Greetings Fellow Department of Psychology Alumni !
At a time when the Department and University have had their research and teaching mission challenged by uncertainty regarding funding and a limited resource environment, the need for alumni to step up and give back has never been greater. For the past seven years, the Department of Psychology Alumni Advisory Board, a group of passionate and dedicated individuals, has been working to develop and execute a variety of innovative initiatives to support the Department, its faculty, and graduate/undergraduate students. Under the outstanding leadership of Steve Wiet and Larry Moller, our advisory board has made significant strides in accomplishing our short term goals including, but not limited to:
- With your help, our Shape the Future Today development campaign generated $60,000, more than halfway to goal of $100,000. We are truly grateful for your contributions and we look forward to making an announcement when we reach this key milestone!
- We have established a needs-based Professional Development Awards program to assist doctoral students with travel grants to support attending academic conferences where they are making presentations. These funds have also been used to provide support for undergraduates pursuing summer internship opportunities that will provide them with valuable work experience in psychology.
- A mentorship program was established that offers ongoing panel discussions with psychology alumni who work in law, medicine, mental health, and business. These events have provided students with opportunities to not only learn about specific career options related to psychology, but also to network with professionals in these fields.
- We have hosted networking events for psychology alumni in Chicago, Homecoming Day, as well as other venues. More events are in the works, so please consider joining us!
- We have created the “Illinois Psychology Leadership Academy” that creates and delivers leadership, job search, and professional skill development workshops tailored specifically to psychology students. The Academy has conducted two extremely successful workshops in the past and is planning to increase the number and breadth of its workshops in the future.
Moving forward, our board is working with Wendy Heller, Chair of the Psychology Department and other key partners from the department, including Professor Bob Wickesberg, Cheryl Berger, and Gary Wszalek, to develop new initiatives to strengthen the department’s world-class status for research and teaching. Some of the initiatives for which we are providing support include:
- Engaging in fund raising activities to support faculty and doctoral student research and travel, undergraduate scholarships and grants, new program development, and upgrades to facilities including instructional technology and meeting space.
- Creating an online summer internship course for psychology students that will provide them with learning activities, professional coaching and support while they earn academic credit toward fulfilling their major requirements. Students will be able to take this course while doing internships anywhere in the world.
- Developing a stronger partnership with student groups in the Department by adding student representative positions to our board. These student representatives will come from the Psi Chi Honorary Society in Psychology and the Psychology Leaders Program, a leadership development group in the Department.
As you can see, our goals are extremely ambitious, but given the challenges the department has been facing in terms of budgetary and staffing issues, the need to help has never been greater. Please consider making a donation to the Shape the Future Fund.
No donation is too small.
We look forward to updating you throughout the year on our progress. Please contact me Loren Kuzuhara at email@example.com, Carrie Grady at firstname.lastname@example.org, Cheryl Berger at email@example.com, or Jean Driscoll at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the alumni advisory board, our activities, and how you can help.
We are alumni of one of the preeminent Psychology Departments in the world and this should be a source of great pride for all of us. With your support, we can help to enhance that position as a leader in cutting-edge, psychological research as well as a producer of the best educated graduate and undergraduate psychology students.
Loren Kuzuhara, President
Psychology Alumni Advisory Board
Class of 1985
Carrie Grady, Vice President
Psychology Alumni Advisory Board
Class of 1999