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Top tags: Psi Chi Related  Chapter Life  A Better You  Conducting Research  All Things Psych  Career Advice  Going to Grad School 

Improving Group Work in the Academic Setting: Suggestions for Professors and Students

Posted By Lydia Eckstein Jackson, PhD, Ye-Eun (Maria) Kim, and Callie Garlick, Monday, October 30, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Improving Group Work in the Academic Setting: Suggestions for Professors and Students

Lydia Eckstein Jackson, PhD*, Ye-Eun (Maria) Kim*, and Callie Garlick

Allegheny College, PA 

Groups are a fundamental part of human life: They allow us to feel belonging, divide complex tasks, and establish our social identity (Johnson et al., 2006). Yet, despite its designation as a “high-impact educational practice” (Kuh & Schneider, 2008), group work is often met with annoyance by students.

Problems of Group Work

When individual contributions are unidentified, group members may feel less evaluation apprehension, which can lead to social loafing (group members exert less effort than they would working alone; Ingham et al., 1974). These “free-riders”—people who contribute little, but benefit from the group—are an all-too-common source of frustration, especially when students are evaluated based on the group’s collective output.

Moreover, groups are susceptible to groupthink, which occurs when group members discourage dissent for the sake of group harmony (Janis, 1971). Groupthink can lead to poor group decisions that are never challenged by divergent viewpoints. When group members are wary of sharing differing thoughts, groupthink suppresses creativity and idea generation, which are greater in groups with more diverse perspectives (Nemeth & Ormiston, 2007). Moreover, groupthink is promoted by time pressure (Neck & Moorhead, 1995), which further restricts creative thinking in groups (Amabile et al., 2002).

Benefits of Group Work

Certainly, under the right conditions, multiple heads can be better than one. Group work can facilitate creativity among group members (Nijstad & Stroebe, 2006), allowing for more complex solutions (Laughlin et al., 2006). In an academic setting, groups can help students learn skills that are expected of college graduates, like negotiating different viewpoints, coordinating and addressing complex problems, and honing technological and interpersonal skills. Moreover, they prepare students for academic and nonacademic careers because the ability to work in teams has become a highly desired skill (Herk, 2015). Indeed, that science publications are cited proportionally to their number of authors serves as a testament to the power of collaboration (Wuchty et al., 2007). Clearly, effectual group work is a worthy pursuit.

Advice for Professors

1. When possible, allow students to pick group members and topics; students will be more likely to engage in the work and less susceptible to social loafing (Karau & Williams, 1993, 1997).

2. Include reflective work. Have students report their own individual contributions and those of their group members, perhaps through online peer assessment platforms such as Teammates.

3. Consider the use of team contracts that specify the group’s self-generated timeline, roles, norms, and repercussions for failing to meet agreements.

4. Have deadlines for interim drafts and progress reports to prevent rushed, last-minute work.

Advice for Students

1. Encourage group members to critically evaluate the group’s work and share positions and concerns that may differ from the consensus. Consider assigning a “devil’s advocate” for this purpose.

2. Allow time for numerous meetings so that group members have enough opportunities to share new ideas or doubts.

3. Keep group discussions impartial. Continually affirm that all positions and ideas are valuable and welcome.

4. To foster creativity, have group members work independently before gathering as a group to share ideas.

In sum, we argue that group work remains an important learning tool. By following a few simple guidelines, both students and professors can maximize the many benefits of collaborative work and minimize the problems of group work that contribute to its poor reputation.


Amabile, T. M., Mueller, J. S., Simpson, W. B., Hadley, C. N., Kramer, S. J., & Fleming, L. (2002). Time pressure and creativity in organizations: A longitudinal field study. Working Paper # 02-073, Harvard Business School.

Herk, M. (2015, June 11). The skills gap and the seven skill sets that employers want: Building the ideal new hire. In the Nation’s Interest. Retrieved from

Ingham, A. G., Levinger, G., Graves, J., & Peckham. V. (1974). The Ringelmann effect: Studies of group size and group performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 371–384.

Janis, I. L. (1971). Groupthink. Psychology Today, 5, 43–46.

Johnson, A. L., Crawford, M. T., Sherman, S. J., Rutchick, A. M. , Hamilton, D. L., Ferreira, M. B., & Petrocelli, J. V. (2006). A functional perspective on groups memberships: Differential need fulfillment in group typology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 707–719.

