snapshots in order to introduce members to their new team. Take a look:

And also, here’s an example of a snapshot of one of the Help chapter’s individual officers. You can view all of the others snapshots HERE.

Strategies to Recognize Your Chapter Leaders

So, what are some ways to promote your local leaders? For starters, feature your officers on social media like the examples above created by the Help University Chapter. Next, consider hosting a special Meet-And-Greet event where everyone gets to tell a little about themselves and what they’d like to accomplish with Psi Chi during the school year ahead. To increase attendance, consider letting people know that snacks will be available during this casual event.

Chapter leaders, it is also helpful to introduce yourselves at the beginning of each meeting throughout the academic year. Any new attendees will appreciate learning who you are, and some returning members may appreciate the brief reminder too. Further, you might also ask your officers to identify themselves and their role in Psi Chi during their various classes in order to reach a wider range of people.

To make your contact information more permanently available, you could also feature your officers and their e-mails on a Psi Chi bulletin board located somewhere easily seen in your psychology department. Officers’ names and contact info is useful information to include on your chapter website or blog too (of course, do get your chapter leaders' permission BEFORE sharing their personal info).

Last but not least, definitely remember to feature your faculty advisor and any coadvisors too. Your advisor is the only representative of your chapter who can remain in office for many years in a row, thus building stability and increased knowledge for your chapter and its relationships with other faculty in your psychology department. Better establishing your advisor’s role can benefit your chapter for years to come.

Final Thoughts

Officers sometimes overlook—or are a little shy about—spotlighting themselves. But don’t be. Never hesitate to “shout it out to the rooftops” that you are a Psi Chi officer. Doing so will show your pride in being a part of a Professional Organization, and it will make your chapter more approachable for other students (and faculty) interested in becoming involved. Further, Psi Chi’s mission is recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology, so recognizing your chapter leaders aligns perfectly with the greater mission of Psi Chi.

I hope that this post has given you some quick ideas that would be easy to implement at your chapter. And now, I want to end off by sharing some good news. According to the survey I mentioned above, 94% of the students who do know their officers indicated that their officers are both friendly and knowledgeable. I am sure that they are absolutely right. Our officers are the best!

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Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Welcome New Chapters: 2018–19

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 1, 2019

Psi Chi welcomed 21,000+ new members during the 2018–19 academic year. Further, 12 brand-new chapters were approved by Psi Chi’s Board of Directors since last July, including two chapters that are located outside of the United States. As Psi Chi’s nears its 90th anniversary in September, the total number of chapters is now up to 1,150+.

Below is a map indicating each new chapter. If you are located nearby to any of these chapters (or if you know colleagues located at these chapters), please take a moment to welcome them to our Professional Organization. You can identify each chapter's advisor by visiting our Chapter Directory Search tool. We are always appreciative of those who help to continuously strengthen our network across the field of psychology.

New Chapters Approved

Chapters Approved in 2018–19

  • *Barton College (NC), SE Region
  • *Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott (AZ), RM Region
  • Lincoln University of Missouri, MW Region
  • New England College (NH), E Region
  • Ottawa University (AZ), RM Region
  • Pillar College (NJ), E Region
  • Richmond University (United Kingdom), SE Region
  • Salem College (NC), SE Region
  • University of New Brunswick (Canada), MW Region
  • **University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, SW Region
  • Washington State University, Global Campus, W Region
  • *William James College (MA), E Region

We are also pleased to welcome these three chapters, which were previously approved in 2017–18 and later installed in the 2018–19 academic year:

  • ***Holy Cross College
  • ***Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • ***Viterbo University

More Good News

During the past year, Psi Chi has made advancements in many areas. For example, we conducted the #HelpHelpedMe Initiative, which sought to make others more comfortable seeking help whenever they might need it. A record number of awards and grants were bestowed to deserving students and faculty. And the first-ever guided Psi Chi Crowd collaborative research project was launched and has now become a huge success; more than 4,000 data points were collected across the United States and numerous other countries.

