The HWS chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology, has been named a Model Chapter for 2017. It was one of only 42 out of more than 1,000 chapters currently active to receive the honor. The group will receive a $100 award and certificate, as well as the ability to apply for a regional chapter award and the prestigious Ruth H. Cousins Chapter Award.
“This award means a great deal to our members,” says the group’s faculty adviser, Associate Professor of Psychology Jamie Bodenlos. “The chapter was only established a few years ago, so it’s really important to show that we are active.”
Bodenlos says that the chapter’s interest in service projects helped them earn the designation. In keeping with the Colleges’ rich tradition of service and civic engagement, members frequently volunteer for campus events. They have worked in the HWS Discovery’s Playground, for example, and created a video this year for students to engage with and learn about the faculty in the Psychology Department.
“This was all their idea,” says Bodenlos. “They had each faculty member talk about their research and the classes they taught, and presented it to students with an interest in this area of study, so that people could get to know us.”
Sarah Burstein ’19, a psychology major with a minor in health professions, is one student who has benefited from her connection to Psi Chi. She was recently awarded a grant by Psi Chi to pursue study in mindfulness and alcohol problems in low-income, ethnically-diverse adults. Burstein says she was proud to find out that her group had been named a Model Chapter. “It is an honor to be part of such a prestigious organization and even better, to be one of the few model chapters,” she says.
Membership in Psi Chi is open to all students who are pursuing a major or minor in a psychology program, or a program that is psychological in nature, and who have earned an overall GPA that is in the top 35 percent of their class. There are, Bodenlos says, numerous benefits to students who join.
“There are opportunities for grants and travel awards, and recognition when they apply for jobs or grad school, because Psi Chi is well known and respected,” she says. “There are also networking opportunities and regional conferences they may attend. Plus, they are recognized at our Psi Chi banquet and at graduation.”
The photo above features Psi Chi Officers for 2016-2017 Juliana Heffern ’17, Grace Marola ’17, Bridget Nishimura ’17 and Katie Pinkes ’17.