By Jeff Willadsen, WSU Academic Outreach & Innovation

Psi Chi, an internationally recognized honor society for psychology students, inducted 21 Washington State University online students into the society’s newly‑formed WSU Global Campus chapter during a ceremony in Seattle on March 2.

The Global Campus Psi Chi chapter is the first discipline‑specific honor society chapter created exclusively for online WSU students.

Stacey Ahuja, an online psychology student, was elected as the Global Campus Psi Chi chapter’s president. According to Ahuja, she has noticed a strong desire among fellow Global Campus students to participate in extracurricular groups and engagement activities.

“A lot of online students are looking for opportunities to connect with like‑minded people and be a part of something outside of their courses,” Ahuja said. “Though we are located all across the world, online students still want to engage and get involved. I saw Psi Chi as a way to do that.”

In 2018, Ahuja expressed the desire to start a Psi Chi chapter with Lee Daffin, director of WSU Global Campus’ online psychology program. This began the process which led to the creation of the Global Campus Psi Chi chapter.

“I’m hoping that other online students will be encouraged to get involved with groups like Psi Chi, across all degree programs and disciplines,” Ahuja said. “I think it’s an incredible opportunity for Global Campus Cougs, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Daffin now acts as the new chapter’s faculty advisor.

“Encouraging a strong sense of community is very important to our program, and Psi Chi is now a part of that,” Daffin said. “We work hard to provide our online students with a wide variety of opportunities to engage. We have a psychology club, teaching assistant opportunities, undergraduate research and other opportunities for students to connect and interact.”

The Psi Chi induction ceremony was conducted in conjunction with Global Campus’ annual Rendezvous event in Seattle. Rendezvous included a keynote speaker, workshops, a resource fair, a meet and greet, face‑to‑face advising sessions and other activities for Global Campus students, faculty and staff to interact in person.

“Rendezvous is our chance to meet with students face‑to‑face and connect with them on a whole different level,” Daffin said. “Opportunities to meet in person really go a long way in building a strong sense of group identity and belonging. Our online students love being Cougs, and it’s great to see them come together and express that enthusiasm.”

Psi Chi, founded at Yale University in 1929, is one of the world’s largest and most successful honor societies, with over 1,197 chapters located at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Along with recognizing academic achievement by granting membership in the Society, Psi Chi also sponsors programs and activities which augment and enhance students’ normal curriculum, offers an outlet for service to campuses and local communities, and helps provide practical experience and fellowship. The organization also bestows several regional and Society research awards, sponsors programs at regional and national psychological association conventions, and publishes the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

“We pride ourselves in fostering a holistic, engaging campus experience for our Global Campus students,” said Dave Cillay, vice president of WSU Academic Outreach and Innovation. “Psi Chi is part of Global Campus’ ongoing effort to promote new student groups and activities for our online learners. Stay tuned for more exciting and unique engagement opportunities like this.”