To learn much more about Psi Chi’s latest accomplishments, download a free PDF copy of our 2018–19 Psi Chi Annual Report. We are deeply grateful for all the many supporters of Psi Chi. Thank you for choosing to use Psi Chi as a platform to recognize your exceptional students and faculty in psychology. Pictured below are inductees at the new Washington State University, Global Campus Chapter's installation ceremony. Welcome to Psi Chi!

Looking Forward

Staff at the Central Office are constantly in communication with individuals interested in starting new chapters at their local campuses. In fact, we noticed someone express an interest in having a Psi Chi chapter just a couple days ago on our LinkedIn company page.

Reader, do you have connections at a school that doesn’t have a Psi Chi chapter? Please share our Membership Benefits page with them so that they can learn about Psi Chi. To start a new chapter, visit HERE.

We are eager to begin yet another successful academic year. Here are some specific resources to help officers, faculty, students, and alumni make the most of the months ahead.

* Denotes chapters that have been Board approved but not yet installed.
** Denotes chapters that were reopened after previously closing.
*** Denotes chapters that were previously Board approved in the 2017–18 year and later installed during the 2018–19 year.

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Ideas to Increase Departmental Support for You and Your Chapter

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 1, 2019

If your psychology department’s happy, everybody’s happy.

Your department has the ability to support you and your Psi Chi chapter in all sorts of ways. For example, they can fund chapter endeavors such as trips to regional conventions. They can encourage membership and participation in your chapter. They can give you free promotional space in any local newsletters or other publications. They can ask professors to provide extra credit to students who attend public Psi Chi events. And they can even “free up” advisors’ time so that officers can focus more on growing and nurturing your chapter.

So, does your chapter actively receive the tools and encouragement that it needs from your department? If not, then perhaps the leaders of your psychology department simply aren’t aware of the many ways that your chapter can, in return, support them and their educational missions. Here are seven easy ideas to impress the faculty on your campus and gain the support that you and your chapter members deserve.

1. Connect Students With Research Labs

Students often have absolutely no clue which research opportunities are available and are even less clear on who exactly they should ask. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware of the value of research experience—all of this creates a perfect opportunity for your chapter to really shine. Each semester, why not reach out to all professors in order to collect a list of upcoming student research assistant opportunities. Make sure to gather a little information about what each student research opportunity would involve (e.g., approximate start date, expected hours, responsibilities, skills required, contact information). Then, you can present these opportunities at a special chapter event or distribute flyers as appropriate throughout the department.

Also, for any chapter events about research opportunities, you can likely find students who would be delighted to share about their recent research experiences. This will create further interest in potential student researchers. And faculty and students alike will greatly appreciate these efforts.

2. Host Events That Promote Your College’s Graduate Programs

Many chapters regularly invite students to visit a panel or speaker session featuring representatives of their school’s various graduate school programs. Professors (and current graduate students) generally always are eager to speak, and students often appreciate the opportunity to ask specific questions. To further encourage undergraduates to pursue graduate school, you could also host a workshop about how to prepare graduate school applications.

For many undergraduates, the chance to find out exactly what is expected is too tempting to pass up! Plus, this type of event will give your graduate school professors a special, informal opportunity to see future potential students in action. As you know, colleges pay a lot of money to promote their graduate programs; doing so through Psi Chi is sure to establish real departmental appreciation and value for you and your chapter.

3. Educate Local High School Students

Schedule a day to visit local high school psychology classes, and encourage those students to consider pursuing a degree in psychology on your campus. Just imagine how pleased your department chair will be when you ask her if there is anything in particular that she would like for your members to discuss with regard to obtaining a bachelor’s degree at your psychology department. And of course, giving your student members a chance to present before a live audience is great practice for them too.

4. Bring in a Big-Name Speaker

Raise some funds with your chapter, and then offer to pay for transportation and lodging so that a big-name speaker can present at your college or university. Who knows? Maybe you could even pick a speaker who your department chair would be particularly interested in. Or, perhaps your department has a particular theme or area that many professors are interested in, which you could strategically support through an invited speaker.

