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Eye on Psi Chi: Summer 2008

A Farewell to Psi Chi
Virginia Andreoli Mathie, PhD
Psi Chi Executive Director and Associate Editor
I have had the privilege of serving as the Psi Chi Executive Director since July 2004. What a joyful and exciting adventure this has been! It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with the talented and dedicated Psi Chi National Council members, National Office staff members, chapter faculty advisors, and chapter officers. I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with many Psi Chi student members at Psi Chi’s regional and national meetings. My conversations with these students highlighted the important role Psi Chi plays in the academic lives of our members. I heard excitement in the voices of students who presented their research at Psi Chi paper and poster sessions. I saw pride on the faces of those students who won regional research awards. I witnessed poise and confidence on the part of chapter officers who shared their successful leadership strategies at chapter exchange sessions. I shared the thrill of students who attended distinguished lectures given by internationally famous psychologists. The commitment, enthusiasm, and energy on the part of Psi Chi members have been inspirational. I am proud to have been part of our thriving, prestigious honor society. The time has come, however, to leave Psi Chi and spend more time with my family. Although I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life, it is very difficult to say good-bye to Psi Chi.

In the first column I wrote as the Executive Director for the fall 2004 Eye on Psi Chi, I noted that I was following in the footsteps of two visionary and dynamic Executive Directors who held the position before me: Ruth Hubbard Cousins and Kay Wilson. Both of these women were remarkable leaders, and their contributions to Psi Chi are legendary. In some small way, I hope I have been able to continue their legacy through my efforts to expand Psi Chi’s partnerships and increase Psi Chi’s visibility with other organizations as well as through my day-to-day activities such as monitoring charter applications, serving as Associate Editor of Eye of Psi Chi, and participating in the work of the National Office. I am proud to have played a role in helping the National Council develop and implement new initiatives and resources—initiatives such as organizing Psi Chi’s first National Leadership Conference; expanding Psi Chi’s partnerships with the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Psi Beta, and other organizations; co-sponsoring or supporting other organizations’ conferences that were consistent with Psi Chi’s mission; and expanding Psi Chi’s international reach. Of course I did not complete any of these projects on my own—the assistance, support, and encouragement of my colleagues in Psi Chi were necessary and invaluable.

I will treasure the many fond memories and friendships that I take with me from these four wonderful, rewarding years. I have been inspired by the leadership and commitment of all of the National Council members with whom I have served, particularly those who served as National President during my tenure: Martha Zlokovich, Christopher Koch, Robert Youth, John Davis, Vincent Prohaska, and the current President-Elect Scott VanderStoep. I want to thank all of the Council members for their constant support, the time they graciously give to Psi Chi, and the dedicated way in which they attend to their Council responsibilities. It is their vision and creativity that guide our Society and ensure its future growth and prosperity. I also want to thank my current and former colleagues in the National Office: Paula Miller, Lisa Mantooth, Susan Iles, Amie Austin Hearn, Melissa Strickland, Scott Gast, Mark Cobbe, and Lynn Hawkins. Psi Chi’s success from year to year is due in large part to their expertise, enthusiasm, dedication, persistence, and hard work. I am particularly indebted to Paula, Susan, Amie, and Scott for their assistance, patience, and support during those first few months when I was finding my footing. Finally, I want to thank all faculty chapter advisors and student members for the important contributions they make daily to our Society. I hope I have contributed as much to Psi Chi as all of these individuals have over the years. I know, however, that there is much more to be done. I leave these opportunities in the expert hands of the new Executive Director, Dr. Martha Potter Zlokovich. Under her guidance and leadership, Psi Chi will continue to grow, prosper, expand its partnerships and visibility, and benefit Psi Chi members. I wish Martha much success in her new role. I wish all Psi Chi leaders, staff, and members all the best in the years to come. Thank you, members of Psi Chi, for giving me the opportunity to serve as Psi Chi’s Executive Director and for the joy, inspiration, and friendships you have brought to my life.

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 2008 (Volume 12, 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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