Karau, S. J., & Williams, K. D. (1993). Social loafing: A meta-analytic review and theoretical integration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 681–706.

Karau, S. J., & Williams, K. D. (1997). The effects of group cohesiveness on social loafing and social compensation. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1, 156–168.

Kuh, G. D., & Schneider, C. G. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Laughlin, P. R., Hatch, E. C., Silver, J. S., & Boh, L. (2006). Groups perform better than the best individuals on letters-to-numbers problems: Effects of group size. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 644–651.

Neck, C. P., & Moorhead, G. (1995). Groupthink remodeled: The importance of leadership, time pressure, and methodical decision-making procedures. Human Relations, 48, 537–557.

Nemeth, C. J., & Ormiston, M. (2007). Creative idea generation: Harmony versus stimulation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 524–535.

Nijstad, B. A., & Stroebe, W. (2006). How the group affects the mind: A cognitive model of idea generation in groups. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 186–213.

Wuchty, S., Jones, B. F., & Uzzi, B. (2007). The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science, 316, 1036–1039.

* Note: both authors contributed equally to this work. This post is based on a paper the student coauthors wrote in their Introduction to Social Psychology class.

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life 

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What Happens After Graduation? Tips to Find a Job

Posted By Ashley Garcia, Monday, October 16, 2017
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017

What Happens After Graduation?
Tips to Find a Job

Ashley Garcia, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Graduation. Whether you are a senior finishing up your last research papers (oh, what a feeling), or are a sophomore getting ready to really jump into the psych major, the word graduation gives a mix of emotions ranging from anxiety to absolute joy.

One of the most common questions that students are asked is “What are you going to do when you finish school?” Are you going to go to grad school? Or do you need a break and want to travel? Should you get experience in the field and then see if you want to go back to school?

After graduation, the possibilities are endless. However, even if you aren’t planning to find a job right away, it never hurts to have a little career-search knowledge in your back pocket, just in case. Here are five steps that can help you prepare to get a job.

1. Have a Great Resumé

Did you do any internships? Were you on a research team for a professor? These experiences will help show prospective employers that you are ready to take on the challenge of starting your career. You want to be as specific as possible. What did you do in these positions, and more importantly, how do these job skills relate to the job you are applying for? You will also want to highlight any extracurriculars, like Psi Chi membership and involvement, that you might have participated in and include any customer service work (like being a server). Check out this article for an in-depth look on how to have an awesome resumé.

2. Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter

You want to make sure that you explain why YOU are a better candidate for a particular job than someone else. Think about what makes you stand out. How did the experiences you have on your resumé prepare you for the “real world?” This is where you can go really in-depth about what you did in each internship, job, or position you held. If you had to work to pay your way through school, then talk about that! Employers want to see that you have a great work ethic.

3. Utilize the Psi Chi Career Center

As a Psi Chi member, you get access to a psychology-based Career Center where you can upload your resumé, search for jobs, and apply online. Our Career Center also allows employers to look at your amazing resumé and contact you if they think you’ll be a good fit for their organization. You can even sign up for e-mail alerts when a new job is posted. With 1,000s of new job opportunities, you’ll be able to find something that fits your career goals.

4. Prepare for an Interview

Yeah this is really a thing. You can actually prepare for what interviewers might ask you, and knowing how to present yourself can be as important as what’s on your resumé. There are different types of interview processes, common questions, and methods you can learn about. This article gives a detailed explanation of how to prepare yourself and be more confident.

5. Don't Be Scared

When you land your first full-time job, what if you don’t know what you’re doing and you mess up? That’s totally okay. You’re probably going to be a little lost at first, especially because you’ll be adjusting to a life without school, which you’ve been in since you were about 6; It’s a hard adjustment. But if you are hired, it’s because the company thinks you can handle what they will throw at you. This article will help you with the transition from student to employee.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, what questions or suggestions do you have about finding a job or life after graduation? (member login required to comment)

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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Why I Give Back: Testimonials From Psi Chi’s Board of Directors

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Why I Give Back: Testimonials
From Psi Chi’s Board of Directors

This year, ALL NINE of Psi Chi’s elected Board of Directors made a financial contribution to our Society’s first-ever Give Back to Psi Chi Annual Campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to expand Psi Chi scholarships, our Membership Assistance Fund, awards and grants, and our new presidential help-seeking behavior initiative (Need Help–Ask).

