Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, has recognized the UMW Psi Chi chapter as the best in the organization.
The annual Ruth Hubbard Cousins Chapter Award, which includes a $3,000 prize, selects one chapter that best demonstrates Psi Chi’s mission to recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology.
“This award highlights the University of Mary Washington Psi Chi Chapter as exemplary amongst other Psi Chi chapters,” said Paige Anctil, awards and grants officer for the Psi Chi Central Office.
Psi Chi has over 1,100 chapters worldwide, Anctil said. But only a small fraction of those even quality for the award, making eligibility an achievement unto itself.
“Our chapter has always strived to provide the best opportunities for our members as well as students within the entire department of psychological science,” said Sophia Lamp, chapter co-president. “Each year, this involves organizing informative panels about life after graduation, planning service projects both on campus and in our broader community, and hosting collaborative social events.”
These include workshops on resume and personal statement writing, GRE preparation and career and graduate school forums. The chapter also organizes Mental Health Awareness Week in an effort to educate the campus about mental illness and help end the stigma surrounding it.
Other events organized by UMW Psi Chi give students the opportunity to present research to an audience beyond their own class. Past service projects include writing holiday cards to troops in Iraq and collecting donations of both money and goods to contribute to a foundation started in honor of a child who lost her fight against cancer.
“This award will allow our chapter to continue to thrive, foster the growth of future psychologists, and open new avenues enabling even more positive contributions to our department, university, and community,” said Lamp.
Past winners of the Ruth Hubbard Cousins Award, named for a long-time Psi Chi secretary and executive director, include Central Connecticut State University and Temple University in Philadelphia.
“The University of Mary Washington Psi Chi chapter is honored beyond words for its selection as the Ruth Hubbard Cousins Chapter Award recipient for 2017-2018 and for being recognized as an exceptional role model for current and future chapters,” said Mindy Erchull, faculty advisor and psychological science professor.