Progress, Growth, and Giving with Psi Beta
As we begin this new academic year there is progress, growth, and giving brewing within our organization. I am honored to serve, represent, and advocate as the National President of Psi Beta. I am genuinely enthusiastic about the future of Psi Beta and all the benefits, contributions, and accomplishments that our members, alumni, advisors, and prospective inductees will experience ahead. Before sharing more about me, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to our former Executive Director, Dr. Jerry Rudmann, and the entire national council. This very special dedicated group of Psi Betans make up a strong unit that unconditionally support one another and always have the organization’s best interest in mind. As colleagues, friends, and fellow council members, they help make the transition into a leadership role easier. Thank you for being you!
So who am I?
My name is Liza Véliz and I am the former Southwestern Regional Vice President of Psi Beta since 2016. I serve as the chairperson of the Department of Psychological Science at South Texas College in McAllen, TX (very near the U.S.- México border) and lecturer at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. I founded the inaugural Psi Beta chapter at South Texas College in 2012 and have served as an advisor since. As a first-generation college student (or first-time in college, FTIC as they refer to it in some literature) and first-generation professional (not too popular in the literature…yet!) I am very passionate about the first-time in college experience, the two-year college experience, and the overall need to cultivate an environment that allows for growth and flourishing to take place. Mentorship is another aspect of who I am and what I value. During my undergraduate students, my mentor found me. She initiated the mentorship, and I had no idea the effects that mentorship would have on my entire life. She helped me gain research experience, apply for grants, scholarships, assistantships, and helped guide me when I didn’t know how to ask for it. Thank you, Dr. Wendy James-Aldridge! I felt that same type of mentorship again when I joined the Psi Beta Council, only this time I was mentored on how to be a professional! Unlike when I was a student, this time I initiated by joining the council and just as before, I had no idea the effect that the council service would have on my entire life. I want to pay it forward and give as I have received. Here’s what I have in mind.
Goal 1: Assist Psi Beta members in becoming more competitive transfer students.
Membership in Psi Beta brings so many benefits, and one key benefit is the opportunity to gain research skills and experience by participating in the annual national research project. We are determined to create opportunities for student member to conduct research using various types of research designs, statistical testing, and platforms for which they can report and present their findings such as the Psi Beta Journal for Undergraduate Research.
Goal 2: Assist Psi Beta members in becoming more competitive in the workforce.
One common misconception with students at two-year colleges is that 100% of our graduating majors transfer to four-year institutions. We need to do better and help our students recognize the marketable skills they gain in their program and thru engagement in leadership opportunities with Psi Beta such as serving as a Chapter Delegate and Student Campus Ambassador for the American Psychological Association (APA). I would also like to encourage students to join and be contributing authors for APA’s Psychology Student Network and sharpen their communication skills and having their words, experiences, and perspectives published by APA.
Goal 3: Help council members promote Psi Beta’s value to faculty and Psi Beta members.
We are welcoming a new Executive Director, Todd Joseph, and his former presidential term led to new conferences, more collaborations, and awareness of the organization to other professional groups such as APA and the Society of Teaching of Psychology (STP). These collaborations help council members promote Psi Beta’s value to psychology faculty at two-year colleges and current and prospective college students. Positive collaborations like these will help increase Psi Betans level of engagement, help strengthen Psi Beta programming and attendance at regional conferences, and lead to more progress in fulfilling the mission of Psi Beta.
Here’s to YOUR Accomplishments!
I want to take a moment to applaud this year’s award winners and extend my congratulations! The work you are doing is exceptional and we hope you continue. During the APA convention, I had the privilege of meeting Psi Beta student members and advisors that were presenting and was ecstatic that our number of poster presenters grew! I hope that trend continues. Be sure to check out highlights of APA on social media and tag/share them. I encourage you to review our scholarship and awards, and apply next year.
I look forward to the progress, growth, and giving during my presidential term with Psi Beta. I am here to serve YOU and I welcome any feedback, ideas, or thoughts you have on how we can advance Psi Beta together.
To Psi Beta!