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Eye on Psi Chi: Summer 2016

Eye on Psi Chi

Summer 2016 | Volume 20 | Issue 4

Make Psi Chi's Vision Your Chapter's Mission

Martha S. Zlokovich, PhD,
Psi Chi Executive Director

View this issue in Digital and PDF formats.

Quick! Can you recite Psi Chi’s mission statement off the top of your head? If the only thing that comes to mind is “Of course not! Isn’t it half a page long?” then you haven’t seen Psi Chi’s new and improved (and shortened) mission statement. It is—drum roll please—

Recognizing and promoting excellence
in the science and application of psychology.

Why is this important to know? A mission statement summarizes the essence of what a group is all about. It explains quickly and clearly to prospective members why Psi Chi exists, and why they would want to be a part of this great Organization. It illuminates to students in other majors, parents, friends, and family how and why psychology students and faculty become so energized by the field of psychology. It reminds members of everything of which they can proudly claim to be a part, from carrying on the legacy of the past to fulfilling the promise of the future.

This mission statement grew out of strategic planning undertaken in January by Psi Chi’s Board of Directors and senior staff. They met in Chattanooga, TN, to review the Society’s past accomplishments and current strengths, brainstorm about what is possible, and lay out plans for reaching goals for the future.

They developed a strategic plan with three primary goals that will serve as a guide to both the Society and its chapters for the next 4 to 5 years—Vision 2020 Goals. This plan recognizes the many facets of psychology under an overarching theme (the mission statement). The collective goals serve to advance the mission and clarify where time, effort, and resources will be directed.

Over the next year, you will be hearing more about Psi Chi’s new mission statement and three goals including how your chapter can participate in supporting them. In addition, chapters will have the opportunity to share how they have approached the three goals with other chapters. The Board believes that such participation will contribute to the vitality of individual chapters as well as the Society as a whole.

The three goals are Scholarly Pursuits, Member Development, and Chapter and Member Experiences. Themes of diversity and reliance on the results of excellent scholarship appear throughout the three goals. To explain each in a little more detail, these are the actions related to each goal:

  1. Scholarly Pursuits: Encouraging members to conduct exemplary research, disseminate and apply research findings, and maintain a lifelong interest in exploring the field of psychology.
  2. Member Development: Providing information and opportunities to enhance members’ professional and personal lives.
  3. Chapter and Member Experiences: Fostering a vibrant and meaningful environment for chapters and all members to contribute to and benefit from continued engagement.

Accomplishing these actions will be a primary focus for Psi Chi. The Board and Central Office Staff will refer to them frequently to ask how current and future expenditures, ideas, initiatives, and recognitions support our mission and goals.

All chapter members are also encouraged to consider how activities they are already undertaking further these goals. For example, your chapter’s annual conference attendance or research project might fulfill Scholarly Pursuits. Recent chapter graduate school panels or mental health awareness events are both great ways to accomplish Membership Development. Any ice cream socials or game nights are also effective strategies to nurture Chapter and Member Experiences.

In addition, I hope that chapters will think about new ways that they can support Psi Chi’s goals to best meet the particular needs and interests of their own members. For some chapters, this might mean taking on all three goals, while others might pick one or two to emphasize each year. Together, we will build a stronger and more vibrant Society that is even better able to “recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology.”


All chapters are now invited to complete Psi Chi's Vision 2020 Goals worksheet at the beginning of each academic year to help advisors, officers, and other members align their chapter goals with the Society-wide goals of our Professional Organization.

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, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter. Aaron (Truman State University, 2010), Stephanie (Institute for Integrative Nutrition), and their daughter Anniston Scott live in Birmingham, AL, and Matthew (University of Alabama, 2014) lives in Nashville, TN.

Copyright 2016 (Volume 20, Issue 4) Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology

Psi Chi Central Office
651 East 4th Street, Suite 600
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Phone: 423.756.2044 | Fax: 423.265.1529


Certified member of the
Association of College Honor Societies