RSCO Feature: Psi-Chi

Bella Lee, Staff writer

Are you a psychology major or minor? Are you interested in learning more about the world of psychology? Do you want to explore more opportunities to make new friends? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then Psi Chi is perfect for you. This honor society, open to all majors, though it is geared towards excellence in the field of psychology, not only helps students maintain academic excellence, but also puts on events that are both stimulating and fun.

According to the official Psi Chi website, the mission of Psi Chi is to “recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology.” Psi Chi is an international organization that includes professionals, scientists, students and more within the psychology field. There are “more than 1,200 chapters at colleges and universities across the U.S. 50 states, three U.S. territories, and 17 additional countries” This makes it one of the largest honors society in the country. The Mercyhurst chapter of Psi Chi works hand in hand with the Psychology Club here on campus. Meetings usually take place in Briggs Hall, which is the home of the Psychology Department.

“Psi Chi hosts meetings and events that encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship, specifically in psychology, and work to advance the field of psychology,” said McKenzie Kestler, senior Psychology major and President of Psi Chi and Psychology Club. “We do this by hosting colloquiums, trips, book clubs, study sessions, meetings with guest speakers, and so on.”

The club participated in a number of interesting events this year including a colloquium in which Dr. Seyma Inan presented her research titled “Linguistic Diversity in the USA: Experiences and Attitudes of Turkish Immigrant Parents in the US: Transmission of Heritage Culture and Language,” as well as a book club on “This Is Your Mind on Plants.” The club also has plans in store for the remainder of the semester. “We plan on having guest speakers this semester, as well as an induction department-wide event,” said Kestler.

All majors are welcome to join Psi Chi, but because it is an honors society which focuses on academics, students must meet club requirements that demonstrate academic excellence, including at least a 3.0 GPA and at least nine credit hours of psychology-related courses. New members must then get voted in by the executive board for Psi Chi.Psi Chi has a positive impact on its members and helps them to remain positive and organized when it comes to their schoolwork. “I joined Psi Chi because I love the field of psychology, wanted to learn more about what is going on in the field and current research,” said Kestler. “I also hoped to develop new friendships with like-minded people, and that definitely happened.”

If you are a newer Psychology major, or interested in the field but not studying in this field, you could check out the Psychology Club to get yourself acquainted with the field before making your decision, and be able to make new friends alone with participating in activities related to Psychology.If you are looking for an Honors Society that promotes academic excellence and has strong roots in the Psychology field, then Psi Chi will be the perfect fit for you. For more information, contact McKenzie Kestler, who acts as president of both Psi Chi and the Psychology Club, or Melissa Heerboth, Associate Professor of Psychology and advisor for the club.