"DIVERSITY MATTERS" BLOG

Prepared by the STP Diversity Committee

The members of the Diversity Committee regularly publish a column, "Diversity Matters" in STP NewsPast columns appear below.  If you have a question related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the teaching of psychology, click here and we might answer it in a future column.

  • 10 Jul 2020 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For this month’s column, those of us with labs of our own respond to a reader’s question about whether it is ethical to have students work on your research as unpaid volunteers. While only certain students can spend time working without pay, an under-resourced faculty member might experience a loss in their own research productivity if they don’t take unpaid volunteers. What can you do in this Catch-22?

    Teceta: Your observation maps onto the reality of social class and the differential ability to take on nonpaying work, where people from higher resourced backgrounds have a higher ability to do so. If you are noticing inequities in who is able to volunteer, you may consider whether there are any departmental funds that might be directed this way, particularly if you can document a systematic disparity. Another factor to consider is whether all students feel included in the research process and feel as if your department is welcoming to them. There is work that shows that social class and race/ethnicity are important identities that shape whether students feel like they are welcomed and included in institutional spaces. You and your department can step up your outreach to students from underrepresented groups, to highlight that they are valued and welcomed and are included in the group of “researchers” too.

    Jennifer: First, find out if there is a McNair Scholars Program or other Undergraduate Research Office that provides support for undergraduate research. These programs can be an amazing resource for students who are low-income and/or racially minoritized. Applying for internal and external grants is another way I have paid students for research work.

    I specifically reach out to students who are underrepresented in clinical psychology to join my lab. If I find a student with potential, then I invite them to chat and discuss their future goals. I share the skills and strengths I see in them. When student goals and research opportunities in my lab align, this has created some beautiful collaborations and the mentorship of students into PhD and PsyD programs.

    Summer virtual/hybrid research opportunities can also involve students who are traditionally unable to participate in research during the school year due to work and a full course load. As a result of one summer volunteer research experience, some of my undergraduate researchers engaged in a collaborative autoethnography that led to a conference presentation and a student-authored publication. Usually I try to obtain funding or offer course credit; however, there are also benefits to offering some volunteer opportunities: 1) I was able to provide a summer research experience to underrepresented students who could not commit time to research during the school year, 2) I was able to mentor more students at a time than I could have with grant-based work, and 3) we were able to divide the work to create a manageable workload for all.

    Although volunteer research opportunities have the potential to increase inequities (as you mentioned), I have found they can also decrease inequities when being thoughtful and selective about building a diverse team.

    Leslie: As a fully teaching-focused faculty member, I don’t have a lab of my own, so I’ll defer to others for more concrete tips that have worked for them in the past. While I’m sure it can be difficult to secure external funding to pay undergraduate RAs, I encourage you to look to whatever funding opportunities your school might provide. And if such opportunities are currently limited, you can be the person who helps create them! Many colleges and universities appear to be having A Moment™️ with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion, so I’d argue that there’s no time like the present to ask for institutional support that can help rectify the inequities inherent in asking students to work for free. If we’re really serious about diversifying our Ph.D. programs and the professoriate at large, ensuring that undergraduate research experiences are as widely accessible as possible is a relatively easy place to start.

    If there isn’t currently a McNair Scholars Program and/or dedicated undergraduate research funds at your institution, get some like-minded colleagues together (preferably from across departments) and push for these opportunities to be made available. At my institution, students who receive work-study funds as part of their financial aid package are able to receive those funds by working as research assistants. If that’s not the case at your school, ask why and then keep pushing until that happens. This appears to be a perfect opportunity for colleges and universities to put their money where their mouths are. As faculty members, we’re in a unique position to help effect change for the benefit of all our students, and that’s the approach that I tend to take when these kinds of tricky issues arise. Rather than focusing on whether you should or shouldn’t take unpaid RAs, ask how you can use your power to ensure that this specific question is not one that others need to ask themselves for much longer.

  • 04 Jun 2020 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For this month’s column, we reflect on the importance of communicating that Black Lives Matter in our classrooms and share a variety of strategies to accomplish this. Please note that these short blurbs (some of which have been edited for length) are just the beginning. We will be sharing additional thoughts and resources in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned to the STP Facebook group and the DIV2PSYCHTEACHER listserv.

