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

Psi Chi Invites Undergraduate Members to Conduct Social Psychology Field Research—Virtually

Posted By Paige Anctil, Awards & Grants Officer, Tuesday, October 6, 2020

During a time in which in-person interaction is very limited, it has become difficult to conduct some forms of research. Due to COVID-19, many of the more hands-on research methodologies are needing to be significantly delayed or even abandoned all together, despite providing some of the most beneficial skills and valuable professional relationships available to students.

Psi Chi Distinguished Member Dr. Robert Cialdini highly values these types of experiences. A behavioral psychologist known for field research, Dr. Cialdini says, “In class, my students were always most interested in, even thrilled by, accounts of field research.” Dr. Cialdini is known for the field work described in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, a New York Times Best Seller.

In line with his dedication to field research, Dr. Cialdini worked with Psi Chi to create a grant that funds field research projects in social psychology. Dr. Cialdini and his wife generously chose to fund the Robert Cialdini/Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant for Field Research in Social Psychology so that students could “have the thrill I’ve experienced of actually doing field research.” This grant, with deadlines of October 15, January 15, and May 1, offers $1,500 in research costs and a stipend of $500 for the recipient’s faculty sponsor.

Although COVID-19 restrictions are interfering with the more practiced methods of field research, this doesn’t mean students need to miss out on such an opportunity. Field research does not have to be confined to in-person interactions; as we all adapt to using more and more virtual communication methods, it presents a unique opportunity to involve virtual platforms, such as social media, to conduct field research.

For the purposes of this grant, field research is defined as social psychological investigations conducted in a naturally occurring setting in which research participants can expect to find themselves under normal life circumstances and in which they are unlikely to suppose that they are research participants.

Social media provides a great platform via which to freely interact with participants in a natural setting without showing that research is being conducted. Some ideas include creating posts as you watch how the public reacts or merely observing the posts and reactions of others, designing two different images and using Google ads across different platforms to see which draws more attention; each provides its own unique opportunity, questions, and the possibility for answers.

Psi Chi would like to encourage our undergraduate members who are interested in conducting research this year to try something maybe a little new. With so many students and faculty learning and teaching virtually, social psychology research—even if virtual—provides a unique opportunity to gain both skills and research funding.

Tags:  Conducting Research  Psi Chi Related 

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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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Eye on the Workplace Interview With Paul Hettich, PhD

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, August 3, 2020

In spring 2020, Psi Chi released a new eBook to guide psychology undergraduate students from college to career. Eighteen psychology career experts contributed to this special publication, An Eye on the Workplace: Achieving a Career With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, which includes 30 articles of Psi Chi’s best advice published in Eye on Psi Chi magazine. Today, we interviewed the book’s lead editor, Dr. Paul Hettich (DePaul University, IL) to learn a little about his involvement in this project.

Hi, Paul. Why did you want to work on this eBook?

As I indicate in the Preface, workforce-bound baccalaureate graduates face several challenges as they transition from college to vastly different organizational cultures and structures. Although there are similarities between college and workplace, the differences can be overwhelming, differences that are now amplified by the pandemic. For decades, Eye on Psi Chi has addressed workplace issues for bachelor’s graduates better than any other source in psychology. Given that 56% of all psychology baccalaureates enter the workforce, the need for such a resource is essential, especially now.

What did you learn while preparing the eBook?

I learned much from the authors who shared their knowledge, perspective, and wisdom in their articles, for which I am grateful. I also gained considerable knowledge from and deep respect for my coeditors Susan Iles and Bradley Cannon who did the greatest amount of the work on this project. It was extremely challenging and time consuming to convert information from the 30 articles selected from Eye on Psi Chi to the complex technical demands of eBook software, especially the tables and graphs, everything requiring high attention to detail, accuracy, and much time. I could not have done any of that, and I am very grateful that they did.

If you could tell a student seeking a career in psychology a single thing, what would that be?

Career development is far too complex to be integrated into one observation, especially during this pandemic. First, distinguish between seeking a career in psychology, which requires graduate degrees in psychology, and a career that applies your psychology major with your bachelor’s degree. Then, be open-minded and proactive about the numerous options (including the possible need for additional education) for using psychology’s content and methodology in your work and life. So much was changing about the nature of work and the workplace even before the pandemic that was upsetting our paradigms about jobs and careers. In the midst of the suffering and uncertainty the pandemic is causing, search for opportunities to use your psychology major, but recognize that many of you will be forced (for months, perhaps years) to accept jobs below your education and aspirations—jobs that may pay the bills, but not much more. However, adapt to the circumstances. Become proactive, positive, patient, persistent and goal oriented. You will survive, use your experiences wisely to reach your goals, and, ultimately, thrive.

What do you think makes this book stand out from other career books?

There are many good books on the market about using your psychology major in graduate school or in the workforce. An Eye on the Workplace is distinctive because it reflects multiple perspectives represented by its authors and, in addition, diverse employment issues (many from employer-based reports) that are directed to workplace-bound baccalaureate graduates.

What response have you received about the eBook from readers so far?

An Eye on the Workplace was published in March at a time when students and teachers were suddenly focused on avoiding Covid 19 and making radical changes in their lives and work, so a new eBook was likely placed on the back burner. However, one highly respected academic psychologist, Dr. Jane Halonen, called it “…terrific. The writing is lively and interesting.”

How did you become involved with Psi Chi?

