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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Opportunities

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In regard to our commitment to training students to understand and value the unique experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds, we offer a number of clinical, research, and educational opportunities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example:

  • The Department of Psychology annually bestows the Dr. Jermaine Bean Honorary Award on Black or African-American students newly matriculating to the doctoral program. This $1500 scholarship is given for the term of one academic year and is meant to help defray costs associated with enrolling in a PhD program. In addition to the scholarship, Dr. Bean is happy to provide consultation and guidance to recipients of the award. Dr. Bean obtained his PhD in clinical psychology at RFUMS in 2021 after completing his clinical internship at UCLA. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA in 2022, and is now a sports psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • We collaborate with a number of clinical practicum sites that give students the opportunity to work with clients from different minoritized backgrounds, including at the RFUMS Interprofessional Community Clinic, which serves uninsured community members, most of whom are Latino/a/e/x and many of whom are Spanish speaking.
  • We offer an elective in LGBTQI healthcare (through Family and Preventive Medicine) and additional coursework focused on developing multicultural competencies as a mental health provider.
  • Dr. Brian Feinstein conducts research on stigma and health disparities (primarily among sexual and gender minority populations). Several other faculty members are open to working with students who are interested in conducting research on minoritized populations and they collect data that could be used to study the experiences of members of such populations. In addition, Dr. Kristin Schneider, in collaboration with other RFUMS faculty, started a community advisory board to facilitate community-based participatory research in Lake County. Dr. Jao's research has focused on understanding health disparities related to tobacco use, including examining the potential roles of biobehavioral mechanisms and tobacco regulatory policies in contributing to nicotine dependence in minoritized and vulnerable populations (e.g., racial minorities, pregnant women). Dr. Ellison is a clinical neuropsychologist and researcher, with expertise in applied neuropsychological research with a social and racial justice focus. Prior to her training in neuropsychology, Dr. Ellison's research and practice focused on issues related to social justice and social determinants of health (e.g., cultural competence, openness to diversity, racial privilege, etc.). With her current research, she aims to continue to intersect clinical neuropsychology with social and racial justice.
  • Some of our faculty serve as mentors in the INSPIRE program, which provides summer research experiences to high school and college students from underrepresented groups. Our students have the opportunity to serve as secondary mentors to summer research students.
  • Our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee facilitates a monthly Discussion Series where students, faculty, and staff come together to reflect on relevant topics, articles, videos, and more. We discuss how these topics relate to our research, clinical work, and department culture.
  • We encourage students to become members of the Department's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which gives them an opportunity to collaborate with faculty and staff on ways to create a more inclusive environment within the department and the university. Some of our students also participate in various local and national initiatives focused on diversity in psychology.
  • The department has a monthly colloquium series, which prioritizes speakers from underrepresented groups and/or who conduct research focused on underrepresented groups. The university also has a journal club focused on health disparities and health equity in medicine and healthcare, which faculty and students can participate in.
  • All course syllabi are reviewed to ensure representations of diverse perspectives.
  • Students can participate in the university’s Peer Mentoring Program, which pairs new students from underrepresented backgrounds with current students of similar backgrounds to facilitate safe places on campus to discuss educational and social issues over free coffee. The university also has a number of culturally focused student organizations.