    Teceta: One of the things that educators can miss is the disproportionate impact that particular current events can have on our students who have different identities than we do. While we may know of a horrific event like the Pulse shooting, we may not understand the magnitude of the pain for our LGBTQ students if we identify as a sexual majority group member. As educators with any number of dominant identities, we may not know the psychic pain of students who hold subjugated, marginalized, and minoritized identities.

    We all were horrified by the murder of George Floyd and have watched our nation roil in the aftermath. For those of us in the Black community, these events have hit hard, and are deeply painful reminders of how much racism is embedded into the structures of America. Informed by these events and the subjugation of the past 400 years is the psychic weight of being Black- the knowledge of the devaluation of Blackness and the precariousness of Black life. It is this piece that educators who are not Black can miss. Keeping equity-minded top of mind is important at all times.

    The first part of this is to develop awareness of the ways that Black bodies are policed, demeaned, harmed--in large ways and small. The second piece is to develop critical consciousness around one’s own belief systems and identifying internalized oppression that has been embedded due to centuries of racialized narratives. Reading blog posts and articles and listening to podcasts centered on Black experiences, White privilege, and White anti-racism is one way to accomplish this. The final piece is allyship and advocacy on behalf of Black students. In the classroom, this means diverse readings which center the voices of Black folks and other people of color. It means giving assignments designed to have students uncover and reflect on their identities of privilege and the allyship they can enact in their lives. While it is important to create space in the classroom to talk about current events, it is equally as important (if not more important) to recognize that these events will have a disproportionate effect on some students and adapt your teaching with that reality in mind.

    Sasha: In their first goal for undergraduate psychology majors, the APA states that baccalaureate graduates should be able to describe how psychological principles can inform public policy. As educators, we have the opportunity and the privilege to cultivate informed citizens. More specifically, we have a responsibility to ensure that the current moment of protest and unrest is not a passing one. Many of our colleagues and students will eventually feel their pain ease and will try to step away from these uncomfortable conversations. Hopefully, if you are reading this column, you will not be one of them. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

    If you are teaching a course or mentoring students when events come to a head, as they have with the murder of George Floyd, I implore you to speak and not be silent. Reach out to your students and colleagues, as well as your friends and family. Do not continue the work of your courses, service, and/or scholarship as if nothing is going on in the world. As the COVID-19 pandemic required faculty around the world to shift their classes online, a number of articles and resources were published--almost immediately--to help people adapt their teaching for the “new normal.” I would like to suggest that a pandemic is not the only kind of crisis that might require you to amend your teaching plans. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all of those before them were widely publicized and traumatic. We must acknowledge the hurt and the pain and alter our teaching plan for the course, as appropriate. This summer, I am teaching an online course on Memory and the Law. I posted announcements acknowledging current events and assuring my students that they could contact me if they needed to speak or required any accommodations. I ensured that the discussion (already in-progress) on how eyewitness testimony is altered through interaction with police investigators included thoughtful consideration of how biases and prejudices influence these interactions, particularly when community members do not feel as if the police are their allies.

    Finally, I ask that you consider the additional layer in the coming weeks when you wish others to “stay safe.” As has become inescapably clear, this is something that can be much more difficult for some people every single day. I offered a similar recommendation in our previous column on COVID-19 and I will do so here again: Do not assume how your students are doing or what they need. Ask them. And remember that you have needs as well. Stay safe.

    Dina: I don’t think we should underestimate the power in simply stating, unequivocally, that Black Lives Matter in our classrooms. As psychology educators, we can and should do more to foster ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world (one of the APA’s goals for the undergraduate psychology major). We should not only educate students about the history and continued presence of systemic racism and anti-Blackness in our society, but also help our students recognize and address their own potential for prejudice and discrimination so they can truly become anti-racist. While there are a number of resources that explain systems like mass incarceration, police brutality and economic and educational inequality, I recommend making a special point to assign readings/media from Black scholars to ensure their voices are heard and represented. (For a video addressing the phrase “all lives matter,” I specifically recommend Jesse Williams’ viral 2016 BET Awards Speech.)

