Diversity

diversity and psychology club group photo

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts is strongly committed to the support and promotion of cultural diversity within the university and surrounding community. Cultural diversity encompasses differences and similarities in race, ethnicity, social class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and age. Within the department, attention and sensitivity to diversity issues are fostered in course offerings, undergraduate programs, faculty and graduate student research, and clinical practice. A core aspect of awareness and appreciation for diversity is that it promotes respect for others. Diversity is especially valued and encouraged in the student body, faculty, and staff because it enriches both educational experiences and the translation of psychological knowledge into practice.

Diversity News

Effect of visualization on students’ understanding of probability concepts

drawing graphs on white board

 

Improving the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in STEM fields is crucial for preparing both a diverse workforce and a STEM-literate public that is ready to acknowledge and benefit from the advancement of science. STEM sectors of the economy are showing steady growth and careers in these fields are in demand.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently awarded a $300,000 Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant to Associate Professors Jeffrey Starns, Andrew Cohen (psychological and brain sciences) and Darrell Earnest (teacher education and curriculum studies). This team will develop and test an instructional program in probabilistic reasoning that is designed to help students overcome math challenges by linking mathematical concepts to an intuitive visualization.

Deanna Ferrante '20 honored with Kaitlin A. Geraghty Memorial Prize for excellence in disability inclusion

Deanna Ferrante and Rachel Geraghty holding award at conferenceDeanna Ferrante '20, Developmental Disabilities and Human Services Program (DDHS) and Psychology, was honored with the first inaugural Kaitlin A. Geraghty Memorial Prize for excellence in disability inclusion by the National Organization on Disability (NOD). Named in honor of the late NOD intern who was much admired, this award is bestowed to an up-and-coming disability advocate who shares Kaitlin’s passion for working towards the full inclusion of people with disabilities. 

Scientists’ Panel Urges More Vigorous Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Bias in STEM Workforce

man and woman face away from eachother

 

Large panel, including UMass Amherst diversity researcher, urges tougher action

A diverse group of scientists including Nilanjana Dasgupta, professor of social psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the campus’s director of faculty equity and inclusion, report their findings and recommendations on how institutions and funding agencies can address and prevent sexual harassment and gender bias in the STEM workforce. Details of their suggested “specific, potentially high-impact policy changes” appear in the current issue of Science.

Dasgupta to Lead Network to Increase and Diversify STEM Workforce

engineer's table with tools and drawings

 

For years, science and engineering educators, social scientists, industry leaders and policymakers in Massachusetts have struggled to expand and diversify the STEM workforce, each coming at the problem from different disciplinary and institutional perspectives, says professor of psychology Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta, director of the campus’s Institute of Diversity Sciences (IDS).

Andrea Silva-Gotay receives NIH Blueprint D-SPAN Award

Andrea Silva-GotayAndrea Silva-Gotay has received a NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award. The purpose of the D-SPAN Award is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students who are from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers. 

New directions in adoption

Hal poses with members of Barnardos

Presentation to Barnados Australia staff, Sydney August 28, 2019. L-R: Penny Hood (Executive Manager, People & Practice); Kerry Moore (Executive Manager, Executive Manager Safety & Prevention Regional/Rural NSW & ACT); Mel Andrews (Executive Manager Safety & Prevention Metropolitan NSW); Professor Hal Grotevant (UMass Amherst); Dr. Robert Urquhart (Head of Knowledge, Outcomes and Research); and Lisa Vihtonen (Operations Manager, Adoptions).

Hal speaking at podiumHal Grotevant, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, traveled to Sydney Australia in August 2019 to give a series of presentations and consult with university and private sector practice colleagues about new directions in adoption in the United States and in New South Wales.

Adaptation to diversity: Individual and societal processes

view of earth continents with city lights

In her latest article, Linda Tropp examines the adaptation of people in diverse environments. "With the historic rise in global migration in recent decades and the dispersion of diverse groups into new communities worldwide, greater levels of contact are occurring between social groups than ever before."

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Andrea Craft awarded Ford Foundation Fellowship

andrea craftAndrea Craft, graduate student in clinical psychology, has been awarded a prestigious 3-year Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. The Foundation's mission states, “through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.”

Institute for Diversity Sciences Awards 2019 Seed Grants to Three Teams

Nilanjana “Buju” DasguptaThe campus’s Institute of Diversity Sciences (IDS) recently awarded three multi-disciplinary research teams that include faculty and graduate students from four schools and colleges, six departments and the UMass Medical School at Baystate.

Winning teams are Networks of Organizational Leadership: Measuring Race, Gender, and Color among Elites with Kevin Young, political science, Brendan O’Connor, computer science and Seth Goldman, communication; Improving Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Emergency Contexts with Katherine Dixon-Gordon and Linda Isbell, both psychological and brain sciences, Karen Kalmakis, nursing, and William Soares and Elizabeth Schoenfeld, both emergency medicine at UMass Medical School, Baystate; Reforming Math Education to Improve STEM Success for Diverse Students with Jeffrey Starns and Andrew Cohen, both psychological and brain sciences, and Darrell Earnest, teacher education and curriculum studies.

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