The Beta Phi Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota at Bradley University, under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Sherman for the past 17 years, has developed into an enduring resource for professional development and counselor advocacy for current counseling students and alumni.
At the May 2012 membership meeting, the chapter board was established and Jael Mahasi received the Beta Phi Practicum/Internship Scholarship for $500. Board members were Jayshree Panchal-McKechnie ’12, president; Erin Osborn ’12, vice president; Jennifer Thomas, secretary; Regina Howe, treasurer; Rachel Buchheit ’12, past president; Rebecca Stanton, school representative; Bonnie Lansing-Seaman ’12, newsletter editor; Shauna Summers, newsletter editor; Dr. Nancy Sherman, faculty advisor; and Laura Hodierne, mental health representative.
The 2012-13 year started with the Stress Busting Garage Sale, a primary fundraising event for the Beta Phi Chapter scholarships and social events. Record-breaking profits totaled $1,735. While selling items at the garage sale, members provided informational handouts on mental health issues. Many unsold items were donated to the Southside Mission.
Along with providing community support, counselors advocate self-care. The board established Self-Care Hours to provide members with an opportunity to network outside the classroom and a respite from classes, internships, jobs and all the demands of life in September. The hours proved to be successful, with excellent participation from students and alumni.
The chapter also held a book drive, Counseling Books for Bhutan. Current students and alumni donated resources so Dr. Sherman could provide counseling resources to various organizations in Bhutan. The chapter sent 50 pounds of counseling books to Bhutan.
At the fall initiation, the chapter welcomed new members and recognized their achievements to earn this distinction. The keynote speaker was Dr. Victoria White Kress, past president of Chi Sigma Iota, International, and counselor educator from Youngstown State University.
Another highlight of the past year was participating in a “Day on the Hill” in Springfield to advocate with legislators on passing counseling-related bills.
The 2013-2014 board was elected in May: Erin Osborn, president; Emily Shelton, vice president; Jayshree Panchal-McKechnie, past president; Christa Taubert, treasurer; Laura Hodierne, secretary; Shauna Summers, CMHC representative; and Charlotte Uteg, newsletter editor.
The group is seeking a school counseling representative to serve on the board. Beta Phi Chapter board members invite alumni to become more involved with the chapter. For more information about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, contact Jayshree Panchal-McKechnie at firstname.lastname@example.org.