    In addition to readings and popular media (like Ava DuVernay’s film When They See Us, now accompanied by a great interactive learning guide), you can also have students complete active learning activities that can help them acknowledge their own biases and understand how certain biases can translate into unspeakable tragedies. I have students take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) for skin tone to see for themselves how common it is to have an implicit preference for the majority group like the majority of the class did. Some white students were worried about being “racist,” but were oddly comforted to learn that even many young Black girls heartbreakingly shared their implicit bias and chose white Barbie dolls over Black Barbie dolls in studies. After the murder of Atatiana Jefferson, students in my social psychology methods class discussed how the officer’s bias likely prompted him to believe that Jefferson was a dangerous threat, despite being unarmed in her own home with her hands up. Such tragedies illustrate how psychological biases (some subtle and others not-so-subtle) can impact our behavior if we are not vigilant to their influence. This is precisely why we must work to be more cognizant of and consistently challenge our biases and encourage our students to do the same. However, a number of studies (and real-life incidents) have repeatedly shown that simply making people aware of their biases isn’t enough to effect change. No matter how uncomfortable it may be, it takes deliberate and persistent work to get closer to true anti-racism, and the onus should be on those with any amount of privilege (including non-Black people of color) to use it to effect change in themselves and others. I hope you’ll join me in this fight.

    Leslie: In many of the social studies classes I took in middle school and high school, teachers encouraged us to think about what we would do if we lived through Big Moments in History™️. Would we be the ones who volunteered our homes as part of the Underground Railroad? Would we be the ones marching in the streets for racially integrated classrooms? I remember many, if not all, of my classmates patting themselves on the back for how they obviously would have done (what we now recognize as) the right thing without second thought. I share this journey through time to make one thing inescapably clear: What you have been doing for the past several years (and, arguably, for your entire life) is what you would have done then.

    As individuals, we all have different skills and capacities; but, as educators, we can all teach. One of my favorite things about teaching psychology is that it can help students put scientific terms to the things they certainly notice every single day and give them a different lens through which they can understand their own actions and the actions of those around them. In my introductory class alone, we cover the just-world beliefs that lead some people to wonder “why [the victim] didn’t just comply” in defense of extrajudicial killings and the zero-sum beliefs that underlie the phrase “all lives matter.” We reflect on how the Stanford Prison Experiment (both in spite of and due to its shortcomings) might help us understand real-world acts of brutality, from Abu Ghraib to over-policed streets around the country, and I provide tips, grounded in the classic Asch and Milgram studies, for being that one person who speaks up or refuses to cause harm. We discuss racism as a public health crisis, addressing disparities in maternal mortality and cardiovascular health, and how bias, both explicit and implicit, on the part of medical professionals can limit the care that Black Americans receive, not to mention how the stress of racism can precipitate any number of mental health concerns. We owe it to our students (and to society at large) not to simply teach terms and concepts, but to communicate how they can use what they are learning to contribute to a safer and more equitable world for all.

    As psychologists, it is so easy to convey that your Black students’ lives matter by integrating that message into the substantive content that we already teach. The question is whether you will choose to do so.

    Viji: I suspect that there are a number of us who, as faculty, are not sure how Black Lives Matter fits in our curriculum, or racism, or anti-racism fits in our course(s). I’m a prime example of this -- on the surface, how would you expect someone teaching the core psychology and neuroscience courses like statistics and research methods approach “fitting in” these topics? While there are certainly a number of strategies, I’d like to suggest that we can convey that Black Lives Matter not just in what we teach, but how we teach.