Our Board deserve our thanks each and every day. They provide countless hours of service and make financial, organizational, and procedural decisions for Psi Chi. They lead convention steering committees, compose regional e-mail letters, and even maintain regional Facebook pages to keep members “in the know” about upcoming opportunities. For today’s blog post, we asked each of them to share why they choose to Give Back to Psi Chi.

R. Eric Landrum, PhD
President, Boise State University (ID)
“Why do I give back to Psi Chi? Because in my life, I received mentoring and guidance through Psi Chi from my undergraduate days to today; because in my life, Psi Chi provided opportunities for me to develop leadership skills on local, regional, national, and international levels; because in my life, my involvement in Psi Chi has led to unparalleled access and experiences with the top minds in psychology and a chance to truly make a difference. I give back to Psi Chi because I have been given so much, and it is a debt that I will never be able to adequately repay—but I can try, in hopes that others will be able to benefit as I have my entire professional life.”

Jon Grahe, PhD
Past-President, Pacific Lutheran University (WA)
“It was only as a faculty member that I recognized the value of having students apply (and win!) research awards and grants or submit to Psi Chi Journal. The process itself is such an incredible learning experience, and when they won they really benefited. These opportunities led to students getting into graduate school, finding inspiration for their nonacademic careers, and their first publications. As Psi Chi kept benefiting my students, I started to become a good Psi Chi member and wanted to give back. When I joined the Psi Chi Board of Directors, I learned in detail how expensive these programs are to administer both in time and money. At the same time, I want to give more of these awards, grants, scholarships, publications, and service opportunities to more students in their vocational quest. Please join me in expanding Psi Chi's capacity to benefit our members.”

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez, PhD
President-Elect, Utah State University
“Psi Chi brings together a community of scholars who are lifelong learners of all ages and levels of expertise. Donating to Psi Chi helps support the next generation of leaders in psychology and models the good citizenship needed to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of our community of scholars.”

Marianne Fallon, PhD
Eastern Regional Vice-President, Central Connecticut State University
“I have witnessed the transformative power Psi Chi has on our students. I have seen students who were unsure of themselves blossom into strong leaders. I have seen students who 'were not into research' surprise themselves and then be honored with research awards for their exemplary work. I have seen students become more community-minded knowing they represent Psi Chi. And I have seen Psi Chi support students who could have never afforded going to a conference or who struggled to pay next semester’s tuition. Giving back to Psi Chi ensures that more students (and faculty!) have opportunities to grow both professionally and personally.”

Melissa T. Buelow
Midwestern Regional Vice-President, The Ohio State University–Newark
"I gave back because Psi Chi provides so many opportunities to further a career in psychology. I chose to help Psi Chi continue to offer member benefits to those in the undergraduate, graduate, and ‘beyond’ stages of their careers.”

Leslie D. Cramblet Alvarez
Rocky Mountain Regional Vice-President, Adams State University (CO)
“I felt a little silly about offering a testimonial because I didn't get involved with Psi Chi until I was a graduate student/instructor and asked to be the advisor! I missed out on all the opportunities Psi Chi had to offer when I was an undergrad but saw the impact of the organization with my undergraduate peers and was quick to accept the opportunity to be an advisor as a grad student. When I arrived at Adams State, there was no Psi Chi chapter, so I decided to spearhead pursuing a charter. Since then, we've had over 80 student and faculty members and receive travel grants almost every year, which helps our students attend our regional convention.”

Christina Sinisi, PhD
Southeastern Regional Vice-President, Charleston Southern University (SC)
“Being a Psi Chi advisor has been a highlight of my career—working with bright, enthusiastic, and servant-minded students who have been a part of my chapter over these last almost 20 years has been a priceless gift. So, of course, I will give back as I can in return for all they have given me.”

Shawn R. Charlton, PhD
Southwestern Regional Vice-President, University of Central Arkansas
“I choose to support Psi Chi because I have seen how Psi Chi's programs and activities benefit more than just the Society and its members. An active Psi Chi chapter brings an immediate connection to psychology and the professionals in the field. This connection creates the foundation on which all members of the host department—Psi Chi members or no—can build their careers.”

Elizabeth “Bethy” Campbell, PhD
Western Regional Vice-President, Whitworth University (WA)
“My connection with Psi Chi is a personal one. Beginning as a first-generation college student and extending through the many years since, Psi Chi supported me in achieving my vocational dreams by affording opportunities that were otherwise unattainable. These resources helped me navigate college, gain admission and successfully complete graduate school, and even continue to help advance my academic career. I want to give back to an organization that has given me so much, and provide students with the support they need to succeed.”

