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Eye on Psi Chi: Fall 2006

Preparing for Research Presentations: Now is the Time!
Virginia Andreoli Mathie, Psi Chi Executive Director

The start of the new academic year is a time to explore new opportunities, especially research opportunities. Grover's article in this issue (see page 18), and articles in past issues of Eye on Psi Chi have emphasized the benefits of research experience for employment and graduate school (Landrum, 2002; LaRoche, 2004). To help you with your research endeavors, Psi Chi offers grants to support your research. The Undergraduate Research Grants provide up to $1,500 each to defray research expenses. The Thelma Hunt Grants offer up to $3,000 each to assist with research directly related to Psi Chi. The SuperLab Research Grants provide SuperLab software and a response pad to assist with data collection. The deadline for applying for these grants is October 1. See the grant cover sheets in this issue of Eye on Psi Chi or on the Psi Chi website ( for more information about these grants. Conducting research is only one part of the research enterprise, however. It is also important to share your research results with others. Now is the time to start planning to present your research!
Presentation Opportunities
Psi Chi sponsors student research presentations at all the spring regional conventions and at the national APA and APS conventions. The deadline for submitting presentation proposals for APA and APS is December 1. The deadlines for submitting proposals to the regional conventions are between early-October and mid-January. Your Psi Chi Regional Vice-President will send information to chapters about the deadline and procedures for submitting proposals to your regional convention. Also check the convention section of the Psi Chi website for information about each convention. Presenting research at conventions gives you an opportunity to enhance your presentation skills, learn about cutting-edge research in psychology, and network with psychologists from around the country. It also gives you the chance to receive one of Psi Chi's awards for the best research papers and posters presented at the regional and national conventions! Winners of the regional awards receive $300. Winners of the national awards receive $300 (undergraduate student research) or $500 (graduate student research). Read the convention submission instructions carefully so that your research is eligible for a research award.
If your chapter wants to organize its own student research conference, Psi Chi can help. The Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference Grants provide up to $1,000 each to defray the cost of a local or regional conference that includes participants from at least three schools. The deadline for these grant applications is October 1.
Tips for Effective Multimedia Presentations
As you prepare your presentation proposal, you should start thinking about how you will present your research to others. The Psi Chi website offers excellent tips on organizing and presenting paper and poster presentations. Many presenters use multimedia presentations so you should also consider what the research tells us about using multimedia presentations effectively. It is easy to get caught up in using as many multimedia features as possible to make the presentation unique and engaging, but research suggests that these features do not necessarily make your presentation more effective and may actually detract from the presentation, particularly if you use them indiscriminately (Mayer, 2001). Daniel (2005) and Ludwig, Daniel, Froman, and Andreoli Mathie (2004) reviewed the research on designing and using multimedia presentations for classroom instruction and offered recommendations to instructors. Their recommendations also apply to your convention presentations and class presentations. To the right is a brief summary of their recommendations.
As you prepare your research presentation, consider submitting your research manuscript to the Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research or to one of the Psi Chi research award competitions. See the Psi Chi website for information about publishing in the Psi Chi journal (HERE) and about Psi Chi's research awards. I encourage you to take advantage of Psi Chi's research presentation, publication, and award opportunities. Best wishes for a productive and successful academic year.
Presentation Tips
  • Minimize the text on each slide. Use short phrases in bullet points rather than full sentences. Try to limit the number of bullets to three or four per slide.
  • Do not read the text on each slide to the audience—audiences find this annoying. Your narration is what is most important and informative. The text should highlight your main points—it should not be your presentation.
  • Use plain fonts and a font size that can be read easily from the back of the room.
  • Use plain backgrounds that do not distract from your message and that provide good contrast with the text. In well-lit rooms use a dark background with light text. In dark rooms use a light background with dark text.
  • Use pictures, clip art, and video clips only if they are directly relevant to your message—irrelevant illustrations are distracting.
  • Avoid the use of irrelevant sounds and animations—they distract from your message.
  • Uses simple transitions from one slide to the next.
  • Do not turn your back on the audience to read or look at your slides.
Daniel, D. B. (2005). How to ruin a perfectly good lecture. In B. Perlman, L. I. McCann, & W. Buskist (Eds.), Voices of experience: Memorable talks from the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 119-130). Washington, DC: American Psychological Society (now the Association for Psychological Science).
Landrum, R. E. (2002, Winter). Maximizing undergraduate opportunities: The value of research and other experiences. Eye on Psi Chi, 6(2), 15-18.
LaRoche, K. (2004, Winter). Advantages of undergraduate research: A student's perspective. Eye on Psi Chi, 8(2), 20-21, 69.
Ludwig, T. E., Daniel, D. B., Froman, R., & Andreoli Mathie, V. A. (2004). Using multimedia in classroom presentations: Best principles. Retrieved July 13, 2006, from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Website:
Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Leadership

