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Eye on Psi Chi: Summer 2011

Ease Into Fall by Taking Care of Chapter Business This Summer
Martha S. Zlokovich, PhD, Psi Chi Executive Director

Summer. Most of us are ready for sleeping in, sunning, and sipping lemonade poolside— even if the truth is we really won’t spend much time doing so. Whether you will spend your summer days mostly working, studying, relaxing—or some combination of these—taking care of chapter business over the summer can ease the start of the fall semester.

For many Psi Chi chapters, summer is the time of year when literally nothing happens. One advantage of this, however, is that chapters may be able to complete some important (academic) year-end tasks before officers scatter after spring finals. Two important items of chapter business are due June 30, but unfortunately many chapters lose out on earning a model chapter award because they neglect them. Your chapter treasurer should prepare and turn in the annual Chapter Financial Report, and your chapter president should work with the secretary to prepare and turn in the Chapter Annual Report.

Both reports are available on the Psi Chi forms webpage under Forms, Chapter Materials, item numbers 7 (Chapter Financial Report) and 8 (Chapter Annual Report). It is a good idea to print the forms now so that all chapter officers know what will go into the reports and can work together to collect the necessary information before the end of the spring semester. Even if chapter business continues until June 30, having most of the report prepared by the end of the spring semester will make finalizing the report in June much easier.

The forms can be filled out online. In order to access the online form, the person filling it out will need the chapter administration username and password.

Your faculty advisor has the chapter’s username and password and can turn in the officers’ reports or work with the officers to do so. Keep in mind, however, that the annual reports are not the responsibility of the faculty advisor, but of the chapter president (using information that the secretary should have been keeping track of during the year) and the treasurer.

Another task that can be addressed through the end of spring and over the summer is officer transition. If any officers graduate in spring or summer, these officers need to ensure that the incoming officers know about their responsibilities, where to find chapter information, and how to work with university groups and offices. Outgoing officers need to remove their names from any bank or university accounts, and incoming officers need to add theirs.

Summer can be a good time for officers to review their responsibilities (see Chapter Officer Guidelines and Chapter Handbook on the Psi Chi website at The less demanding schedule in summer allows continuing officers to double check that they are doing all they can to fulfill their roles and to advise incoming officers about what they can expect in the next academic year. The executive committee (all officers and the faculty advisor) can also review what goals were met over the previous year, and what goals might be presented to the chapter for possible adoption in the fall.

Officers and members on campus over the summer might look over the requirements and deadlines for grant and award submissions (see HERE). They could plan together which awards the chapter and individual members might pursue, and how the chapter could best publicize such opportunities to its members.

Summer can also be the ideal time to talk to your faculty advisor about updating the 35 percent cutoffs for each class. While chapter faculty advisors may be able to access the cutoffs for all sophomores, juniors, and seniors on campus, they probably need to request them from the registrar. If your faculty advisor can communicate to the registrar what he or she needs (calculate cutoffs after spring grades are completed, or after all summer sessions), then the chapter is more likely to receive the cutoffs right at the start of the fall semester. This will allow more time to determine who is eligible for Psi Chi membership, send invitations, and plan a fall induction.

Most universities have some sort of welcome back picnic or activity before the start of the fall semester (you might pick someone to check campus mail at least once a month over the summer), often providing an avenue for student organizations to disseminate information at a booth or table. At the start of summer, ask your student government or student activities office about end-of-summer opportunities to promote your chapter of Psi Chi. That way the chapter has plenty of time to plan ahead and determine which members will do what, rather than checking the campus mailbox in September to find several old flyers about opportunities that have already passed the chapter by.

Whether you are looking forward to a summer that is already jam-packed or one that will give you some downtime, following these suggestions will allow your chapter to start the fall semester on the right track.

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 2011 (Volume 15, Issue 4) 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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