    One such strategy is to acknowledge racism and racist events as they happen. As educators, we don’t teach content, we teach students. When events like these occur (and I’ll add: they are not happening more frequently, they are being recorded and exposed more frequently), we have a responsibility to acknowledge the hurt and pain that this causes in our students, in ourselves, and those around us. I recall an instance like this in my course years ago, where our campus community was brought to our knees. The hurt was palpable. I was grieving, and I knew many of my students were too. I took a moment outside my classroom door before entering to take a deep breath to compose myself. I set up as I normally did and when it was time to start class, I started by saying something very simple: “I know this is a painful time for many of you. I’m so sorry. I am thinking of you and if you ever want to talk, I’ll always be willing to listen and support you in any way I can.” After class, several students contacted me in person and by email to say I was the first professor to have acknowledged that incident. I know that it may seem difficult to name it, but by not acknowledging these painful moments, we are also conveying something to our students. If it feels uncomfortable to say something like this, send a message like this to your students by email. Ignoring it is not the answer. Speaking out about racism is not political, it is human and it is just; our students and trainees need to hear this.

    But this single strategy is only the tip of the iceberg. I encourage everyone to look at who is doing the labor of diversity, equity and inclusion work on your campus. Until this is everyone’s job, we will not succeed. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done “out there” in society to fight racism, but there is also a lot of work to be done in our own institutions, departments, and classrooms to fight racism. I hope you will join me in this fight; we could use everyone.

    Jennifer: In addition to the wonderful suggestions listed by my colleagues, I use teaching as an opportunity to illuminate the role psychology has played (and still does play) in supporting systems of oppression. I do this across my classes by highlighting examples based on the topic (e.g., "Even the Rat was White" by Robert Guthrie, "Homosexuality" in the DSM-I & -II). I also assign Dr. Martin Luthar King's speech to the American Psychological Association in 1967, on the role of the behavioral scientist in the civil rights movement. He stated, "White America needs to understand that it is poisoned to its soul by racism and the understanding needs to be carefully documented and consequently more difficult to reject" (para. 7). There are many poignant statements from his speech that still resonate today. This leads us to discuss the importance of psychologists in the social justice movement, and the ways we can use self-awareness, research, teaching, and advocacy to make positive social change.

  • 07 May 2020 2:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For this month’s column, the STP Diversity Committee shares our reflections on what the sudden shift to remote teaching and learning means for equity and inclusion in our own teaching and for the professoriate at large.

     

    Viji: The swift pivot to remote teaching has brought ideas of equity and inclusion to the forefront. As educators, we should ask ourselves which students might suffer disproportionate consequences from any decisions we make. For example, students who live in a different time zone or who have since committed to a job may be left out of strictly synchronous class meetings. Likewise, students who lack a reliable internet connection or a quiet place to study may be disadvantaged by timed tests. I’ve shared some thoughts about this swift move to online teaching and learning in a few places, which you can find compiled here. I hope to continue the discussion with you, so please feel free to stay connected with me via Twitter @vijisathy.

     

    Jennifer: When transitioning online, I was reminded we are not “working from home” or engaging in “online learning” as much as we are home -- or out of school -- during a global health crisis, trying to work and/or learn. This realization helped me to step back and be more mindful with the process. Here are some specific strategies I have used for equity and inclusion in the classroom:

    • Gathering Student Input: One useful tool for redesigning my courses involved seeking student feedback. I realized that although many students’ living situations made it harder for them to participate in synchronous meetings, there was a subset of students who strongly preferred synchronous class for accountability and connection. I decided to post video lectures in addition to having a one-hour, optional synchronous class each week. Thus, we can connect in real-time, but it is also manageable for me (I have a 9-month-old out of daycare). I have been gathering feedback every few weeks to see how the course can be improved.
    • Increased Communication and Structure: I have increased communication (via email and announcements) and improved the online structure of my courses to help students feel a sense of control and predictability. Juggling everything online has been a challenge for many of my students, and reminders have helped.
    • Integrating Current Events and Topics Relevant to Diverse Identities: I facilitate reflections and discussions around social justice issues and COVID-19 (e.g., xenophobia, racism, access to healthcare, houselessness, etc.). Identifying meaningful readings in addition to applying behavioral science to the current situation keeps students more engaged. It’s already on their mind!
    • Building Resilience: I view this as an opportunity to help students build their resilience. I emphasize topics relevant to self-care, coping, social justice advocacy/activism, solidarity practice, social support/connection, posttraumatic growth, and character strengths. On a broader level, I also think it is important to help students navigate University systems (e.g., grade options) and identify how to use their resources to be successful during this “new normal”.

