President’s Message – Hello Psi Beta Family!
By Todd Joseph
President, Psi Beta National Honor Society
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Todd Joseph and I am excited to be the new National President of Psi Beta. I have been lucky enough to have served on the Psi Beta National Council since 2016 and I am honored to continue to serve as the co-advisor (along with Kaleena Landry) of the Psi Beta chapter at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, FL. My work with Psi Beta has opened up many other opportunities for me, including becoming the co-chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education (CABE) and the Executive Director of the Central Florida Psychology Summit. Psi Beta is an amazing organization and I truly hope that each of you get as much out of your involvement with it as I have.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the past year and a half has been tragic and difficult in many, many ways. People have lost their lives, families have been torn apart, and political divisiveness is near an all-time high. However, through all of this, each of us has experienced moments of joy, friendship, and discovery. Psi Beta has been a part of many of these positive moments in my life over the past few years. My primary goal as president is to help Psi Beta to continue to grow as a force for positive experiences in the world. I have a few ideas about how I would like to do that, but I am hoping that each of you can help me by sharing your own ideas and helping me to implement mine. Below I will describe a few of the projects/initiatives that I have in mind. If you have any ideas of your own that you’d like to share, please reach out on social media:
or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to supporting each one of you as part of my Psi Beta family. Please see my Presidential Initiatives / Priorities below. Have a great semester.
Todd Allen Joseph
Professor of Psychology
Hillsborough Community College
- Grow Psi Beta: Psi Beta provides a lot of opportunities for community college psychology students. I want us to provide those opportunities to more students. We (your national Psi Beta leaders) are brainstorming ideas about how to make that happen, but chapters and members will definitely play an important role.
- Promote Undergraduate Research as an Equity Issue: Many organizations are talking about the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion, and Psi Beta is one of them. You may not be aware, but in many parts of the country, community colleges are not allowed to teach a formal Research Methods course. Since Research Methods is almost always a prerequisite for upper-level courses, community college students often are unable to take upper-level classes until their second semester after transferring. In addition, they are unlikely to gain positions in research laboratories because they also usually require completion of a research methods class. Since students of color, low SES, and other disadvantaged and minoritized students are more likely to start their educational careers at community colleges, this “research methods problem” disproportionately affects them, making this an equity issue. Psi Beta is working to collect data on how widespread this problem is and what some potential solutions might be. For right now, we offer the National Research Project to help students get valuable research experience, but we want to do more.
- Increase Undergraduate Research Presentation Opportunities: We are lucky enough at Psi Beta to have poster presentation sessions at the annual APA convention and many of the regional conferences. We are working to get those sessions at all of the regionals. In addition, Psi Beta developed a new undergraduate research journal and will be working on creating a virtual conference. There are many students who are doing interesting work, but don’t have a chance to show it off; we will do what we can to provide those opportunities!
- Increase Scholarship and Award Opportunities: Psi Beta has many awards that we give out every year to deserving students, but we know that there are many more deserving students out there. We are hoping to establish funding for a “Pay It Forward” scholarship that helps pay membership fees for some of our new members. We are hoping to start a donation campaign aimed at alumni to help fund this, giving them an opportunity to “pay forward” some of what they got out of Psi Beta. We are also looking at numerous other possible awards and scholarships. If you have any thoughts about funding sources, please send them our way!