If you haven’t already done so, please consider making a donation to our Give Back to Psi Chi Campaign. Our goal is to raise $88,000 this year in honor of Psi Chi’s 88th Anniversary. Visit HERE to view our progress toward accomplishing this goal!

Tuition costs continue to rise, but together, we can make a lasting difference for hard-working psychology students, people facing a mental illness, and countless others. With your help, however great or small, $88,000 is only the beginning!

Thank you in advance for your generous gift.

Tags:  A Better You  Psi Chi Related 

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How Traveling Abroad Transformed My Religious Faith

Posted By Jada Hall, Monday, October 2, 2017
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017


How Traveling Abroad Transformed
My Religious Faith

Jada Hall, Azusa Pacific University (CA)

I found myself in the 100-degree weather of the Middle East. In the Garden of Gethsemane, I lay exhausted from the hours of walking we had been doing. I contemplated where Jesus sat when He cried out to the Father. The olive trees surrounding me offered comforting shade. The stillness of the garden cleared away the reality of war just outside the gates.

There were bomb shelters dispersed throughout the kibbutz community along the Gaza Strip. When a bomb is launched, the sirens go off, giving the residents 15 seconds to reach the fortified structures. That day, we were lucky; no one decided to launch. A student asked a woman why she stayed in this region. She responded that though she is not a soldier, she stays on the front lines to show her support for Israel. This is her family’s home.

Caption: The Garden of Gethsemane

The world is becoming increasingly “globally oriented,” as Dr. David Towson puts it in his article “Why Study Abroad? What Psychology Students Have to Gain from Study Abroad Opportunities.” Travel abroad experiences, he says, are an invaluable resource for any student looking to grow professionally and personally.

I went to Israel with the intention of learning about the ongoing conflict between them and the Palestinian Authority. Politically, the situation seemed esoteric. I wanted to increase my cultural competency, which is most effectively done by traveling abroad as Dr. Towson briefly explains. Not only did I learn the Israeli perspective of fighting for their homeland to protect the citizens and basic human rights, I also learned the Palestinian sentiment of feeling like a refugee.

Caption: Bomb shelter at a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip

In addition to this professional growth, I experienced an area of personal growth not outlined in the aforementioned article: religious development. At the time of the trip, I was a five-year-old Christian in a rut. I did not go to Israel expecting to be transformed in my faith. However, three lessons and realizations occurred.

First, I saw how the Jewish people encounter God. As I approached the ancient stones of the Temple during Shabbat, I saw my Jewish sisters completing their daven as they rocked back and forth, oblivious to anyone bumping into them. They were entranced in their communion with God. It was similar to the Christian practice of rocking side to side during worship.

Second, I realized that I had not heard from God in a seemingly long while. I desperately wanted to “hear God’s voice” as I stood on the Mount of Beatitudes or to “see God’s presence” as I swam in the fresh waters of the Sea of Galilee. Only once did I remember key biblical passages reminding me that He takes care of my every need. After all, He brought me from having no money in my childhood to a university that provided the opportunity to visit the Holy Land. Aside from this, God seemed far off compared to everyone else’s experience. He showed me it was time to grow in my faith. When I returned stateside, I learned of St. John on the Cross's concept called The Dark Night of the Soul. This is a time when God seems distant, a feeling all too many Christians will experience as a wake-up call to join  the Lord in deeper communion.

Third, my travels caused the Bible to “come alive.” In Israel, I found myself wanting to see Jesus cry in the Garden and dine with His disciples over bread and wine. I wanted to sit at His feet in the unearthed synagogue in Magdala. I suppose, being in Israel created a stronger anticipation for the millennial kingdom.

Caption: (left) Jada enjoying the scenery during a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (right) Jada getting ready to pray at the Temple’s Wailing Wall

I never dared to dream of studying abroad, but there I was in the summer of 2016, traveling to the Holy Land of my faith. TRiO, a program for first-generation college students, found an organization called Passages to make this experience possible. I can tell several stories of when my group received baptism in the Jordan river, floated in the Dead Sea, and trekked through the narrow passage of Hezekiah's tunnel. However, I will leave it up to you to experience the numerous benefits of travel abroad for yourself.

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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“But I Thought Psychology Would Be Easy!”

