Member Stories

Kayla Takes Over The Blog

A little over two years ago I had just officially switched my major to Psychology with the intent of my future career looking at inter and intra-relationships with patients (specifically children with cancer) and how this effected individuals outcomes (i.e. did some get better because he/she had a higher quantity or quality of relationship(s)? or perhaps the opposite with terminal outcomes). Not knowing very much since this was my first semester I sought advice from heads of the department which informed me to get into research ASAP! It was through my search that I happened to find Dr. Kohman’s Psychoneuroimmunology Lab. At the time I had very little knowledge about the experiments she was conducting in her lab, with barely any classes to help me understand, and a drive to help children. Immediately I started bugging the crap out of this very nice, young professor who I had never had a class with until she gave me an interview (which I didn’t know was an interview).

She e-mailed me one day about “meeting up to talk” and innocent me had no idea that meant a formal interview. Even though I showed up in jeans, a sweatshirt, no make-up and a ponytail I somehow still managed to get the position. She later told me the reason she accepted me was because when she asked me the interview questions she could tell I was being 100% honest and up front with her. (For those of you looking to get into labs remember: You can be trained on skills in the lab but genuineness is something either instilled in you or not. Both future PI’s and Employers are looking for this)

I have been in Dr. Kohman’s lab two years to date and am currently conducting an Honor’s Thesis titled Social Housing and its effect on inflammation-induced anxiety in C57BL6/J mice. Now you may be wondering what mice have to do with my interest in children. My future goals for research include looking at children with cancer and how we can raise quality of life in their last few months. I personally believe anxiety to be a huge hurtle associated with illness that can hinder quality of life for these children (i.e. my honors thesis is assessing inflammation induced anxiety-like behavior ((making the mice’ bodies think they are sick and kicking on an immune response)) similar to that of what a child going through chemo might experience-anxiety from the cancer and chemo).

I want to stress how important this part is: GET INVOLVED IN RESEARCH. So many things within a lab can be transferrable to the next (i.e. animal to human). Two years ago I had no idea I would be conducting my own study with mice (I was still scared to touch them about two years ago). Being in this lab has allowed me to see how absolutely and 100% I am IN LOVE with research. However, it has also allowed me to figure out I am not in love with animal research, AND THAT IS OKAY. I have had many in-depth conversations with my PI over the last couple year’s regarding my interests and where my passion really lies. My heart is on fire for children with cancer and she is very aware of this. She does not take this personally because she wants me to succeed in what I want to do in life! Being open and honest with your PI is crucial because they are going to be one of your recommendations and need to know how to shape the recommendations around your strengths and the positions you are going for.

If anyone ever has any questions regarding getting into labs, research, Honor’s Thesis, life, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be more than happy to answer anything for you.

-Kayla Barnes

Meeting Minutes

January Minutes

General Info

● 6 points per semester & at least 2 of those need to come from volunteering

  • check your points and previous points via our website
  • don’t forget that you can create your own point opportunity
  • graduating seniors must have at least 4.5 points by April 6th to receive cords from Psi Chi

● applications due 02/03 by 11:59 pm

● our officers


● check , read e-mails, and check our board on the first floor of TL for all important information!

● new e-mail system (once per week from secretary with all announcements)

● mission statement of psi chi: The mission of Psi Chi is to produce a well-educated, ethical, and socially responsible member committed to contributing to the science and profession of psychology and to society in general. In pursuit of our mission we will: · Advance the science and profession of psychology. · Promote an educational experience consistent with the mission. · Promote ethical and socially responsible members and leaders. · Define and establish an organizational structure that promotes our mission. · Recognize and foster the contributions that diversity makes to the science and practice of psychology.

● purpose statement of psi chi: Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose shall be to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

Meetings for the Semester

● Tonight: General body meeting

● 02/03: Clara McDaniel (former UNCW student) speaking

● 02/17: Elections! (please let us know asap if you are interested)

● 03/02: Practicum Night with Dr. Myers

● 03/16: TBD

● 04/16: Grad School Night/DIS with Dr. Hughes

● 04/20: General body meeting/distribute cords/senior send-off

● check our calendar for all important dates

Other Events This Semester

● Island’s Fundraiser on 01/25 (Monday)

  • proceeds going towards induction ceremony and skills development workshop for members & non-members!

