SMC Psi Beta chapter earns 2012-13 Chapter Excellence Award

Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for community and junior colleges, has recognized the Spartanburg Methodist College chapter of Psi Beta with the prestigious Psi Beta Chapter Excellence Award for 2012-13. This is the second year in a row the college has received this honor.

Psi Beta provides students with opportunities to acquire leadership skills, interact with faculty outside the classroom, learn more about the professional and educational choices available in psychology, meet outstanding professionals in psychology, participate in community service, meet peers with similar interests, and be involved with Psi Beta on the national level.

The award challenges chapters to engage in activities reflecting Psi Beta’s four-pronged mission of leadership, scholarship, community service and research.  Few of the nation’s Psi Beta chapters achieve this level of distinction.

The SMC Psi Beta chapter, chartered on September 1, 1988, is under the direction of psychology professor Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, with assistance from Pete Aylor, psychology professor and Director of SMC’s Counseling Center, and college Counselor Sue Onken.  To date, there have been 376 SMC students who have achieved life-time membership to Psi Beta.

Membership to PSI BETA is by invitation only.  To be considered students must have at least 12 college credits, earn a B or higher in PSYC 101, maintain a 3.25 GPA and be of good moral character.

During the past academic year, SMC’s Psi Beta students volunteered at various schools for the Mobile Mentors Program, reading to 100+ kindergartners and talked to, motivated, and answered the questions of at least 250 middle school students.  They also sponsored seminars and events that tackled numerous issues and hot topics in psychology such as, “College Relationships”, presented by Roger Rhoades, D. Min., LPC; “Do Daddies Matter”, presented by Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright; “What’s Love Got to Do with It?: A Look at Teen Pregnancy in 2012”, presented by Ms. Dana Becker, M.Ed., “PTSD: Not All Wounds are Visible”, presented by Dr. Craig Burnette, and “Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: Help Anyone” presented by Dr. Eric Winter, MD, Senior Staff Psychiatrist of Spartanburg Mental Health.

The SMC Psi Beta chapter strongly advocates research not only among her members but the entire student body.  Last April, two SMC Psi Beta members participated in VIVA ACADEMIA, a platform organized and sponsored by the SMC chapter to allow students to present their research findings and papers to the student body; and in the Ninth Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium hosted by Milliken & Company. Michael Clevenger presented “Sleep Deprivation Amongst College Students” and Phillip Wolfe presented “Perception and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”.  SMC Psi Beta members also collected children’s books to benefit Arcadia Elementary School and shoes for “Shoes for Africa” in support of the advocacy project of Miss SMC 2012-2013.