Rebecca Luther has a lot going for her. She’s pursuing a major in sociology and minors in both psychology and marketing, in addition to being a member of Adelphi’s Honors College. She’s also the president of Adelphi’s Psychology Club.
Luther came to Adelphi and joined the Psychology Club in the fall of 2019. She wanted to explore the subject outside of the classroom and meet people with similar interests. “Psychology is an important part of understanding sociology as a whole,” she said. “Sociology is understanding social groups and trends, whereas psychology is understanding the individuals within those groups.”
Adelphi’s Psychology Club, which is open to all students regardless of their major, currently consists of 20 to 25 members who meet weekly to discuss all aspects of the subject. The club often invites Adelphi faculty members to speak about certain topics or future career opportunities. They may discuss research they’re conducting and enlist the aid of interested club members in their labs. The club also paves the way for dedicated students to join Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, which has a GPA requirement.
Additionally, the club holds an annual Psych Gala for students and faculty members of the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology that gives attendees the opportunity to interact in a fun and glamorous setting. April 13 marked the gala’s triumphant return after being canceled for two years due to the pandemic.
Taking the Club to a “New Level”
In Fall 2021, Luther became president of the Psychology Club. “I kept coming up with ideas on how to make the club bigger and more engaging,” she said when explaining why she chose to run for president. “I wanted to move the club to a new level.”
And so far, she’s done just that. Since Luther became president, the Psychology Club has collaborated with multiple organizations at Adelphi—such as the Future Teachers Association and journalist group Her Campus—to further the conversation on mental health. The Psychology Club also collaborated with the Honors College for an off-campus trip to see Broadway sensation Dear Evan Hansen, followed by a discussion on how mental health is portrayed in the media and pop culture.
Perhaps the club’s most significant partnership, though, is with the Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit organization that offers free, anonymous, 24/7 mental health counseling. Users text a keyword to 741741 and are connected with a trained crisis counselor. Initiated by Psychology Club vice president Melissa Garber, the partnership will supply the Adelphi community with its own specific keyword, which will allow users to view the data and check it for statistical trends—such as what time of day users are texting and what specific issues are they texting about—to better serve the Adelphi community. All data will remain anonymous.
Although the partnership won’t be finalized until Fall 2022, students can take advantage of the free mental health service now. Some, like Gaber, are even volunteering at the Crisis Text Line and becoming trained counselors themselves.
“Rebecca has been an outstanding president for the Psychology Club,” said Katherine Fiori, PhD, professor and chair of the Psychology Department and student adviser to Luther. “With her initiative, energy and passion, Rebecca has truly transformed the Psychology Club this year into an incredibly active group that has fostered strong bonds among psychology students and faculty and created a warm, welcoming atmosphere for our students.”