As an undergraduate at Marquette University carrying a full load, working 18 hours a week, and cursed with mediocre study skills, my GPA did not qualify me for Psi Chi. However, I attended some Psi Chi events and enjoyed the social and intellectual stimulation they provided.

Favorite Psi Chi memory?

Being inducted, finally, into Psi Chi during my master’s program at New Mexico State University, long, long ago.

How has Psi Chi supported you and your students?

Log on to psichi.org and you will note the many forms of support that Psi Chi offers. The greatest support Psi Chi offered while I was teaching at Barat College (later Barat College of DePaul University) was the opportunity for students from our tiny college to present their research at the Midwestern Psychological Association spring convention and the many benefits this experience generated for students (and their teachers).

You can learn more about Paul’s eBook, An Eye on Graduate School: Achieving a Career With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at https://store.psichi.org/digital-downloads

Tags:  Career Advice  Psi Chi Related 

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A Love Letter to NICE: Enhancing Collaborative Research Opportunities for All

Posted By Mary Moussa Rogers, NICE Chair, Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Collaboration in research, particularly international collaboration, can seem daunting. Often, researchers are more likely to collaborate with those they deem trustworthy (more often people within their own research labs, departments, and universities) or those with higher resources (Abramo et al., 2018; Iglič et al., 2017). Despite barriers, collaboration is on the rise, and more are recognizing the potential benefits of international research (Jeanmonod & Firstenberg, 2019; Wagner et al., 2019).

Psi Chi’s Network for International Exchange (NICE) is a relatively new program that encourages creative and novel international research using an open science framework. NICE has two major components.

  • One is the Connect component, where individuals can post their projects and interested collaborators can select a project of interest and communicate with the investigator to contribute participants.
  • The other component is the crowdsourcing component, where one or two projects are selected each year to receive assistance in recruiting contributors and addressing research across multiple cultures and languages.

I have a unique perspective when it comes to NICE. In 2018, my project was the first to be selected for the crowdsourcing opportunity, and now I am the NICE chair for the 2020–2021 year. Having seen both sides of this experience, I feel confident saying it is both a unique and well-crafted opportunity for collaboration. NICE provides a primary investigator with a committee and chair to review materials regarding cultural sensitivity issues in a research proposal and facilitates communication with contributors from many countries. The assistance from the committee makes consulting easier and made me a better multicultural researcher.

I not only worked abroad with so many researchers I had never met before, but I was also able to work across disciplines in psychology, something I have personally found difficult domestically. You get so many perspectives when working with people from different cultures and disciplines in psychology that I felt my research idea, execution, and manuscript were all made more robust. I didn’t have a series of people agreeing with me, but instead people willing to ask me difficult questions and provide feedback knowing it was to be their work too. Due to NICE, I was able to conduct better multicultural research, and my network has increased. Most importantly, my collaborators are also people I know I can contact in the future because I have good working relationships with them.

Finally, in my new role, I have a deeper understanding of the care that goes into reviewing projects and facilitating culturally sensitive research. Committee members are eager to assist, provide feedback, and are a valuable resource on cross-cultural research. Psi Chi’s NICE is a fitting name for a program that, in my opinion, has effectively encouraged international collaboration in psychological research.

If you have an exciting cross-cultural question in psychological science, consider applying to NICE: crowd! Students and faculty are eligible to apply and you do not have to have a Psi Chi chapter at your institution. Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Proposals are due July 31st 2020! For more information, go to https://www.psichi.org/page/res_opps.

Tags:  Conducting Research  Psi Chi Related 

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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.

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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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10 Notable Psi Chi Benefits of the Past 10 Years

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


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

1. New Webinar Series Begins

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

2. NICE Connect and Crowd Research Projects Start Accepting Contributors

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

3. First Psi Chi Blog Articles Released

Members were first invited to submit and subscribe to Psi-Chi-ology Lab in February 2017. Since then, more than seventy 500- to 1,000-word articles have been published, just like the one you're reading now! Topics range from popular areas of psychology to personal stories and chapter advice. Cue that mad science music! When you think Psi-Chi-ology Lab, think FUN! Visit https://www.psichi.org/blogpost/987366/.

4. Career Center Launched

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

5. First Scholarships Awarded

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

6. Membership Assistance Fund Approved

In fall 2014, Psi Chi’s Board of Directors approved the new Membership Assistance Fund program, which grants up to 100 lifetime membership fee waivers to students who show financial need. Starting in that year, advisors were invited to submit one or two students’ names per chapter (while funds last each year) in order to waive those students’ membership fees. As awareness of this program rapidly grew, the program awarded 37 free memberships in 2015, 46 in 2016, 84 in 2017, and then all 100 in both 2018 and 2019. To learn more, visit https://www.psichi.org/blogpost/987366/290810/.

7. Post a Study Tool Made Available

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

8. Psi Chi Journal Becomes Open Source

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

9. Psi Chi Joins the Social Media Network

In 2011, Psi Chi joined the social network. Join us and our 23,000+ followers on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PsiChiCentralOffice). We also have 5,000+ followers on Twitter (https://twitter.com/PsiChiHonor) and 10,000+ people in our members-only LinkedIn group (http://linkd.in/HSiVA3). More recently, the Central Office began posting on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/psichihonor/) in October 2017. Social media has proven to be an effective way to keep members regularly connected with our Professional Organization and to give them an opportunity to voice their thoughts.

10. Eye on Psi Chi Magazine Goes Digital

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

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

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

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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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Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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