Posted By Kaitlyn L. Nasworthy, Monday, September 25, 2017
Updated: Monday, September 25, 2017


"But I Thought Psychology
Would Be Easy!"

Kaitlyn L. Nasworthy, Georgia Southern University

My academic career technically started at a community college, but Georgia Southern University is where I consider my true academic beginning. At Georgia Southern University, I began to learn about the research process, reading and writing peer reviewed articles, how to write in APA format, how to choose a career within the psychology field, how to create paper and poster presentations for conferences, and so on. I learned how to be a research assistant, wrote a research proposal and created my own IRB-approved research project under a mentor, and presented the project at two conferences.

Why am I telling you this? I am using a personal anecdote to point out that until I attended Georgia Southern University, I had little to no introduction on how to truly work within the field of psychology. I am neither criticizing my community college nor the professors (both were fantastic. They introduced me to psychology, memorable figures, the history of the field, and some writing. And yet, I was fairly lost during my first few weeks at Georgia Southern University, and it took me some time to adjust to scientific thinking.

I am also not the only student to be faced with this conundrum. Many of my past and present classmates and colleagues had a hard time adjusting to this, because most high schools and many community colleges only teach MLA format and very little science outside of their standard biology and chemistry courses. As a result, many students enter the psychology field thinking it will be an easy major because it is not a “true hard science” like biology or chemistry. Because of these incorrect assumptions, I have seen classmates fail within the field, or drop out altogether, because psychology was not what they were lead to believe.

If we wish to create and keep passionate scholars within psychology, earlier exposure to the research process is crucial for students. I understand that some schools, like the community college I attended, are not research facilities. Therefore, they would not have the resources to fully introduce students to psychology research. But, they can include resources for students to research on their own. Students are ultimately in charge of their education, but students need to know what they should be looking for as well.

The wonderful thing about this dilemma is that it is relatively easy to fix. All schools and professors really need to do is introduce students to APA, research design and processes, and academic reading and writing earlier, perhaps in all standard Introduction to Psychology courses nationwide. We will see students pick the field for the right reasons and develop a passion for research and writing much earlier. They will pick solid career paths and stick with them, and know exactly what steps they need to take to get there. Psychology students too often only find their career paths because of an epiphany, and in our go-go-go society, that is not enough. Psychology students deserve to know exactly what they are getting into at the beginning, so let’s give future psychology students the information and tools they need to succeed.

Let’s Conduct an Experiment

Psi Chi members, did you transfer from a community college to a 4-year university? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below (member login required).

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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A U.S Immigrant’s Personal Account of Analyzing Privilege

Posted By Dajana Rogulja, Monday, September 18, 2017
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017


A U.S. Immigrant's Personal Account of Analyzing Privilege

Dajana Rogulja, University of Colorado Denver

My family first immigrated to the United States from Yugoslavia in the year 2001 as a family of four, which includes my mother, father, grandmother, and myself. We were fortunate or privileged enough to be able to obtain this opportunity. During the 15 years that my family has lived here, I have observed some instances in which I lack the privileges that a natural-born White American individual has and other instances in which I was more privileged than others such as one of my friends, an immigrant from Ethiopia.

I was seven years old when I first set foot into this country. I had just started first grade in elementary school in the United States. The school I attended was Holly-Hills elementary school, which at the time was slightly diverse but still a predominantly White middle class American community. My peers had already established little cliques and had been grouped. I came into the school as an outsider, who dressed and behaved differently. I wore my older cousin’s hand-me-downs, I looked like a little boy, and I spoke differently. I remember feeling as if there was a barrier between me and the other kids on the playground during recess. I used to hear the other children snicker and give me strange stares during recess because I would usually play by myself. I felt as if I was unwanted within their social circles, therefore I did not even try to establish friendships or attempt to integrate myself among one of the cliques.

I was a very quiet child, mostly due to the fact that I could not speak English or communicate with anyone. But, I was able to grasp the English language rather quickly. Thankfully, I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to be accepted within my ESL classroom. I am identifiably White, and truthfully, I do not believe that my hardships come because of my race. My friend on the other hand, a Black immigrant from Ethiopia, attended the same ESL class with me. To this day, we discuss our ESL classroom and some of the interesting distinctions between how our teacher interacted with us. The teacher treated my friend differently than everyone else. For example, I remember the teacher spending drastically more time explaining certain concepts to her than she did others. This was not because my friend was not understanding the concepts. She was probably more advanced and a faster learner than I was. Nonetheless, the teacher singled her out, making her feel less alike than everyone else. Instances like this help me to truly understand how privileged I am in the United States. If I had felt as if I was an outsider in a predominantly White middle class elementary school, and if I felt as if I was unwanted, then I can only imagine what my dear friend experienced.

