Enrichment Opportunities and 2013 Psi Beta Award Winners

Psi Beta offers its chapters and members a variety of ways to participate in meaningful service and research activities. Below is a summary. Detailed information can be found on the Psi Beta website at http://psibeta.org.

1. National Research Project – The Annual Psi Beta National Research project for 2013-14 launched on November 15. This year’s study investigates the relationship between time perspective, mindset, and happiness. Participating chapters have until the end of February to submit data from a minimum of 50 participants. Psi Beta members can explore the resulting dataset and use their analyses to prepare and present research posters.

While we encourage local chapters to host their own student research conference at which their members can present research papers and posters, annual conferences hosted by many psychological associations, such as the Western Regional Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association, now feature poster sessions designed specifically for Psi Beta students. Besides conferences, Psi Beta also hosts the annual student research paper competition. Psi Beta’s service-learning projects, such as the Heroic Imagination Project, include research components.

2.  Service-Learning Projects – The Heroic Imagination Project, launched in 2012, is continuing and expanding. Chapter members wishing to participate can use Psi Beta’s resource materials, and prepare and present high quality 90-minute workshops to high school, college, or community groups. Workshop topics available are on the Bystander Effect and Mindset. New workshops currently under development include Anti-Bullying, Prejudice, and Happiness.

Another service learning project, currently undergoing pilot testing, involves connecting Psi Beta students to introductory psychology classrooms as peer-mentors. The peer-mentors serve to a) inform the students about involvement opportunities on campus and important services, b) facilitate formation of study groups, c) conduct out-of-classroom skill building workshops, and d) present in-class workshop designed to encourage a growth (incremental) mindset about learning. The classroom peer-mentor project is undergoing extensive pilot-testing this year the Irvine Valley College Psi Beta chapter. This project will launch nationally in fall of 2014.

Both service-learning opportunities, the Heroic Imagination Project and the Peer-Mentor Project, include research components designed to measure the positive impact the program has on the recipients and as well as the Psi Beta students who are providing the service.

3. Annual Awards Competitions – There are both individual and chapter level competitions open to all members and active chapters. Here’s a summary (details can be found under “Awards” on the Psi Beta website):

  • Building Bonds Award – given to the chapter that does a collaborative project with a Psi Chi chapter.
  • Chapter Excellence Award – given to each chapter that meets or exceeds Psi Beta’s chapter excellence criteria.
  • Community Service Awards – chapter and member level competitions are offered.
  • College Life Award – for the Psi Beta chapter that makes a significant positive impact on its college.
  • Faculty Advisor Award – goes to the nation’s most deserving chapter advisor.
  • Research Paper – six different cash awards are given annually.

2012-2013 Psi Beta Awards

Carol Tracy Chapter Community Service Award
Virginia Western Community College, Advisor is Lora Vasiliauskas

Virginia Staudt Sexton Faculty Advisor Award
Kimberley Duff, Advisor at Cerritos College

Ann G. Robinson College Life Award
Collin College, Advisor is Jennifer O’Loughlin-Brooks

Johnson / Cousins Building Bonds Award
Psi Beta chapter at Cerritos College and the Psi Chi chapter at California State University at Long Beach

Chapter Excellence Awards

  • Carroll Community College – Advisor is Laura Bittner
  • Cerritos College – Advisor is Kimberley Duff
  • Collin College – Advisor is Jennifer O’Loughlin-Brooks
  • Irvine Valley College – Advisor is Kari Tucker
  • Lone Star College – Montgomery – Advisor is Karen Buckman
  • Spartanburg Methodist College – Advisor is Mary Jane Farmer
  • Virginia Western Community College – Advisor is Lora Vasiliauskas

Worth / Psi Beta Research Paper Awards

Gold Level

  • 1stJennifer Uhlman, Dark humor as a function of mindset, Irvine Valley College (CA)
  • 2nd Edward A. Mason, How does legality and prior consumption effect willingness to use marijuana? Glendale Community College (AZ)
  • 3rd Bryan W. Gower, How does emotional intelligence and setting affect willingness to use marijuana? Glendale Community College (AZ)

Silver Level

  • 1st (3-way tie) Brian Schudel, Romantic attraction based on openness to new experiences. Glendale Community College (AZ)
  • 1st (3-way tie) Yudith Dian, The relationship between student academic success and professor characteristics. Irvine Valley College (CA)
  • 1st (3-way tie) Travis Christopher Harrick, How does legality and prior consumption affect willingness to use marijuana? Glendale Community College (AZ)

Honorable Mention

  • Jonathan L. Miceli, Effects of prior exposure to music on memory. Lake Michigan College (MI)
  • Den Mark Marcelo, Students academic success through professors’ teaching characteristics. Irvine Valley College (CA)

By Jerry Rudmann, Executive Director

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