Alejandro Morales, PhD
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)
Psi Chi holds a special place in professional life. As a student, it became a space where I found other like-minded students interested in topics related to diversity, social justice, and wanting to pursue a graduate degree. I also found an academic family with mentors and students who supported me throughout my career as a student. When I was approached to be the faculty advisor for our chapter, I gladly accepted. For the past two years, I have witnessed the development of talented student leaders committed to creating a sense of family among all members. Further, I am happy to report that since my tenure as faculty advisor, we have secured funding to pay for registration and hotel stay for 30 students from our chapter to attend the WPA Convention.
I feel that my experiences as a faculty advisor of our Psi Chi chapter have prepared me for the position of Western Vice-President of the Board of Directors. I have three goals that I would like to accomplish if elected to this position: (1) propose a series of major contributions that faculty and students can submit for publication consideration to the Psi Chi Journal, (2) revise the ways of collecting demographic data of new members to have statistics on different social identities, and (3) collaborate with regional (e.g., WPA) and national (e.g., APA, NLPA, AAPA, ABPSI) organizations in organizing social events where students can network with other Psi Chi members and faculty to enhance their professional development.
Dr. Alejandro Morales is an associate professor of psychology in the Psychology Department at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). He conducts qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies on the psycho-social-cultural mechanisms of adjustment in Latino immigrant families with children who serve as translators and interpreters (i.e., language brokers). His research also focuses on identifying the processes that facilitate the psychological wellbeing of Latino gay men. He teaches courses on abnormal psychology, basic counseling skills, intimate relationships, human sexuality, and couple's psychotherapy. For the past two years, he has served as the faculty advisor of the Psi Chi Chapter at Cal Poly Pomona. Last year, he joined Psi Chi’s Diversity Advisory Committee. He received his PhD and MA in counseling psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his BA in psychology from the California State University, Dominguez Hills.
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Jill Yamashita, PhD
California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB)
I believe that it is important to lead by example. It is one thing to lead Psi Chi chapters, but another thing completely to show them by collaborating with other faculty, student, and staff. I currently serve as a member of the Western Region Steering Committee. I believe the best way to continue to be a great role model is to participate in Psi Chi’s leadership by becoming a member of the Psi Chi Board of Directors.
I believe to include more diversity in Psi Chi, you must have someone who understands the needs of diverse students. In order to bring in more diverse students, Psi Chi needs to raise money so that those students who meet the academic requirements but cannot pay for the membership have an opportunity to join Psi Chi. I understand that there is a program that has already started to do this, but I believe it is necessary to expand this program. I am ready to help develop fund-raising plans and ideas to help Psi Chi grow while supporting its members.
Other than fund-raising, I would like to work with Psi Chi to ensure that students know about all of the opportunities that Psi Chi offers to help with scholarly pursuits. One way to increase scholarly pursuits is to increase the number of students who get funding for either their research (e.g., research grants) or by going to conferences (e.g., travel grants). More grants received by students may lead to more scholarly pursuits.
I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with my PhD in 2003.
I have been working at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) for almost ten years now. I am the Psi Chi advisor for the CSUMB chapter, since 2010. I have worked with some great student leaders on various projects, both community (e.g., collecting goods for local charities) and campus related (e.g., participation in Mindful Madness, open houses). I have learned a lot by advising Psi Chi, especially, the challenges of helping new cabinets organize and motivating them. I joined the Psi Chi Western Region Steering Committee in Fall 2016 and have been working with a wonderful group of faculty on reviewing and choosing Psi Chi award winners for the Western Psychological Association convention, and presenting information on how to get in to graduate school and how to survive once there. I also have evaluated Psi Chi Travel Grant requests, as well as, reviewed Undergraduate Research Grants in 2017. I would bring a fresh perspective because I work at a Hispanic Serving Institute where the many of our students are first-generation college students that come from low income families.
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