Lehman’s Psi Chi Chapter Wins Inaugural Kay Wilson Award

March 8, 2012 5:53 pm Alumni, Psychology Dept, School of Natural and Social Sciences, Students

Membres of Lehman's Psi Chi Chapter with Professor Vincent Prohaska (center).

Members of last year’s Psi Chi chapter at Lehman have been awarded the inaugural Kay Wilson Officer Team Leadership Award for demonstrating exceptional leadership as a group. From hosting workshops on getting into graduate school to raising funds for disaster relief efforts to launching an electronic newsletter, the team exceeded expectations and earned high praise from peers and faculty advisers alike.

“In twenty years of being the adviser to this chapter, and in my capacity as a Psi Chi officer, I have never seen a team of officers anywhere function as well, or with as much genuine affection for one another, as this one,” said Professor Vincent Prohaska (Psychology).

In an effort to increase participation and productivity, members of the chapter collaborated by teaming up to execute various tasks, including organizing six workshops that focused on conducting research, applying to graduate school, and preparing for graduate school work. The chapter also focused on increasing its service-related activities: it donated funds to various charities, including the American Cancer Society and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and several team members traveled to New Orleans on a Habitat for Humanity service trip.

Team leaders, recognizing how important effective communication is to the foundation of any working relationship, launched the chapter’s first e-newsletter “The Psi Chi Connection.” The publication features articles written by current members and alumni, and covers topics ranging from subfields in psychology to advice on interviews with faculty and avoiding procrastination.

“These are not students with an excess of time on their hands who are looking for something to do,” explains Professor Prohaska. “Their commitment to the ideals of Psi Chi during their terms of office was outstanding—as I’m sure it remains today in their current endeavors.”

In addition to their work as a team, individual members of the chapter received honors: chapter president Dana Miller received a Psi Chi / APS Summer Research award; vice president Rasheda Simpson was designated a Lehman College Presidential Scholar; and vice president Sumaira Ismail received a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Summer Fellowship to study in Cartagena, Columbia in 2010 and then a Health Career Opportunity Program internship at New York University Medical Center in summer 2011. All three students were LSAMP scholars. Other members of the team have been accepted into master’s programs in various colleges and universities, including New York University, Seton Hall University, and Fordham University.

Of all their achievements, chapter members are most proud of their efforts to prepare future officers to take their place. Indeed, this year’s chapter leaders are already demonstrating excellence in the field. Current vice president Leah Fredman has won a Psi Chi Regional Research Award for her poster at a Psi Chi research conference. She was one of eighteen winners out of 234 submissions by Psi Chi students from throughout the region.

Named after Kay Wilson, executive officer of Psi Chi from 1991-2003, the award honors her commitment to leadership and collaboration. Under her direction, Psi Chi doubled its memberships and increased its grants, awards, and national visibility.