Newsletter Article

Diversity Steering Committee Updates

The Diversity Steering Committee is an umbrella organization of predominantly graduate students and faculty and staff members that oversees diversity-related events and initiatives within the psychology department. 

The DSC's Syllabus Review Team has spent this academic year reviewing syllabi of graduate courses, consulting with instructors to improve inclusive teaching practices in their courses, and developing an undergraduate syllabus rubric to assist instructors in creating inclusive undergraduate courses. We reviewed seven syllabi this academic year and met with two instructors in office hours about their courses. Additionally, we met with three instructors of large undergraduate courses to get their perspectives on the barriers to success in courses faced by undergraduates, particularly those challenges that, if addressed through more inclusive practices on syllabi, could improve student equity. Near the end of the spring quarter, we launched a survey soliciting feedback about course experiences, and specifically course syllabi, from undergraduates in psychology courses. We will be conducting focus groups with interested undergraduates at the end of the quarter and the first few weeks of the summer quarter to inform our undergraduate syllabus rubric.

The climate survey team completed quantitative and qualitative data analysis over the Summer of 2021 and presented their findings at several departmental meetings. They gave a presentation to the entire department, during the Faculty Retreat in September, summarizing the results and workshopping with faculty and administration on ways to improve the department's equity climate. Over Fall 2021 and Winter 2022, they finalized and disseminated the 2022 survey. During Spring quarter, they analyzed the results of the most recent survey and presented them at the final DSC meeting of the year. They plan to work with administration again this Summer to work on actionable next steps based on the results.

The international student belongingness survey has been devised as a fact-finding mission to assess non-American students' sense of belongingness as a graduate student. Primarily, this survey appraises international students' sense of belonging within their labs, within the psychology department, and documents which UW-affiliated resources they use most often for social support. This survey also endeavors to gauge respondent impressions of academic resources (such as the availability of grants and scholarships for international students) and practices (such as the inclusion of non-WEIRD--Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic--authors and literature within graduate school curricula).

The first ever virtual sneak peek event was held this past September with great success. There were 144 prospective students who attended the event, and of those 96 applied to the program. The recruitment event team has been working on making some small changes, and plans to hold it again this coming September.