As I went through my education, I found it easier to fit in and establish bonds and friendships, even join certain cliques. My Whiteness helped me to do such things and made my hardships less than those of African American individuals. I was also fortunate to have come to the United States at an early age, which allowed me to grasp the language without having an initial accent. Once I had perfected the English language, my peers became more accepting toward me. Most of the time, they had no clue that I came from a different cultural background unless I chose to disclose.

My parents, however, experienced completely different obstacles than I did. They came from a different cultural background and had not initially learned English prior to immigrating here. They have learned to speak English now, but they carry the burden of very thick accents.

Once I reached the age of 15, my parents started to heavily rely on me for translating and culture brokering for them in various situations. There are instances in which I have experienced tremendous tensions between individuals and my parents because of the simple fact that they spoke English in a very broken up way and with thick accents.

I remember being in a bank when my father was attempting to finance a loan to buy a car. After hearing my father explain his financial situations for about 15 minutes, the banker turned to my dad, stared at him blatantly, and said, “Sir, I have no idea what you just said to me. Does your wife or daughter speak better English?” Personally, I do not think the gentleman had any negative intentions in mind. I do not think that he was trying to deliberately demean my father, but one could understand the humility one would feel when put in a situation as such.  From then on, my parents never truly felt comfortable speaking publically in formal situations, and I still do most of the communicating for them.

My family and my close friend have been the building blocks to my enlightenment. Through their experiences, I have learned to identify my privileges. I do not take my privilege for granted, and I am cautious of my own stereotypical thoughts when it comes to other individuals and their cultural ethnicities. As an immigrant child, I was privileged enough to be raised with two sets of norms and values. My family has embedded the Yugoslavian norms within me but I have adapted toward the American norms at an early age as well. I thank my parents for raising me within traditional values and allowing me to assimilate to American values at my own pace. My Yugoslavian values that my parents emphasized during my childhood kept me grounded and within a realistic outlook on life. I hold very close to my family and am able to confide in them for help as well as they rely on me to be a tool and mentor for certain things.

My family has grown to be the reason to which I pursue higher education. I desire to be able to fully take care of my parents, whatever the circumstance. They are the reason why I am so privileged, why I have grown to prosper in the United States, why I am here to begin with. Although my Yugoslavian roots keep me centralized, my American cultural values keep me well-adjusted and assimilated so that I do not experience much prejudice and discrimination. I am considered, and I consider myself, a fairly privileged individual within American Society.

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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Why Our Annual Campaign Can Change the World

Posted By Cynthia Wilson, Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Why Our Annual Campaign Can Change the World

Cynthia Wilson
Psi Chi Director of Membership and Development

Here at Psi Chi Central Office, I have the pleasure of interacting with members on a daily basis. I love to hear and tell members’ stories about their exciting contributions to psychology. It’s the stories of our members, the mentoring of our incredible advisors, and the leadership of our board of directors that get me excited about the possibilities for the future of Psi Chi.

You are the future of Psi Chi. By supporting you, by offering you benefits and opportunities, we secure the future of psychology and guess what, you can change the world.

Please join us in our first year-long annual giving campaign. This year’s goal is $88,000 (for Psi Chi’s 88th anniversary on September 4, 2017) to help destigmatize mental illness, aid our Membership Assistance Fund, as well as to support our awards, grants, and scholarships.

And can you believe we’re already 20% toward our goal? With your help, we can surpass it! Many get into the field because of a desire to give back. Now, by giving back to Psi Chi, you can make a direct impact on the science of psychology!

By raising funds, Psi Chi can better support its mission and expand opportunities for its members worldwide. Psi Chi President Dr. R. Eric Landrum of Boise State University has a year-long presidential initiative. His goal is to help destigmatize the process of seeking help for mental illness. With your support, this initiative will change the world for those who need help and for those who give help. Our Give Back campaign will also support this very important initiative.

So what does this mean for you? It means more opportunities for awards, grants or scholarships, expanded benefits and a way to be directly engaged with important initiatives like Dr. Landrum’s.