    Sasha: Many universities serve nontraditional students employed in essential jobs, a particularly vulnerable population during this time. Put yourself in their place, navigating longer work hours, caring for dependents, concerned about bringing COVID-19 home from work, all while trying to complete course requirements.

    Just as we learn to communicate to our students the purpose behind assessments and how they connect to learning objectives, we must communicate to our students the pedagogical choices we make now. For instance, if you are cutting down one of the longer research papers because you understand there are students in your courses who are writing and researching papers on their phones, share this with them. Listen to your students’ concerns and let them know you are listening. Echo what you have learned about their situation and connect it explicitly to actions.

    Continue to check-in on your students’ changing situations. Monitor whether they are logging-in to the course and completing the requirements, email them just to ask how they are doing. Many students struggling with depression will not initiate contact.

    Finally, make notes of all that you are learning about your students, their lives beyond the classroom and their needs. Because many of these needs will continue to exist after the pandemic is over. If you have a faculty institute or development day scheduled for the Fall, I encourage you to suggest this as a topic of discussion. From one another we can learn even more about our students and strategies for inclusion and equity. Turn this tragedy into a learning opportunity to better provide for your students.

     

    Teceta: The shift to remote learning was incredibly swift, and was unfolding during a global tragedy that was having impacts on our students- and on us as educators- in direct and indirect ways. I found that flexibility, adaptability, and grace were particularly relevant to recognizing the differential impacts of inequity. This unprecedented time is impacting people in different ways- by group identity, as individuals, in different regions of the country and different parts of an area, from one day to the next, and from one hour to the next. Our emotions and thoughts are shifting rapidly, and the consequences of coronavirus and Covid-19 are impacting us in ways that are structurally different and humanly the same. I need to be flexible and adaptable in allowing for the very human responses to the virus on the emotional, psychological, financial, and physical health outcomes of my students. I also need grace- and asked it of my students towards me on the first day of the quarter- in recognizing that we are all doing the best we can under extraordinary and deeply painful times. The final piece- suggested by one of my students- is to check in with them each week, to see how they are doing and to provide a space for coming together in community and fellowship.

     

    Leslie:Everyone has given such great concrete suggestions for how to inclusively adapt our teaching to our current circumstances. I won’t repeat them, but I will say that one thing I keep thinking about is the hope that faculty can continue to teach with flexibility, compassion, and grace well after this all passes. “Your well-being is more important than my class” has, thankfully, become a common refrain. However, in speaking with a number of my students, very few of their professors have previously conveyed this sentiment in an explicit manner. Our students face a number of individual struggles on a regular basis and, although those struggles might not be as apocalyptically evident to us, that doesn’t make them any less real for our students. Even under better circumstances, we can still personally check in with students who have fallen off the gradebook or design our classes in such a way that acknowledges that, as I like to say, “life happens” and provides students with multiple different options for satisfying course requirements. Looking back on our classes, our students may or may not remember key terms or concepts, but they will certainly remember how they were treated. Academic rigor and basic compassion are not mutually exclusive, and I encourage everyone to reflect on what that balance might look like in your own teaching practice. 
  • 10 Mar 2020 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Question: What ways (small and/or large) do you promote belonging in your classroom?

    Leslie Berntsen: I always say that I’m on a mission to make my classes the coziest 200-person lecture my students have ever taken, and this mission starts before the semester officially does. In the welcome email I send out the week before classes start, I ask students to fill out a pre-class survey that lets them share their pronouns, any accessibility needs they might have, how to phonetically pronounce their name, and anything else they’d like me and the TAs to know about them. Once you have all of that information, you’re in a great position to show your students that you care about them as people. For example, one of my students shared that he has social anxiety and feels like he always messes up when speaking to professors. The next class day after reading that, I made sure to look him up in my photo roster and say a quick and very low-key “Just wanted to say hi and let you know you can come talk to me any time you’d like. Glad you’re here.” Soon after, he was speaking up in a 100+ person lecture, so never underestimate just how impactful very small (and very easy) acts of kindness can be.

