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Join Us for Lady Gaga’s #BeKind21-Day Challenge!

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Make a habit of being kind to others! Psi Chi has created its own special 21-day calendar that you are invited to use. Sign up for the challenge today, which starts September 1. And look for our social media posts.

Know someone you’d like to take the challenge with? Invite them on social media using #BeKind21, #PsiChi, and bornthisway.foundation/bekind21. Be sure to follow us on Twitter too, where we'll share each daily challenge and members' posts about participating in this special event.

You can also submit your story HERE to ChannelKindness.org. If you are featured there, please let us know!


Post updated August 26, 2020, in order to reflect new information about the 2020 partnership. The original title of this article in 2019 was "Psi Chi Partners With Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation: Give Back to Get Back."

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Meet One of the Top Teams of the 2019 Chapter Challenge

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, August 25, 2020

In fall 2019, 17 teams participated in the Psi Chi Chapter Challenge, which is a friendly international competition between chapters. Throughout the month of November, each of these groups sought to fundraise in support of member programs like Psi Chi awards, grants, and scholarships!

One of the 17 teams was the Psi Chi chapter at the University of Missouri–Columbia (Mizzou). About participating in the Challenge, Chapter President Samantha (Sami) Paige Lapka says, “The Mizzou chapter held several fundraisers throughout the semester that raised money for our donation . . . It was great to raise money and also fun to bond more as a group."

There are many ways to raise funds for the Chapter Challenge. For instance, Psi Chi provides an online platform so that chapters can easily create a team webpage where they can invite donations from family, friends, psychology students, faculty, and local organizations. Making this process as easy as possible, a special Chapter Challenge Toolkit also includes tips for your chapter, and Psi Chi’s Director of Membership and Development, Cynthia Wilson, is always happy to answer any questions you may have or provide additional suggestions.

As for the Mizzou Chapter’s fundraising strategy, they chose to host two profit-shares during the fall semester, one with Chipotle and another with a local restaurant called Shakespeare's Pizza. According to Sami, “Those events took the place of our weekly meetings. The club met up and walked to the establishment that was hosting the profit share, grabbed some food together, and socialized.”


Caption: Image of Samantha (Sami) Paige Lapka, the Psi Chi chapter president at the University of Missouri–Columbia.

The Mizzou Chapter also organized a two-day bake sale. Members either bought baked goods or made their own, which they then sold for $1 each. Sami explains, “One of the days, we set up in the psychology building on campus, which was awesome because tons of graduate students, professors, and other faculty in the psychology department were able to come by between classes and meetings. They were all very supportive.” The following day, the chapter hosted an outdoor booth in Speakers Circle, a notorious flyering zone on campus where many organizations go to fundraise and spread awareness.

During the two days, the chapter’s executive members volunteered their time as their schedules allowed. Sami says, “We all took turns manning the booth. It was another fun experience to share with everyone and we surprisingly sold out of the baked goods by the very end!”

Thanks to the leadership team’s greater focus on fundraising in the fall 2019 semester, the chapter donated about $300 to the Chapter Challenge!

Will You Take the Challenge This Year?

Covid-19 has created new challenges for many psychology students. Therefore, the 2020 Chapter Challenge adapted to support those who are in need. For the fall 2020 challenge, 50% of all proceeds raised will go directly to the Psi Chi Covid-19 Member Support Fund, which was created in spring 2020. The other 50% will be given back to the participating chapters in order to support their local activities.

This year’s 2020 challenge takes place from November 1 to December 1! We would be delighted by you and your chapter’s participation in this great cause. To learn more, visit https://psichi.com/chapterchallenge

Note. Pictured at the start of this article are members of the Mizzou Chapter volunteering at Centro Latino.

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life 

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George Brown, a Psi Chi Member and a U.S. National Soccer Hall of Famer

Posted By Lawrence T. Guzy, PhD, State University of New York at Oneonta , Friday, February 7, 2020

Several years ago, I served as the advisor to the Psi Chi Chapter at the State University of New York Oneonta campus. We were inducting one of our largest groups into Psi Chi and wanted a very special, off-campus venue that would accommodate the many inductees, their parents, and guests. We found the perfect place—it was the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, which was located at the time in Oneonta, NY. This was the perfect venue and the place where Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and so many other soccer Hall of Famers greats were inducted.

I met with the Interim Director of the Hall, George C. Brown, who was an inducted member of the Hall of Fame as a soccer player. In our ensuing conversation, George proudly indicated that he majored in psychology at University of Bridgeport (CT) where he was inducted into their Psi Chi Chapter.

Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, may be the only academic honor society to have as one of its members a National Hall of Famer who was inducted as a player. George was also inducted into the New England and Connecticut Soccer Halls of Fame.

