Psi Beta at APA 2016

Psi Beta had a large presence at the annual APA conference in Denver last August (2016).

Annual Keynote Speaker – Dr. Noland White delivered the annual Ruth Hubbard Cousins Distinguished Lecture. White’s topic was Using assessment data to improve student engagement and learning in undergraduate psychology. His talk was well attended and especially helpful to those of us who teach psychology.


Dr. Noland White delivers his distinguished lecture.

Psi Beta Symposium – Psi Beta collaborated with CABE (Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education) to present a 2 hour, multi-presenter update on APA’s Summit on National Assessment of Psychology (SNAP) project. Various presenters explained how more than 50 psychologists met at the beautiful University of Wisconsin – Green Bay campus in June to begin compiling learning assessment tools and strategies that match well with one or more of APA’s learning goals for students enrolled in undergraduate psychology coursework. CABE members and APA are now working on a website to store and make assessment resources available. Soon teachers of psychology will be able to download many different vetted “plug & play” learning assessment scales and strategies designed to produce data having potential to improve student learning, inform curricular decisions, enhance departmental program review, and serve as evidence to help justify needed instructional resources. Psi Beta’s representatives at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay SNAP event included Katherine Wickes (Past-President and professor at Blinn College, TX), Bryan Gerber (Midwestern VP and professor at Stark State College, OH), and Jerry Rudmann (Executive Director and professor at Irvine Valley College, CA).


Above – Jaye Van Kirk speaking at the Psi Beta Symposium on APA’s SNAP project.

Psi Beta Birthday Party – During APA, we commemorated Psi Beta’s founding in 1981 by Ruth Cousins and her daughter Carol Tracy. Those in attendance watched a PowerPoint presentation dedicated to Psi Beta’s 35th birthday. The PowerPoint highlighted important people and milestones in Psi Beta’s history. The audience also enjoyed a birthday cake provided by the APA.


Student Poster Session – Eighteen Psi Beta students, a Psi Beta /APA record, presented posters of their research during the annual Psi Beta poster session. Chapters represented included Blinn College (TX), Cerritos College (CA), City College of Denver (CO), Glendale College (AZ), Irvine Valley College (CA), Lehigh Carbon CC (PA), and Mt. San Antonio College (CA). Psi Beta presented a certificate of accomplishment to each poster presenter.


An amazing (18!) number of Psi Beta students presented posters at the APA conference this year.


Kristie Soto (Glendale College, AZ) presented her award-winning study.


Mirna Sabbagh (Lehigh Carbon College, PA) presenting a poster based on her winning research study – the highest rated research study in Psi Beta’s 2015-16 competition.



Professor Katherine Wickes (on left), Psi Beta’s Past-President, with Lindi J. Lawson (Blinn College, TX).  Lawson presented her winning study at the Psi Beta poster session.


Brooke Iwamoto (Mt. San Antonio College, CA) presenting.


Noemi Salazar (Cerritos College, CA) presenting.

Award Presentations – The Anne Anastasi scholarship winners are pictured below. This scholarship is awarded in honor of Anne Anastasi (1908 – 2001), a pioneer in development of psychometrics. Each winning student was awarded an all-expenses paid trip to attend and participate in the APA conference. The entire list of 2016 award winners is available elsewhere in this newsletter, and by visiting the Psi Beta website at


Anastasi Scholarship Winners (left to right) – Mirna Sabbagh (Lehigh Carbon College, PA), Kristie Soto (Glendale College, AZ), and Lindi J. Lawson (Blinn College, TX).


The APA conference was an exciting, educational adventure for everyone who attended!!!



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