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Eye on Psi Chi: Winter 2006

History of President Christopher Koch, PhD, 2004-05
Martha S. Potter Zlokovich, Psi Chi National President, 2003-04
Southeast Missouri State University

Could you ask for a lovelier setting in which to begin your term of office as Psi Chi's National President than amid the palm trees and balmy Pacific Ocean breezes of Honolulu, Hawaii? Dr. Christopher Koch of George Fox University (OR) did just that at the close of Psi Chi's National Council meeting, held in conjunction with APA's 2004 convention (and Psi Chi's 75th Anniversary Celebration).

Under Dr. Koch's leadership, Psi Chi continued to fulfill its mission to stimulate, encourage, and maintain excellence in scholarship in psychology through the activities and growth of the society.

Continued Growth in Membership
Membership rolls blossomed from August 2004 through July 2005, as indicated by the number of new members below:

  • Psi Chi chapters inducted 22,994 new members
  • 16 new chapters were chartered.

Growth in Awards Available and Presented
Psi Chi presented students and chapters with a total of $175,957 in award money, providing students with funds for activities such as research projects, student research conferences, and opportunities to study with experts in their chosen area of psychology. This was an increase of 15 percent over the amount awarded the year before.

There were five new award programs added during Dr. Koch's tenure to those already available to Psi Chi members. New award/internship programs included:
  • Psi Chi/FBI Internship support of $7,000
  • Psi Chi/APA Science Directorate Internship award of $2,000 per summer
  • Psi Chi/Kay Wilson Leadership Award for Outstanding Chapter President
  • Four new awards for graduate students at the APA annual convention
  • Four new awards for graduate students at the APS annual convention.

Implementation of Changes in the National Office
After coping with the loss of Psi Chi's longtime Executive Officer, Kay Wilson, the position was capably filled by longtime Director of Finance and Awards, and Interim Executive Officer during Kay's illness, Paula Miller. During this transition, the National Council also voted to create a new executive position. Virginia Andreoli Mathie, PhD, was hired to fill the new executive position, initially as Chief Executive Officer, but later renamed Executive Director.

While our Executive Officer/Chief Operations Officer, Paula Miller, managed Psi Chi's National Office headquarters and staff in Chattanooga, Tennessee, much as Kay Wilson had done in the past, the National Council envisioned a completely different role for the new Executive Director position that Dr. Mathie stepped into. Her mandate was to "bring Psi Chi up to the next level" by spending most of her time meeting with psychological organizations throughout the country in order to seek out and forge new partnerships that could benefit the members of Psi Chi and Psi Chi as an honor society. Her role was seen as part liaison, part visionary, part executive staff, as the National Council asked her to forge a new path for Psi Chi's future. In addition to her traveling on behalf of Psi Chi, Dr. Mathie spends a small portion of her time with the staff in the National Office and serves as associate editor of Eye on Psi Chi.

As president during this time of change, Dr. Koch oversaw the implementation of the new positions of Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer, as well as the hiring of new staff in the National Office. Four people currently work full time in the National Office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a fifth will be hired to fill the position of Director of Finance and Awards.

  • Executive Officer/Chief Operations Officer/Editor of Eye on Psi Chi, Paula Miller
  • Information Systems Manager, Scott Gast
  • Director of Publishing, Susan Iles
  • Director of Membership Services, Amie Austin
Establishment of Ties to Other Organizations
Through the efforts of our Executive Director, Dr. Mathie, and with the leadership of our President, Dr. Koch, several new relationships were forged with other psychological organizations.
  • Psi Chi now sends a liaison to APA's Board of Educational Affairs
  • Psi Chi now sends a liaison to APA's Board of Scientific Affairs
  • Psi Chi partnered with APA to offer free APA publication manuals to Psi Chi members who joined APA as a student affiliate
  • A Diversity Task Force was also established that will explore diversity partnerships with other organizations.
  • Dr. Mathie attended six regional meetings (NEPA, EPA, SWPA, SEPA, RMPA, MPA), two national meetings (APA, ACHS), as well as one teaching conference (NITOP) and one other meeting (Reinvention Center Conference).
  • Eye on Psi Chi—113,400 issues were published, with new layout and color formatting
  • Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research—5,800 issues were published, containing 26 research projects over the course of the year
An Eye on the Future
At the National Council meeting held in conjunction with the August 2005 convention of APA in Washington, D.C., the National Council proposed 11 amendments to the National Constitution. Chapters will vote on these 11 proposed amendments during the fall 2005 semester. In addition, planning is already underway for the new Psi Chi National Leadership Conference to be held for the first time in January 2007.

A high school teacher in Pensacola, Florida, inspired Dr. Martha S. Potter Zlokovich to pursue psychology as a career. She completed her BA in psychology at UCLA, and MS and PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Florida.

Dr. Zlokovich joined Psi Chi in 2008 as its second Executive Director, leaving Southeast Missouri State University after teaching there for 17 years. This move, however, was not her first involvement with Psi Chi. She served as chapter advisor since 1993, as Midwestern Region Vice-President (1998-2000), and as National President of Psi Chi (2003-04). In 1996, Southeast’s chapter won the Ruth Hubbard Cousin’s National Chapter of the Year Award, and several chapter members have won Psi Chi Regional Research Awards at MPA and/or had their research published in Psi Chi's Journal.

At Southeast, Dr. Zlokovich taught Child Development, Adolescent Development, Lifespan Development, Advanced Child Psychology, and Introductory Psychology for Majors. She also served as chair of the department. Her research interests have focused on student study habits, study beliefs, and persistence to graduation as well as adolescent and young adult contraception and sexuality.

Dr. Zlokovich and her husband Neil have two sons and a daughter-in-law. Aaron (Truman State University, 2010) and Stephanie live in Lexington, KY and Matthew is a senior civil engineering major at the University of Alabama.

Copyright 2006 (Volume 10, Issue 2) by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology


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

Eye on Psi Chi is published quarterly:
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Summer (April)
Fall (September)
Winter (November)






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