    More generally, I also have a very specific speech I give on the first day of every class I teach to make sure that all of my students feel like they belong in science, broadly construed. First, I run everyone through a thought exercise modeled after the Draw A Scientist Test and have them reflect on all the scientists they’ve learned about in school and make the connection between our mental image of “a scientist” and our beliefs about who can do science. Then, I tell stories of Black women doctors who have their qualifications questioned by flight crews while attempting to offer medical assistance to fellow passengers in order to illustrate some of the consequences of these kinds of beliefs. Finally, I finish up with the stories of Dr. Kelly Bennion (who completed her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience while cheering for the New England Patriots) and Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff (who completed his M.D. while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs) in order to ensure that all of my students internalize two key messages: (1) that they can be good at more than one thing at once and (2) that I am here to help them be good at science, no matter what else they might have going on in their lives or what other teachers might have previously told them.

    Ask Leslie about: Teaching social issues, inclusive pedagogy, being a woman of color in the academy, teaching with a disability

    Teceta Tormala: An important piece of creating belonging in the classroom for me begins with my being very intentional around my course design. I work to provide class readings and didactic content that center the lived experience and the psychological processes within underrepresented groups to complement those of overrepresented groups, and I create assignments in which students need to process their sociocultural selves. I want students to be able to see themselves within the classroom; creating a foundation of recognition of the fundamental importance of intersectional identities on our day-to-day lives and our outcomes is an important component of this. I also am a huge fan of discussions during class, and of giving them the space to develop and deepen. Discussions may stem from a prompt I give the class, or from a student comment or question; I have found over the years that having leeway in my plan for any given class period to allow a 2-minute or 5-minute or 15-minute discussion inevitably allows for more voices to be heard and more perspectives to be revealed.

    Ask Teceta about: Sociocultural and sociohistorical influences on the self, teaching and training in the service of the development of cultural humility, structural competency

    Jennifer Lovell: I prioritize my relationship with students and try to create a learning environment in which self-reflection and openness are valued. During our first class, I co-construct rules and expectations with students. I ask students what they expect from one another and me in the classroom, and this leads to a discussion about topics such as appropriate self-disclosure, confidentiality, open mindedness, and respectful disagreement. I type notes while we speak (displayed on the screen), and then I share the final draft electronically for everyone to sign. This process helps to clarify expectations. Students are then able to explore biases and discomfort when discussing mental health within multicultural contexts. I also have students complete a “getting to know you” online survey within the first week of the semester (very much like the one mentioned by Leslie). I ask their preferred name, pronouns, why they are taking the class, concerns about the course, and whether or not they need accommodations. I also ask them open-ended questions such as: “I am most likely to participate in class when…” “It is hard for me to learn when…” and “What is something you have accomplished that makes you feel good.” Learning about student strengths helps me to find ways to support and motivate them. I reach out via email if there is something I read that needs follow up. These are just a few specific strategies at the beginning of the semester, but course content and discussion are also very important for helping people feel represented and validated within the classroom. Classroom discussions among students and group projects allow opportunities for students to get to know one another, and this is also a way I help foster a sense of belonging.

    Ask Jennifer about: Mentoring culturally diverse students in research, teaching critical service learning, being a White anti-racist in the academy.

  • 10 Feb 2020 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For our very first appearance in the STP newsletter, we’re introducing ourselves and our forthcoming advice column. In future issues, we’ll be answering questions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the teaching of psychology. Whether you’re looking for advice on how to handle a tricky classroom situation, tips for making your departmental culture more inclusive, or any of our other “ask me about” topics, let us know at this link or scan the QR code: bit.ly/askSTPdiversity

    Leslie Berntsen: I earned my Ph.D. in Brain & Cognitive Science at the University of Southern California, where I currently teach introductory, abnormal, and developmental psychology as a teaching-track faculty member. I am passionate about teaching at the intersection of psychological science and social justice and engaging in popular science communication and advocacy outside of the classroom. I’ve been giving social justice-themed symposium presentations at ACT every year since 2016 and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to STP in a more formalized capacity. (In between editions of our forthcoming advice column, you can find me tweeting about these topics and more under the handle @leslie_bern.)

