Newsletter Article

Diversity Science Works for Students

October has been a busy month for the Diversity Steering Committee (DSC). This month the group participated in the 2012 SACNAS National Conference which took place in Seattle, October 11-14, 2012.  They hosted a graduate program table and arranged a tour of a few research labs. Oliver Siy (Social Psychology and Personality), chair of the DSC, lead this initative, and Committee members spent most of the day with several students who were very interested Psychology graduate studies

The tour covered four labs from different divisions that spanned cognitive to clinical. Graduate students Jared LeClerc, Joyce Yang, Bjorn Hubert-Wallander, Emma Wampler, and Oliver Siy volunteered time to speak about their research and being in graduate school. The tour seemed to inspire many of these students to pursue graduate careers in psychology. Most of them left with a strong impression of our program and plan to apply.

In addition to working with SACNAS, the DSC also awarded Diversity Science Specializations to three students, two of whom are recent graduates. The Specialization helps graduate students understand how the experiences of diverse populations can be utilized to inform the student’s major area of study and cultivates an understanding of the relationship between diversity and psychological issues.

This year, graduates Drs. Lori Wu Malahy and Joshua Tabak from the Social Psychology and Personality area both earned diversity specializations to complement their PhD training. Current graduate student Sharon Hsu from the Clinical area also completed the Specialization as part of her training.

To understand what impact the specialization has had on students’ training, the Committee was able to interview Lori Wu Malahy and ask her how she has made made use of the training that she received from the specialization. She comments, “the diversity specialization gave me a perspective grounded in science. I learned about specific research findings and scientific evidence that helped drive my research interests as a graduate student. My knowledge gained through diversity science continues to motivate my choices in my work outside of academia. When issues related to diversity emerge in the workplace, I am able to cite specific research studies to colleagues to shed light on motivations and consequences of various behaviors.” For Dr. Malahy, the diversity specialization helped her develop the tools she needed to engage in dialogues about diversity in her new career.  

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