Club seeks to connect Appalachian’s two psychology programs


The Appalachian Online

Madison Barlow

A new club focused on a unique branch of psychology was formed recently to fill a gap between programs that junior psychology major Chris Maples noticed on Appalachian State University’s campus.

The Industrial Organizational Psych Club held their first meeting on Monday in Smith-Wright Hall. The club’s goal is to connect Appalachian’s undergraduate and graduate psychology programs, specifically the Industrial-Organizational and Human Resources Management – IOHRM – program.

IO psychology is the study of human behavior in the workplace, Maples said. It combines business with psychological theories to help organizations work with their personnel and improve relations.

“As a psychology major with a double minor in human services and business, IO psychology is something I’m very passionate about,” Maples said. “App has one of the strongest IOHRM graduate programs, but it dawned on me that many of the undergraduate students don’t get to interact with the grad students a lot or even have an environment for further education about IO psych.”

It was this drive that prompted Maples to contact psychology associate professor Shawn Bergman and department director Tim Huelsman to discuss the logistics of the club.

“They were excited by the idea, but wanted to make sure the club was as interactive as possible,” Maples said. “There are so many ways that psychology can be used in a business setting, so after that meeting my personal goal for the club became to encourage members to work together to learn more about how to apply IO psych.”

Junior psychology major Diana Martinez attended the first meeting, and said she is enthusiastic about joining the club.

“I have a concentration in business, so when I heard about the IO psych club I knew it would be very beneficial for me,” she said. “I really, really like the fact that there are opportunities to connect with graduate students and professors, as well as chances to attend educational conferences.”

Martinez also said she hopes to apply what she learns from the club to her responsibilities in everyday life.

“I hold a position as the recruitment chair in my sorority, so I’m looking forward to learning different IO psych techniques that I can use to better myself and my organization,” Martinez said. “It helps a lot that recruitment is such a big part of IO psych.”

For now, Maples is focused on spreading awareness and possibly attending events with other organizations on campus.

“Obviously, the club is new so, we’re still trying to reach as many people on campus as possible,” he said. “I would love to collaborate with different organizations to not only spread the word about IO, but to also emphasize how applicable this particular branch of psychology is to practically everything.”

Story: Madison Barlow, Intern News Reporter