Greetings Fellow Department of Psychology Alumni !
For the past 5 years, the Department of Psychology Alumni Advisory Board has been laying the foundation to assist the Department and its students in careers after graduation.
Under the outstanding leadership of Larry Moller, and a dedicated group of alumni, the Board has made significant strides in accomplishing our short term goals:
- With your help, our Shape the Future Today development campaign generated $32,828, exceeding our $25,000 goal. We are truly grateful for your contributions.
- We have established a needs-based Professional Development Awards program to assist undergraduates in fulfilling internships that would not have been achievable without money from the Shape the Future Today campaign. To date we have enabled ten psychology undergraduates to accept internships across the country that have strengthened their career aspirations.
- A number of classrooms and conference rooms have also benefited from your contributions. State-of-the-art technology was added to these rooms and enable faculty to expand their teaching options through the use of internet access and on-line meetings with outside thought leaders.
- A mentorship program was established that connects psychology alumni to students. This program has been very successful in providing valuable career assistance, wisdom, and advice.
- A psychology course was added to the curriculum that is devoted to career preparation for psychology students. With the assistance of volunteer Board members, this course provides one-on-one job interviewing practice, resume writing skills development, and outside speakers providing their insights on job prospects for psychology majors.
Clearly, much more work is needed. I have the privilege of succeeding Larry as Board President for the next several years, and hope to build on what we have created. Recent discussions with the Board and Department have identified several new initiatives we would like to pursue starting this year with your help:
- We have launched our second Shape the Future Today campaign. Our goal is an ambitious $100,000 dollars. In addition to continuing the Professional Development Awards program and funds for department improvements, the fund will offer need and merit-based scholarships for undergraduates. The campaign will also work with the graduate student group, Students of Psychology Ally for Riveting Colloquia (SPARC), to fund an alumni speaker series to foster their development.
- We are working with the faculty to create another psychology course offering career awareness to psychology underclassmen especially at the freshman and sophomore level.
- We are expanding our mentoring program to offer an online option, allowing for more input and dialog on career questions between psychology students and alumni. You can find the mentoring subgroup on Linkedin under “Department of Psychology Mentoring Program.”
We also understand that to be successful, student engagement is critical. For this reason we will begin working directly with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chapter of Psi Chi, an International Honor Society in Psychology, to develop a “culture of giving” among the student body to engage a broader number of students in our mission of fund raising and career enrichment.
We need your help as our goals are ambitious. If you have the time, please consider volunteering. Work with the Board, the Department’s faculty and staff, and the students. Give back to the institution that I hope remains fondly in your minds and hearts.
If you have the means, please consider donating to our new Shape the Future II â€“ the Legacy Continues campaign. This will help us achieve the goals I have mentioned above. The campaign’s website is located at: http://www.psychology.illinois.edu/giving/shape/. No donation is too small.
I look forward to updating you throughout the year on our progress. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, Cheryl Berger at email@example.com, or Leslie Vermillion at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the alumni advisory board, our activities, and where you can help.
We are alumni of one of the preeminent Psychology Departments in the country. With your support we can maintain that position and ensure our students obtain the education they want and need.
Stephan Wiet, President
Psychology Alumni Advisory Board
Class of 1976
Comments or concerns about the Alumni web pages can be addressed to Cheryl Berger, Assistant Head for Alumni Affairs, by e-mail to email@example.com
Suvarna Menon has been selected as a 2015 honoree by the Women's Resources Center within the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations on campus in recognition of her invaluable work on behalf of women internationally. Suvarna is supervised by Dr. Nicole Allen and studies violence against women (VAW) in India and the community response to violence. Her most recent study examined the formal response to VAW in India through interviews with key community stakeholders.These included formal responders like police officers, NGO workers, lawyers and government officials, aiming to examine the current status of coordinated response in India. She is currently studying women’s experiences of sexual harassment in public spaces and bystander efforts in India. She is also part of a collaborative effort (which includes multiple campus units including the Women's Resource Center, the Office of the Dean of Students, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Access) to implement ICARE, a bystander intervention program to prevent sexual assault on campus. She is leading the evaluation component of this program. At present, she is the project coordinator and instructor for a community-based advocacy program for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault where she trains and supervises undergraduate student advocates.
Meredith Wieck (BS'09) is currently in London shooting the sequel to 2013's summer sleeper hit "Now You See Me." You can read about Meredith's career path in the article Movie Production: Lights, Camera, Action! in the 2015 Winter issue of Psychology Times.
Psychology Leaders were one of several campus student groups that organized activities for "I Love Illinois Week." View pictures from their event at: www.psychology.illinois.edu/alumni/news/gallery/.