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 2013-14. Few of the nation’s Psi Beta chapters achieve this level of distinction, however, this is the third consecutive year that SMC Psi Beta garnered this prestigious national award.
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.
The SMC Psi Beta chapter, chartered on September 1, 1988, is under the direction of Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, professor of psychology. She is assisted by Pete Aylor, psychology professor and Director of SMC’s Counseling Center and Sue Onken, college counselor. 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. To date, there have been 404 SMC students who have achieved life-time membership to Psi Beta.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, SMC’s Psi Beta seminars boasted attendance of over one hundred students per event. The seminar “O daddy, where are you?” focused on fatherhood and the ills of society. The speaker discussed the importance of a stable home environment led by a father and related this to the social maladies (ex: teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, etc.) in our society. “The Ugly Face of Domestic Violence” seminar was feature in a Spartanburg Herald Journal newspaper article published in the October 18, 2013 edition. A third fall seminar focused on “Suicide: Is it an Option?”
In the spring, Psi Beta presented a seminar on “Human Trafficking & Sex Slavery.” Local WSPA Channel 7 television attended and reported on the seminar during their evening news broadcasts. Other seminars included “Cyberbullying and Sexting;” and on April 10th, 2014 a symposium celebrating SMC students and their outstanding scholarly work in various academic disciplines, “Viva Academia: Let’s Celebrate Academics,” was hosted. Students featured also presented in the Tenth Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium.
Psi Beta conducted a Mobile Mentors Program, where alongside SMC Psychology students, they traveled to area middle schools to talk about college and motivate their younger counterparts to persevere and be ambitious in order to not only reach but ultimately finish college. Psi Beta also presented a well-received, inner-active seminar on bullying to middle school students, presenting not only the facts but also their own personal experiences.