5. Give Out an Award at Department-Wide Gatherings

The next time that your department gets together for an end-of-year dinner or some other event, ask if you can present a particular annual award to a student or faculty member on behalf of your Psi Chi chapter. This will ensure that everyone present is aware of your chapter and one of the many ways that it serves to support your department.

By raising some funds, your chapter could even provide a trophy or a cash prize for excellence. Or, another way to support department-wide gatherings is to volunteer your chapter to bring food, procure a guest speaker, or even host the entire event.

6. Invite Faculty to Join and Participate

People of many walks of life are eligible to join Psi Chi. Last year, the Psi Chi Central Office specially focused on encouraging chapters to reach out to diverse groups of people who are sometimes overlooked during recruitment drives. Faculty members are one of these groups!

Actively ask if your faculty members if would be willing to speak at upcoming meetings or participate in community service events. Better yet, see if they’d like to join. Here are the specific requirements for faculty. Importantly, it does not matter if your faculty members were eligible to join back when they were students, nor does it matter if there was a chapter located at the schools where they previously attended. Full-time faculty with either a master's or doctoral degree are eligible!

In particular, your chapter’s induction ceremonies are a perfect time to leave an extremely positive impression on faculty. After all, what better way to introduce someone to your chapter than when smiling faces receive their membership certificates and as new officers are sworn in? Encourage all faculty to attend your ceremonies.

Also, go ahead and invite your college administration too such as the president, provost, etc. It couldn’t hurt, right? Dr. Prohaska has more on that in a recent magazine article.

7. Share Your Chapter’s Goals Each Year

Last but not least, perhaps the most obvious strategy to increase support of your chapter—which is often overlooked—is to simply reach out to your department chair each year in order to explain briefly your chapter’s goals. Specifically, let your chair know that your chapter hopes to (a) strengthen relationships between students and faculty, and (b) provide meaningful public services on behalf of your department to others in your community. It might also be a good idea to specifically ask your department chair and other professors if there are any particular ways that your chapter might be able to better support them.

Every school is unique, but it is my belief that any one the seven strategies above could make a significant difference in your future, your chapter's future, and your community's future. Also, if you happen to try out one or more of the ideas listed above, I would love to hear from you about how it went. Likewise, if you have other ideas for aligning your chapter so that it will be more supportive of your department, please don’t be a stranger. Reach out to me at

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Note. This article was inspired by feedback provided in the “Leadership in Community: Ideas for Strengthening Your Chapter From the 2009 National Leadership Conference” article published in the spring 2009 issue of Eye on Psi Chi.

Tags:  Chapter Life 

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Using Psychological Science to Improve Students' Time Management for Writing Papers

Posted By Jessica Costello, Stonehill College, Monday, June 24, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 24, 2019

Jessica Costello, Stonehill College

Personal Blog

College students are notoriously bad at giving themselves enough time to do their best.

As a psychology undergraduate, I collaborated with faculty research on how college students study. Students often report dissatisfaction with their grades, believing the hours they’ve studied should have served them better. But according to Dr. John Dunlosky, a prominent education researcher at Kent State University, students often fail to retain what they study because the learning techniques that best aid long-term memory (taking practice tests, spacing study sessions instead of cramming) take more cognitive effort and more time management than passive methods such as rereading textbook chapters and highlighting notes, so students are less likely to use the more effective study methods (Dunlosky, 2013). Additionally, students are likely to focus on whatever material is due or will be tested first, and will stop reviewing material once they feel they’ve mastered it (Kornell & Bjork, 2007).

Over two semesters, my colleagues and I surveyed a selection of Stonehill students, mostly first-year students, on their beliefs about various study methods, as well as their actual study habits. When prompted, most students could recognize which study strategies would be more effective (for example, spacing out study sessions over a few days or weeks is more effective for long-term learning than cramming the night before a test). However, when asked about how they actually studied, to continue with the same spacing-cramming dichotomy, 54% of the students in our sample reported that they studied in one session before a test. This is similar to the results of previous research in this area done at much larger universities (Hartwig & Dunlosky, 2012; Morehead, Rhodes, DeLozier, 2016).