I encourage you to consider giving back to Psi Chi today. Simply visit psichi/ and make your tax exempt gift. We are striving to make your experience as a life-long Psi Chi member valuable. By raising funds to support our mission, Psi Chi will be stronger now as well as into the future.

Thank you for giving back to Psi Chi!

Tags:  A Better You  Psi Chi Related 

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Some Words of Inspiration to Start the School Year

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Some Words of Inspiration to Start the School Year

Justine N. Rossi, MS, SSP
School Psychologist II

What better way to start your new school year than with some words of inspiration?!

That’s why we invited Psi Chi member Justine Rossi to share a recent talk she gave at Winthrop University’s (SC) spring 2016 induction ceremony. After her article, we also provide “Six Ways to Start Your Year With Psi Chi.”

Hello, fellow psychologists!

My name is Justine Rossi, and I am a School Psychologist serving two elementary schools and one high school in the state of North Carolina. As a Winthrop University psychology undergraduate, I served as a Psi Chi president and held many other positions within the Psi Chi and Psychology clubs. The interactions I was afforded with psychology classmates, university professors, and other like-minded individuals helped me define my graduate school decisions and pushed me to get more involved in our field. After finishing my undergraduate work at Winthrop, I stuck around for another 3 years and completed the school psychology graduate program earning a master’s degree of science in school psychology and a specialist’s degree of school psychology.

I encourage each of you to reach out, read up, and integrate yourself in your respective field of psychology. Do not take for granted the plethora of resources you have available at your disposal! I am cheering you on right now to: learn, experience, do, seek, desire, practice, observe, talk, listen, and feel out each and every possibility presented to you in your psychology studies.

As an undergraduate, I presented group research at a professional psychology conference in New Orleans, LA, and ended up winning not only an award, but some much needed cash and recognition from my university! The research was fun, I learned a lot, and the experience was one of a kind. Toward the end of my undergraduate career, I presented independent research in St. Petersburg, FL. Although I did not take home any prizes, I again received recognition from my university, and the experience widened my scope of understanding of psychology . . . not to mention, it boosted my résumé, and I got to take a trip to the beach!

Speaking candidly with you, at times I took the “easy road” and skipped over required readings, did the bare minimum with putting myself out there, so-to-speak, and did not always immerse myself into all of the outlets available to me at the college level in the field of psychology. When crunch time came for graduate school applications, it truly hit me how much time, energy, and resources I did not tap into for furthering my early stages of becoming a psychologist.

Although I am so grateful for all of the experiences I did have, I am also regretful that I did not take absolute full advantage of the opportunities available. Be confident in the direction(s) you head, yet go forth with an open mind and heart for the bumps in the road that you will meet. Sometimes, these bumps are the best game changers you could hope for. Best of luck to each of you!


Justine N. Rossi, MS, SSP
School Psychologist II

Six Ways to Start Your Year With Psi Chi

  1. Start Looking for the Perfect Career
    Psi Chi’s Career Center has thousands of psychology-related job openings to choose from. Even if you aren’t searching for a job right now, go ahead and set up an automatic Job Alert in case your dream job becomes available someday in your general geographic area.
  2. Write an Article for Psi-Chi-ology Lab
    Our submissions guidelines are short and sweet. As Justine told us in an e-mail, submitting was “such a fun opportunity!” We’re sure it would be fun for you too.
  3. Apply for an Award or Grant
    We offer more than $400,000 in awards and grants to all member types. We’ve got a little something for everyone: scholarships, awards for chapter leadership, awards for research, grants to travel to conventions, and much more.
  4. Submit to Psi Chi Journal
    Our rigorous, peer-reviewed Journal accepts undergraduate, graduate, and faculty submissions by Psi Chi members. All published manuscripts are free to read at They are also indexed in Crossref, PsycINFO, and EBSCO databases.
  5. Offer to Support Your Chapter
    Consider volunteering to manage a community service event. Or invite a guest speaker such as a local alumni member like Justine.
  6. Conduct a Lab Experiment
    Psi Chi members, share your (and your chapter’s) top goals for the new academic year in the comment section below.

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Oh the Places, You’ll Go!

Posted By Dr. Krystal Warmoth, Monday, July 17, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Oh the Places, You'll Go!

Dr. Krystal Warmoth, Valparaiso University Psi Chi Alumna

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychology Applied to Health
University of Exeter Medical School

When I was a psychology student at Valparaiso University in Indiana, I would have never thought that I would be where I am now. Seven years after completing my undergraduate degree, I am conducting National Health Service-funded research in England.