Ever since her childhood in Toronto, Canada, Virginia (Ginny) Andreoli Mathie, PhD wanted to be a teacher. As the eldest of five daughters born to Thomas and Julia Andreoli, Ginny spent many summer days playing "teacher" in a make-believe classroom, with her sisters Dolores, Frances, Marion, and Donna playing the role of students. During high school Ginny wanted to be a mathematics teacher so in 1967 she entered the mathematics and computer science program at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. She soon became hooked on psychology as well and after completing her BMath and BA in Psychology degrees, she entered the social psychology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she completed her MA and PhD degrees under the mentorship of John Thibaut.

In 1975, Ginny joined the psychology faculty at what is now James Madison University (JMU) in Virginia. During her 29 years at JMU she taught a variety of courses including introductory psychology, social psychology, research methods, and statistics. Given her love of teaching, she was honored to receive the 1981 JMU Distinguished Teacher Award and to be named the 2000 American Psychological Association (APA) Harry Kirke Wolfe Lecturer. Ginny's research with students and colleagues investigated topics such as factors related to family violence, differences between acknowledged and unacknowledged rape victims, and the effectiveness of instructional technology. Her publications and presentations address these topics as well as issues related to teaching and professional service. Ginny served eight years as coordinator of the JMU undergraduate program and the general psychology master's program and four years as department head. A very special highlight of her JMU career was her recent induction into the JMU Psi Chi chapter!

Among the many leadership positions she has held in professional organizations, Ginny served as a member of the Virginia Psychological Association (VPA) Board of Directors, as the VPA Secretary, and as founding president of the VPA's Virginia Academy of Academic Psychologists. She served on the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP; APA Division 2) Executive Committee for several years, was the 1995-1996 STP President, and currently represents STP on the APA Council of Represent-atives. Ginny was awarded APA Fellow status in STP in 1996. She also served on the APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) from 1997 through 2000 and chaired the BEA Technology Working Group, the 1999 and 2000 BEA convention programs on technology and education, and the APA Education Leadership Conference Technology Group. She was a member of the BEA Executive Committee, the BEA Education and Training Awards Committee, the APA Board of Directors Technology Applications Advisory Group, and the APA Com-mittee for Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS). One of the highlights of her career was chairing the Psychology Partnerships Project: Academic Partnerships to Meet the Teaching and Learning Needs of the 21st Century (P3), a five-year BEA project conceived by Ginny, Randy Ernst, a former chair of TOPSS, and Jill Reich, the former Executive Director of the APA Education Directorate. P3 produced many new partnerships between psychology teachers in high schools, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and research universities as well as a variety of new resources to enhance psychology education. In recognition of her work on P3, Ginny received the APA 2002 Distinguished Contributions to Applications of Psychology to Education and Training Award.

In addition to her professional life, Ginny enjoys the special times she spends with her husband Jim, daughters Jennifer, Shannon, and Allison, son-in-law Ingmar, and grandchildren Mi Mi, Marieke, and Kees.

Copyright 2006 (Volume 11, Issue 1) 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.

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