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Eye on Psi Chi: Fall 2017

Do More Than Join
Engage Deeply With Psi Chi

R. Eric Landrum, PhD, Psi Chi President
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I am honored to serve as the 53rd President of Psi Chi and humbled to be a part of this group of leaders in psychology. My sincere goal for the coming year is to continue to build upon the strengths of Psi Chi that so many others before me have labored to achieve.
I want to urge you to do more than “join” Psi Chi. Of course, we want eligible members to join our organization; without members, there is no point to our existence. But we need you to be more than just a “nominal” member. That is, we need you to do more than just pay for a line on your resumé/curriculum vita. I am going to do everything that I can to encourage you, to gently push you, to engage with Psi Chi.  
The true benefits of membership organizations come from engaging with other members and your faculty advisor, participating in regional conventions, and more. The list of resources available to you—whether it be Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research; Eye on Psi Chi magazine; the resource-packed website; opportunities to apply for grants, awards, scholarships; networking at regional psychology conventions (and more)—is staggering. To be a member “only” and to not leverage the opportunities of membership would be such a waste. Personally engaging with the organization and its members provides leadership opportunities and access to experiences that can be amazing. Please indulge me a bit and allow me to share my own story with you.
Step 1:  Becoming a Member  (or Total 80s Rewind)
I distinctly remember my Psi Chi induction at Monmouth College (IL) on December 13, 1983. It was so memorable for a number of reasons: we were invited to the home of a psychology faculty member, all of the inductees (I think about 5) were dressed up, and I remember signing the Psi Chi scroll after taking the oath. Afterward, we engaged in adult conversations with our fellow students and faculty—it was the first time I felt more like a colleague than a student. I have never forgotten that personal Psi Chi experience! In my senior year, I was elected president of our local Psi Chi chapter, and I was thrilled that I could help my fellow classmates pursue their education in psychology.
Step 2: Mentoring (or Test Drive)
After graduate school, I continued my engagement with Psi Chi by serving as the faculty advisor to the Boise State University chapter in 2003–05 and 2006–11. We worked hard to engage our members, which is often a challenge for nonresidential/commuter schools. We organized charitable and fund-raising events on campus, as well as supported members to attend the regional psychology convention of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA) meeting. At conventions, we participated in chapter exchange and leadership programming, as well as attended invited addresses and symposia that Psi Chi had organized for us. In each region of the United States, the Vice-President organizes the programming for the regional convention (an important detail for later). During my time as advisor, I began to help with RMPA Psi Chi programming by serving on steering committees, first with Dr. Carla Reyes and then Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodríguez (now Psi Chi President-Elect).
Step 3: Leadership  (or Running the Show)
After engaging on a regional level, I ran for and was elected Vice-President of the Rocky Mountain region for 2009–11. I was now responsible for the Psi Chi programming for the 2010 RMPA in Denver and the 2011 RMPA in Salt Lake City. I organized symposia and workshops, leadership events and chapter exchange sessions, and I also selected the Psi Chi Distinguished Lecturer for each convention. This “responsibility” provided me with opportunities to engage that rarely occur. What do I mean? For 2010, the Distinguished Lecturer was Dr. Albert Bandura and, during his visit, I got the chance to get to know him a little bit over dinner the night before his talk. During my scripted introduction, he interrupted me and heckled me—clearly one of the professional highlights of my career!  
The Next Step  (or Emotional Rewards)
It is because of Psi Chi that I was able to meet and genuinely interact with the most famous male and female psychologists alive in the world today. These events occurred only because of my personal engagement with Psi Chi. During my presidential year, I look forward to the opportunity to serve and give back to an organization that has so richly given to me. Keep watching in the coming year to hear more about big ideas and initiatives.
The opportunities provided by Psi Chi are like most other opportunities in life; you will get out of it what you put into it. Personally, Psi Chi has been one of the best investments of my life. I realize that my story may be atypical; your results may vary. But you will not know how far Psi Chi can take you until you try—step up and engage!

R. Eric Landrum is a professor of psychology at Boise State University, receiving his PhD in cognitive psychology from Southern Illinois University–Carbondale. His research interests center on the educational conditions that best facilitate student success and the use of SoTL strategies to advance the efforts of scientist-educators. He has over 300 professional presentations at conferences and published over 25 books/book chapters, and has published over 75 professional articles in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. Eric has worked with over 300 undergraduate research assistants and taught over 13,000 students in 23 years at Boise State. In 2014, APA President Nadine Kaslow presented Eric with an APA Presidential Citation in honor of his work in advancing the teaching of psychology. Eric is the lead author of The Psychology Major: Career Options and Strategies for Success (5th ed., 2013), authored Undergraduate Writing in Psychology: Learning to Tell the Scientific Story (2nd ed., 2012), and Finding A Job With a Psychology Bachelor's Degree: Expert Advice for Launching Your Career (2009). With the launch of a new APA journal in 2015—Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology—he will serve as one of its inaugural coeditors. Eric served as Vice-President for the Rocky Mountain region of Psi Chi (2009–2011). He is a member of the American Psychological Association, a fellow in APA’s Division Two (Society for the Teaching of Psychology/STP), served as STP secretary (2009–2011), and served as the 2014 STP President. In April 2016, he becomes President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association.



Copyright 2017 (Vol. 22, Iss. 1) 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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