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Eye on Psi Chi: Fall 2010

The 2009-10 Report to Psi Chi Members
Alvin Y. Wang, Psi Chi Past-President, The Burnett Honors College (FL)

As required by Psi Chi's constitution, I am reporting on the activities of the past year in which I served as President of Psi Chi.

All of the members on the Board of Directors were highly engaged and participatory; the consequence was that the Board approved 52 motions from the fiscal year beginning July 2009. Some of the more important decisions involved the launching of Psi Chi as an International Honor Society, the development of a pilot grant program between Psi Chi and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and the continuation of the Building Bonds collaboration award program with Psi Beta. The Board discussions that preceded each motion were sometimes spirited, but always informed, collegial, and insightful. I always looked forward to these discussions.

During the past two years when I served on the Board it became clear that three overarching themes provided the framework for many of these discussions. These three themes were: the internationalization of our Society; Psi Chi's role in promoting diversity and inclusion within the discipline of psychology; and the importance of Psi Chi's efforts in developing student leaders. I think all three of these themes are central to Psi Chi remaining a vibrant and integral voice in the discipline and I look forward to future discussions and initiatives concerning these themes.

The past year was marked by several transitions in Psi Chi's Central Office. Most importantly, the Board was pleased to welcome Michele Rumpf as our new Executive Officer in May 2010. Michele brings to this role a strong management background in the nonprofit sector including serving as the director for the Mobile (AL) Chamber of Commerce and program coordinator for the Department of Community Medicine at Mercer University. Prior to Michele's arrival, Melissa Strickland served as Interim Executive Officer for several months and the Board is greatly appreciative of the additional responsibilities she assumed while in that role. It should also be noted that Psi Chi has a new Manager of Information Systems Chris Evans who is overseeing the implementation of new information technology infrastructures for the Central Office. Throughout the period of office transitions Executive Director Martha Zlokovich, Publications Director Susan Iles, and Membership Director Amie Austin expended a great deal of effort and time to ensure the stability of Psi Chi. The Board is grateful for their dedication and steadfast support. The Board also welcomed Dr. Randy Smith as the new editor the Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research.

Psi Chi continues to be a vibrant, growing community of scholars. Last year, we inducted 21,578 new members and in so doing broke the 600,000 member mark. We also chartered five new chapters so that Psi Chi is now represented by 1,102 chapters. While we were pleased that $183,359 in grants and awards was distributed to our members, I hope we will greatly increase levels of this important form of support in the future.

Last March, Psi Chi celebrated its 80th anniversary at the 2010 annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA). By happy circumstance, this meeting of SEPA was held in Chattanooga, TN, so that we were able to arrange several festivities as well as tours of the Central Office for conference attendees. For many of us, the presentation by Psi Chi's Distinguished Speaker Dr. Hall "Skip" Beck was the highlight of this conference. His presentation "Finding Little Albert: Our Journey to Watson's Infant Laboratory" was both moving and insightful. Indeed, to my knowledge this was the first time that a Psi Chi Distinguished Speaker received a standing ovation from a capacity audience at SEPA.

On another celebratory note, Dr. Harold Takooshian who is a professor of psychology at Fordham University (NY) was recognized as a Distinguished Member of Psi Chi because of his outstanding support and leadership. Dr. Takooshian is a former President of Psi Chi and is a two-time recipient of Psi Chi's Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award. Indeed, he is the only person to be recognized twice with this award.

As I stated in an earlier Presidential Message, an organization is only as good as its people and this is why Psi Chi is a great organizationÑit's because of our students and faculty. The opportunity of meeting so many accomplished students and dedicated faculty from around the country was the most personally rewarding experience of my presidency and this is something that I will greatly miss.

Finally, I want to mention that it was a pleasure and honor to work with each of the Board members. I could always rely on the wise council of the regional Vice-Presidents, former President Scott VanderStoep, and President-Elect Michael Hall. Collectively, they laid the foundation for Psi Chi's future success.

Dr. Alvin Wang is Dean of the Burnett Honors College and a professor of psychology at University of Central Florida (UCF). He received his PhD in psychology from SUNY at Stony Brook (1980) and his BA from SUNY at Brockport. His research interests include the area of human memory, learning, and cognition. He has been at UCF since 1986 and served as an associate chair for the Department of Psychology (1992-95). Dr. Wang served as faculty advisor for the UCF Chapter of Psi Chi (1990-94), received the Florence Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award (1993), and served as the Psi Chi Southeastern Regional Vice-President (2000-04). He is currently a fellow of Division 2 (Society for the Teaching of Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. His interests include travel, fine cuisine, and reading.

Copyright 2010 (Volume 15, 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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