● Group Volunteer Event

  • work on wilmington and/or out of the darkness at UNCW

● Restaurant Fundraiser (TBD)

● Leadership/Skills Development Workshop (April)

● Induction Ceremony 04/16

● check our calendar for all important dates

Psi Chi Research Grant

  • up to $200 available due by midnight on March 4th

Psychology Apparel/Merch

● available through our website!

  • proceeds will go to the psychology department, psi chi, and the graduate program
  • accepting orders through Feb. 29th at 10pm and you can expect to receive your order in late March


● please e-mail Lindsey (by January 31st) at to let her know when you intend to graduate so we can update our records

● $10 dues per year so if you were studying abroad last semester or new this semester please talk to Katie K. or e-mail her at for more info

● nominate a member of the semester using our website

● let me know if you are interested in any conferences

● send photos to Caitrin that we can use at graduation


● Kristi Dorsey fall 2015

● earned 21 points via

  • meetings
  • bake sales
  • colloquium series
  • raffle
  • NAMI meetings
  • conference
  • group volunteer event

Officer Announcements

Hi all,

Thanks to those of you who came out to our first meeting last night! We had a good turn out and hope to see even more of you at the next one!

Also, below are a few announcements from our officers:

Elexis Hollingsworth, President:

Please read over the Mission Statement and Purpose Statement for members of Psi Chi. It will hopefully give you all a glimpse as to what being a part of this organization is truly about.

Kayla Barnes, Vice President:

Please click this link to the Google Forum about the Induction Ceremony Interest and fill out ASAP!!

Lindsey Johnson, Secretary:

Please email me your intended graduation date by January 31st.

Here is the form to fill out to document your points:

Katie Kerupetski, Treasurer:

Here is a link to the Psych Department apparel orders

Scott Hannah, Philanthropy Coordinator:

Just a reminder that we have a fundraiser at Islands on Monday, January 25th from 5-10pm.

Brie Lingao, Public Relations:

Please add yourself to our Facebook page so we can keep you updated on events easier!

Caitrin Curtis, Historian:

To encourage conversation among members, to add some zazz to our wordpress, and to learn about each other’s experience as students, we are starting something new this semester! We are going to have Psi Chi members “take over the blog” and write about an experience they’ve had as a student at UNCW. The posts can be about a class that you took (or a professor) that inspired you to pursue grad school, how you’ve become involved in research, how psychology is preparing you for a professional school, a volunteer experience, why you chose to major in psych, or really anything that you think other members may be interested in! (Get creative with it&#X1f60a) A blog post will be worth 0.5 points and anyone can submit a blog post to me at any time ( I’m going to be reaching out to the seniors throughout the semester with hopes that they will write one for us. Be on the lookout for the posts next week! Send me an email if you have any questions.


Welcome Back Announcements

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful break and first day back in classes! Below are some announcements from our officers. It’s a lot so bear with but please read carefully as there is some important information.

Vice President-Kayla Barnes: Reminder that induction is on 04/16. More details will be announced soon.

Secretary-Lindsey Johnson: Our first meeting is on Wednesday, January 20th at 7:30 in TL 1052.

The calendar has been updated with our meetings for the semester and other important events!

The member points list has also been updated for this semester and can be looked at here:

Please notify me by January 31st of your intended graduation date so that we can have a rough estimate for how many people will be graduating in upcoming semesters.

We will be having our officer elections for the Fall 2016-Spring 2017 term on 02/17 so be sure to be at that meeting so that you can hear more.

College of Arts and Sciences is hosting a 1 mile and 5K event on Homecoming weekend. Learn more here –

Treasurer: Katie Kerupetski: If you owe dues, they are due on Feb. 8th. The new member dues are $75 and returning dues are $10. If you paid in fall, you do not need to pay in spring, however if you were inactive in fall you will need to pay by this deadline

Philanthropy- Scott Hannah: On Monday, 1/25 from 5-10p, Psi Chi will be hosting a fundraiser at Islands on Racine. 10% of all proceeds will go to Psi Chi. We will have a second fundraiser later in the semester – location TBD. We are trying to decide between McAlister’s and Jason’s Deli. Feel free to email me with your preference. We are also hoping to do another raffle, since last semester’s was a great success. I am looking forward to having a great Spring semester with you all! And as always, feel free to contact me with thoughts, questions, comments, or concerns!

Public Relations- Brieana Lingao: If you know of anyone interested in joining Psi Chi here is some additional information and the application!