Though most of our survey questions mainly applied to preparing for high-stakes exams rather than writing papers, my experiences as a writing consultant in Stonehill’s Center for Writing and Academic Achievement (CWAA) led me to believe that a similar cramming problem exists when students are given a writing assignment.

Consider two scenarios. First, imagine a student has a calculus exam tomorrow. She hasn’t studied much, and probably doesn’t have time to learn everything that will be covered (this may or may not be how I studied calculus in high school). So she studies topic by topic until she’s crammed “just enough” into her brain to pass the exam.

Another student’s 10-page philosophy paper is due at noon on Tuesday. By that morning, he has a draft, but he’s not so confident about how it’s organized or how his points support his thesis. This student visits the writing center, but the tutor recognizes more problems than they can conquer in 20 minutes. She considers referring the student to a professional tutor, but none are available that day, and she doesn’t want to appear unhelpful. In order to get the student’s desired result (a good grade), all the work has to be crammed into the next few hours. Had that student visited the tutor earlier, he would have more time to rework his essay.

I have been the tutor in that second scenario on multiple occasions. I wanted to help, but it was difficult to recommend strategies for revision when the student had so much to improve in such a short time. It’s even worse if the writers don’t seem engaged with what they’re arguing or what they can do to improve the presentation.

How can educators get students to view the writing process as just that—a process—with different phases?

Cognitive science might be a start. From a study that asked participants to complete both tasks of completing a sentence and fixing a grammatical error, Quinlan, Loncke, Leijten, and Van Waes (2012) concluded that, when given the option, most writers chose to work on the bigger ideas of their sentences and paragraphs first, leaving smaller issues like misplaced punctuation marks to be dealt with later. This research implies that the strongest writers revise and edit in multiple rounds, focusing on a particular concern in each, and allowing themselves time to repeat the process if the need arises.

My writing center advertised that we could help at any stage of their process—brainstorming, outlining, organizing ideas, revising, or polishing. But in my experience, most students were looking for an overall check before they submitted the paper for a grade. Telling someone he might have to rewrite his 10-page paper a handful of hours before it’s due, when he was expecting a quick review, is neither supportive nor beneficial.

When the student meets with the tutor the night before the paper’s due, it’s often too late to suggest scrapping what is already written and starting over. If faculty encouraged students to give themselves more time to incorporate outside feedback, such as a tutor’s comments, into a draft, our appointments in the writing center would probably feel more productive or purposeful. Some ideas are to encourage a staged process in class—perhaps first the students turn in a rough outline and get the instructor’s feedback, or maybe peer critique is required. Anecdotally, I have benefitted from these arrangements in both academic and creative writing.

Lauren Shapiro, a writing instructor at American College of Healthcare Sciences, suggests that each individual should set firm time limits to complete the different writing stages. Her example is if the writer has three hours to complete a paper, he or she can block out “30 minutes for prewriting; 90 minutes for drafting; 40 minutes for revision; and 20 minutes for proofreading” (Shapiro, 2011). Within this self-imposed structure, students will have less time to procrastinate or panic about not having enough time.

Each assignment, instructor, and discipline can favor some strategies for improving time management over others. But by requiring them to be more conscious of their time and processes, addressing this issue will make students stronger writers and thinkers.


Dunlosky, J. (2013). Strengthening the student toolbox: Study strategies to boost learning. American Educator, 12–21.

Hartwig M., & Dunlosky, J. (2012). Study strategies of college students: Are self-testing and scheduling related to achievement? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 19(2012), 126–134.

Kornell, N., & Bjork, R.A. (2007). The promise and perils of self-regulated study. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14, 219–224.

Morehead, K., Rhodes, M. G., & DeLozier, S. (2016). Instructor and student knowledge of study strategies. Memory, 24, 257–271.

Quinlan, T., Loncke, M., Leijten, M., & Van Waes, L. (2012). Coordinating the cognitive processes of writing: The role of the monitor. Written Communication, 29, 345–368.

Shapiro, L. (2011, 30 March). Time management strategies for student writers. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from

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