Statistically speaking, those are very rare events, in fact, an apparent impossibility, but it happened. The question of this seemingly impossibility is, “When did George have the opportunity to play soccer at an impressive Hall of Fame level, earn an undergraduate psychology degree, be inducted into Psi Chi, obtain a master’s degree in human factors with a concentration in psychology from Columbia Teachers College (now Columbia University), intern at the U.S.N. Groton Submarine Base, New London, CT (where he was a member of a research team establishing chromaticity limits that became part of a Human Factors Design Guide), and finally, become Director of Human Resources for an international corporation?”

Amazingly, George’s soccer career started in 1948 at the age of 13 years when he played alongside his father, also a National Soccer Hall of Famer. George and his father, Jim are the only father–son inductees in the Hall of Fame. George’s father, along with several others, organized the Connecticut State Amateur League and started the Greenport United team. When George began playing for Greenport, his dad joined him for two seasons as a player-coach. George had amazing speed, agility, fantastic ball handling skills, and knew how to find the back of the net. These talents were brought to perfection playing alongside his father.

As a player, George was 5' 4" tall and weighed about 140 pounds. He played for Greenport United in the Connecticut State Amateur League that won the league championship in 1951. He signed with the German Hungarians of the German American Soccer League (GASL). For the next three seasons, his team won three consecutive league championships, as well as the 1956 New York State Cup. George was voted by the fans as Most Valuable Player in 1953 and named to the All-Star Team. He was selected several more times to play on the American Soccer League’s All-Star Team.

During the 1957 season, George suffered an injury to his left knee that ended his soccer career. Even with an injury shortened season, he led the American Soccer League with thirteen goals. George represented the United States in both the World Cup Qualifier against Mexico and the Pan American Games where they won the Bronze Medal. From 1958 to 1960, George served in the U.S. Army. Stationed near Chicago, he was a guest player with the city’s Red Lions Soccer Team.

After his stint in the army, George now needed to seek out a more stable career. In 1960, he was awarded a scholarship to play soccer at the University of Bridgeport. Bridgeport was a soccer powerhouse. Unfortunately, an archaic NCAA rule banned him from playing collegiate soccer. At that time, amateur athletes who played on teams fielding professional players were ineligible to play those collegiate sports. Happily, Bridgeport honoured George’s scholarship and reassigned him to coach the freshman soccer and varsity tennis teams.

Now this is where George’s story takes an unusual twist in favor of psychology and Psi Chi. Like so many college students, George was at a loss as to his life after graduation. He sought guidance from the counseling office at Bridgeport. He was administered several scales including the Strong Vocational Interest Blank. The “Strong” compares an individual’s pattern of responses to the pattern of responses of people of different types and in different occupations. The Strong, named after E. K. Strong, was developed in the 1920s. Over the years, it has been revised many times to update the questions and the professions listed (see also Holland Scale). During one of George’s personal interviews, the results of the various surveys were given to him as to his interests. One of the problems with the “Strong” Scale is that on occasion it has been misidentified as a person’s “interest” and not for the author of the scale. This misinterpretation paved the way for George’s future career choice.

George received the following results from a Certified Psychologist at the Guidance Office:

“Vocations with Greatest Similarity of Interest:”

  1. Lawyer
  2. Writer
  3. Advertising Man
  4. (Strong) Psychologist
  5. Personnel Manager
  6. School Administrator

George saw “#4 (Strong) Psychologist”. Since none of the other prospective careers were listed with the term Strong, he assumed that he had a Strong interest, and this would be the future career goal to pursue. That was a major “win” for Psi Chi and psychology.

His interpersonal skills, managerial ability, and especially his love of soccer was very evident throughout his professional career. While a human resource manager for Exxon, George worked in several international locations in the Middle East, Canada, as well as Texas, Colorado, and New Jersey. At each of these locations, George organized soccer associations, played the game including street soccer in the Middle East, and coached when there was a need.

In 1999, George and his wife Peggy moved to Oneonta, New York, where they both became integral parts of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. George served as Executive Director and his wife served as Archive Manager. While serving as Chair of the Eligibility and Awards Committee, he spearheaded a complete revision of eligibility rules and streamlined the voting policies and procedures. He also initiated the Hall's newsletter, The Hall of Famer. It should be noted that George's service to the National Soccer Hall of Fame was only part of his commitment to the Oneonta community. He soon became involved in the Oneonta Rotary, was elected its President, and during a challenging transition of leadership used his considerable skills in reorganizing and leading the club in a more positive direction. He also served on the local Rotary Foundation Board, to which he was a generous donor, which also funded a scholarship at the local high school. In addition, he joined the Board of Opportunities for Otsego, a community action program. He served for several years on that board and on its Personnel Committee. As a Personnel Committee member, he used his past knowledge of human resources to create some new procedures for the CEO evaluation and other officers, as well. Finally, he was asked to serve pro tem as a member of the search committee choosing the new CEO of Catskill Area Hospice, again at a time of crucial leadership transition.