I ended up in England as a result of an impulsive notion, really. The summer before the final year of my undergraduate studies, I worked at a summer camp with international staff. We discussed university—as you do with other students—and I found out that it only takes a year to obtain a masters degree in the United Kingdom. For the heck of it, I decided to apply to a couple programs in England for the following reasons:

  1. the short time requirement to get a graduate degree,
  2. no cost to apply (unlike in the USA), and
  3. an interest in studying abroad, which I had not done before because of other responsibilities.

I was accepted and started the following autumn at the University of Exeter. Over the course of the year, I studied social and organizational psychology with leading researchers, and fell in love with applied research. I knew that I wanted to pursue a PhD and was starting to look at openings back in the United States when my supervisor said that I should check out the openings in the medical school. I applied and was offered a PhD studentship in collaboration with the medical school and psychology department.

After three and a half years and countless cups of tea (yes, I drink tea now), I received my PhD in psychology. My student visa was coming to an end, so I applied for jobs in the United States. I worked in Houston for a year, but I missed the life that I had created in England. Consequently, I left my position and returned to the United Kingdom. I am at the University of Exeter Medical School again.

Looking back, I cannot believe what all I have accomplished. And there are several things that I have learned.

First, travel and/or study aboard. It is a life-changing experience. I truly loved my time studying in the United Kingdom and encourage others to do it.

Second, do not be afraid of starting over. I have had to do it several times in my life already. For example, when I went to college, studied in the United Kingdom, and moved to Houston. It is a part of life, and you learn a lot about yourself doing it.

Third, create a supportive social network. As psychologists, we all know the importance of social support. When I moved to England, I arranged regular Skype dates with my family. I actually talked to them more when I went to the United Kingdom than I ever did when I was in the United States. I also sought out different activities and groups in order to make new friends.

You never know where your journey will take you. As my fellow doctor would say (i.e., Dr. Seuss), “oh the places, you’ll go!”

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, tell us what incredible places you've traveled to during your studies (member login required).

Tags:  A Better You 

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Psi Chi Story: Julia Daugherty

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Psi Chi Story: Julia Daugherty

Meet Julia Daugherty, who joined Psi Chi at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Julia recently received a Division 52/Psi Chi International Travel Grant for $1,500 and is now assisting with the process to start a new international chapter at The University of Granada in Spain. Today, she answers a few questions about her Psi Chi Story.

For what purpose did you use your travel award?

The travel award covered expenses from Spain to the APA Convention in Denver this past summer. Fortunately, I was able to extend my stay for a two-month research practicum at the University of North Carolina Wilmington while back in the United States. Reinforcing the research connection between these two universities has been vital to my thesis and continued education. Without Psi Chi’s travel award, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Would you have been able to attend the convention without the award from Psi Chi?

No, I wouldn’t have had sufficient funding to attend.

How did it feel to win an award from Psi Chi?

It was a great honor. There are many deserving researchers around the globe who would have also benefited greatly by attending the convention. That is why I tried to make the most of my visit, connecting with others who are likewise dedicated to the same line of research in intimate partner violence. I am deeply grateful for this award!

Would you recommend Psi Chi awards and grants to fellow students?

Absolutely! Psi Chi awards and grants give endless possibilities for learning and networking. Every psychology student and member of Psi Chi should give it a shot.

What has your overall experience with Psi Chi been like?

Very positive. I’ve found staff and other Psi Chi members to be supportive in advancing not only individual professional trajectories, but also psychology as a whole. I look forward to starting a new chapter in Granada so that more students can benefit from all it has to offer.

Describe your experience with starting a new chapter in Granada.

I first learned about the possibility of starting a new chapter at my university in Granada (Spain) when I met Dr. Zlokovich at the APA convention in 2016. I was immediately interested because Psi Chi has provided me with so many great opportunities, and I wanted to extend that to other students in Granada. There is a strong international focus at the Universidad de Granada, because all doctoral students are expected to complete an international research stay at another academic institution. Psi Chi is a great way for students to make these connections and to network with other researchers for potential collaborations.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, have you received Psi Chi funding or other experiences and opportunities due to your involvement with our Professional Organization? Take a few minutes to tell us about your Psi Chi Story in the comments below (member login required).

Also, don’t forget: this year’s Division 52/Psi Chi International Travel Grant is due June 30, 2017.

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Chapter Life 

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