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Southwestern Regional Fall Letter
Dear Southwestern Region Psi Chi Members,

Summer vacation is over. The Olympic flame has been extinguished in Rio. And major retail stores are starting to put out their Thanksgiving displays. Fall is definitely upon us. Welcome to the 2016–2017 academic year!  

Before talking about the details of the fall, a special note of encouragement and sympathy to our Psi Chi members, chapters, and all others in the areas affected by the flooding throughout Louisiana. Our thoughts are with you.

Here are some items to keep in mind as the new academic year begins:

Upcoming Conventions: Presenting research findings to the academic community is an important part of science. Attending research conventions is also a great way to build a professional network. Listed below are three opportunities for Psi Chi members in the Southwestern region:

  • The annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) will be held on Friday, March 31, to Sunday, April 2, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Please note that the due date for abstracts has been changed to Tuesday, November 1, 2016 (more on this below).
  • The Winter Poster Session of the Arkansas Symposium for Psychology Students is on Saturday, December 3, 2016, on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas.
  • The Spring Paper Session of the Arkansas Symposium for Psychology Students is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2017, on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas.

Do you know of other opportunities to present research available in the Southwestern region? If so, please send the details to so that they can be added to this list.

Getting Involved: Membership in Psi Chi is about more than just joining. Here are some ideas for how to become involved:

  • The Southwestern Region Steering Committee is looking for an additional faculty and one student member to serve on the committee. The steering committee helps plan the Psi Chi Regional convention, evaluates abstracts and regional research awards for the convention, and helps with other initiatives.
  • Do you or your chapter have an idea for an event at the regional convention (e.g., panel discussions, workshops, special speakers)? Planning for the convention is currently underway, and there is room in the program for your chapter to be involved.
  • Psi Chi continues to welcome involvement in a number of collaborative research projects. This is a great way to gain valuable research experience and build your resumé.
  • Applications for Psi Chi grants and awards are accepted approximately 30 days prior to the deadline. These programs are an excellent opportunity to learn about grant writing and to potentially support your research or schooling.
  • Psi Chi offers two publications to learn about psychology and to publish your findings: Eye on Psi Chi magazine and Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

If you are interested in serving on the steering committee or have ideas for the regional convention in San Antonio, please email:

Changes to the SWPA Convention. Here are the most important changes that directly impact Psi Chi members:

  • All abstracts submitted by Psi Chi members will be reviewed by the Psi Chi Southwestern Region steering committee before they are sent to SWPA for review. This is a great change! The top abstracts submitted by Psi Chi members will be accepted in the Psi Chi program and will receive a Regional Research Award. Papers submitted to the SWPA competition that do not receive regional research awards will then be forwarded to SWPA for review. This change in process ensures that each abstract has a chance to compete for the Psi Chi Regional Research Awards (which offer a larger prize than the SWPA research awards).
  • All abstracts submitted are now a maximum of 500 words, regardless of the program or competition. Abstracts must include a discussion of the results of the project (including relevant statistical analyses). For consideration in the Psi Chi program, the abstract must describe an empirical research project.
  • Abstracts must be submitted through SWPA by Tuesday, November 1, 2016. This is a month earlier than in previous years. Please plan for this new submission deadline.

For full details on the changes to the SWPA program, please visit the Call for Papers section of the SWPA website.

As you make plans for this academic year, please visit the Psi Chi website often and explore the many grants, awards, and learning opportunities that are available. Additional information is also available on the Southwestern Region’s Facebook page. Membership in Psi Chi provides many benefits. Take advantage of these!

Shawn R. Charlton, PhD
Southwestern Regional Vice-President
University of Central Arkansas


Shawn R. Charlton, PhD
University of Central Arkansas
Biographical Information


Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Guam, Guatemala

Cameron University (OK)

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