    Ask me about: Teaching social issues, inclusive pedagogy, being a woman of color in the academy, teaching with a disability

    Sasha Cervantes: I earned my PhD in Cognitive Psychology (minor-specialization in neurobiology) from the University of Chicago. I am an Associate Professor at Governors State University with tenure and serve in many roles aimed to empower my colleagues and students in a diverse academic culture. I primarily teach Cognitive Psychology, Biological Psychology, and our Senior Capstone course, but have enjoyed teaching our Introductory Psychology, Learning, and Research Methods courses as well. Some of the roles I serve are as Faculty Senator, Advisor for our local chapter of the Psi Chi Honor Society, and Chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee. My goal is to capitalize on the ways these roles intersect to improve visibility and support for the diversity of our field. I engage in multiple lines of research on learning and memory. Current projects include the effects of sensory perception and aging on memory, online pedagogy, and student co-curricular engagement.

    Ask me about: Mentoring first-generation and non-traditional students, contrasting benefits to pedagogical best practices, navigating professional obstacles

    Dina Gohar: I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical and Social Psychology along with a Certificate in College Teaching from Duke University, and my M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, where I studied how we can optimize the self-processes and behaviors that contribute to human flourishing. I am currently a Lecturer in  the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychology, where I teach undergraduate courses like Research Methods in Social Psychology and the Science of Happiness, and mentor a first-generation first-year student on research examining the impact of a brief (free) growth-mindset intervention. My recent research, scholarship, and service have focused primarily on inclusive teaching practices to improve learning and reduce anxiety in the classroom, and I’m thrilled to help STP promote more inclusivity and diversity sensitivity in the field of psychology as a whole. I also enjoy engaging in social justice advocacy (in and outside of the classroom) and popular science communication, including running a growing wellness-oriented Twitter account (@WellWeds), through which I mostly provide psychoeducation about mental health, wellness, social justice issues.

    Ask me about: Inclusive teaching, addressing anxiety and social psychological phenomena like stereotype threat, implicit bias, and self-presentational concerns in the classroom, being a woman of color in the academy.

    Jennifer Lovell: I earned my PhD in Clinical Child Psychology, and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. I am an assistant professor at California State University Monterey Bay, where I primarily teach Clinical Psychology and Psychology in the Community (a critical service learning course) to undergraduates. I am dedicated to integrating multicultural perspectives in my teaching and scholarship, and I co-authored a book with Dr. Joseph White focused on strength-based interventions when working with diverse adolescents (The "Troubled" Adolescent: Challenges and Resilience in Family and Multicultural Contexts).

    Ask me about: Mentoring culturally diverse students in research, teaching critical service learning, being a White anti-racist in the academy.

    Viji Sathy: I am a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC Chapel Hill, where I teach quantitative and methodology courses such as the introductory statistics course and makerspace courses. I am actively involved in instructional innovation and the development of technological tools to promote student success. I speak and write about inclusive teaching practices in higher education. My research involves evaluating the impact of innovative teaching techniques as well as retention in STEM courses. I am also the Program Evaluator of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars an adaptation of the Meyerhoff Scholarship at the University of Maryland Baltimore County that has successfully increased representation of underrepresented students in STEM PhDs. Prior to my current position at UNC, I worked at the College Board conducting research on the SATs and non-cognitive predictors of college success.

    Ask me about: inclusive teaching, broadening participation in STEM, flipped classrooms, high-structure active learning, teaching a large enrollment course, working with a TA team, undergraduate education, using data for student success, being a woman of color in the academy, non-tenure track positions

    Teceta Tormala: I earned my PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University. I am an associate professor at Palo Alto University, where I teach Social Psychology and Cultural Differences, primarily at the graduate level, and serve as the Director of Institutional Equity and Inclusion. I have long been interested in the ways in which people negotiate their cultural identities, and the role of multiple, cross-cutting identities on psychological outcomes. My recent scholarship and service has centered around creating an institutional culture around social justice and cultural consciousness.

    Ask me about: Sociocultural and sociohistorical influences on the self, teaching and training in the service of the development of cultural humility, structural competency

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