Reexamining the list of career choices for George, it seems obvious now that George was destined to be a psychologist and in human resources. He had all the requisite skills for working with people, focusing their efforts, and was a successful organizer, mentor, and a great coach. All George needed was a Strong nudge to choose psychology.

References

George C. Brown (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 12, 2019, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Brown_(soccer)

Strong Vocational Interest Bank (n.d.). In Wikia.org. Retrieved November 12, 2019, from http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Strong_Vocational_Interest_Blank

Biography

Lawrence T. Guzy, PhD, is an Emeritus Distinguished Teaching Professor at the State University of NY at Oneonta where he taught and mentored student researchers for 39 years. He continues to volunteer as a research mentor. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from John Carroll University and PhD from the University at Buffalo. He received Fellowships to conduct research at NASA Ames, California; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio; Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas; and the Israel National Police. He is a Fellow - Aerospace Human Factors Association and Associate Fellow - Aerospace Medical Association.

Lawrence T. Guzy, PhD
Distinguished Teaching Professor, Emeritus
Department of Psychology
State University of New York at Oneonta
Oneonta, NY 13820
Email: guzylt@oneonta.edu

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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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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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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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.

CHAPTER CHAT: PSI CHI CHAPTER CHALLENGE

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

View Video Full Screen

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
udoch001@umn.edu

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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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 bradley.cannon@psichi.org.

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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.


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Should Your Chapter Activities Be in the News?

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Last fall, I shared 10 or so news stories from various publications that feature Psi Chi chapters making a difference in their communities. Also, I briefly discussed some of the many media platforms where you should consider spreading the news about your chapter.

But what exactly is news, and how do you know which of your chapter’s activities you should share with others? Here is a quick tip: Choose events that meet some of these seven qualities, which journalists look for in order to determine whether a story is newsworthy.

  • Timeliness—Did the story/event occur recently, or will it occur soon?
  • Proximity—Is the story/event local and relevant to the people who will be receiving it?
  • Impact or Consequence—Will the story/event change people’s lives?
  • Novelty or Rarity—Is the story/event unusual or unexpected?
  • Conflict—Will the story/event stir up further discussion or debate?
  • Human Interest—Does the story/event provide a unique glimpse into someone’s life?
  • Prominence—Are the people in your story/event easily recognized or famous to your audience?

One story/event will probably only feature three or four of the qualities above. However, the more qualities that it does include, the more likely it will be picked up by the local media. For example, if your chapter will soon (Timeliness) be traveling to the local grocery story (Proximity) to raise funds for autism awareness (Impact) by selling cookies decorated like human brains (Novelty), then you’ve absolutely got a story worth sharing!

Even better, consider ways to fulfill the other newsworthiness qualities during your chapter’s upcoming events. For example, for the autism awareness event introduced in the previous paragraph, you could invite a popular local band member (Prominence) to join your event, play a few songs, and share about her experiences (Human Interest) with people who treated her differently due to her autism (Conflict). As you can see, through only a little extra effort, you now have a highly newsworthy story that many local media outlets will be ecstatic to feature!



And now, here are some of the latest Psi Chi chapters and members in the news. Please note that each of these stories takes place during the fall 2018 semester. I will share spring 2019 articles later this year, so be sure to continue promoting your chapter in the media and perhaps your article will be featured here in the blog as well.

Place Your Bets! How to Host a Chapter Trivia Game Show
December 18, 2018—Psi-Chi-ology Lab

Psychology Alumna Studies European Attitudes Toward Immigration Through Psi Chi Grant
November 16, 2018—UMSL Daily

Catawba Psi Chi Inducts New Members
November 8, 2018—Salisbury Post

It’s About Time to Meet Our Leaders
November 7, 2018—The Banner

Pepperdine Psi Chi Works to Increase On-Campus Presence
October 31, 2018—Pepperdine University Graphic

Top Recruiting Chapters of Fiscal Year 2018
October 29, 2018—Psi-Chi-ology Lab

A Conversation About Student Mental Health and Wellness

October 29, 2018—Net News Ledger

Lighthouse, Psi Chi Offer Depression Screening, Information
October 25, 2018—The Collegian

Purdue Northwest Grad Finds Direction and Excels

October 4, 2018—Chicago Tribune

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