Diversity


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

Faculty Profile: Lisa Harvey

lisa harveyThe bright minds of students at UMass Amherst drive Lisa Harvey to tackle challenging questions about our world and never stop learning.

As a professor of clinical psychology, she guides students through the scientific process, discovering new ways to collectively learn from each other. Harvey’s love for children combined with her passion for research led her to study the early development and treatment of behavior disorders like ADHD. Her clinical research covers a wide span of topics, as she strives to make a positive impact on the lives of children and their families.

Faculty Group to Study Organizational Success of Eureka! Program

girls working together looking at computer screenFive faculty members in the colleges of Education, Natural Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences have received a two-year, $299,271 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the components of a successful multi-organizational partnership designed to promote girls’ participation in higher education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Familiarity breeds tolerance: Linda Tropp honored for influential ‘contact theory’ analysis

Linda Tropp, psychological and brain sciences, and her group of researchers spent over five years “trying to find every study on intergroup contact we could,” she says. 

Contact theory is a social psychology idea that suggests that contact between social groups (such as racial and ethnic groups) can be an effective strategy for reducing intergroup prejudice. This theory maintains that contact, under certain conditions, between two or more social groups can promote tolerance. If groups are allowed to communicate with one another, they may start to appreciate each other's viewpoints.  

Resources, Relationships, and Recognition Encourage Faculty Collaboration and Equity

Nilanjana Dasgupta part of interdisciplinary team building new paths for equity and inclusion in STEM fields.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a coveted ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant to UMass Amherst to support the development of an innovative professional advancement model for underrepresented faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Jennifer M. McDermott Appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Jennifer McDermottJennifer M. McDermott has been appointed the first College of Natural Sciences (CNS) Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. In this new role, McDermott work with Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars and collaborate with the Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Engagement in the Graduate School to promote the CNS Vision for Diversity and Inclusion.

Linda Tropp Publishes New Social Science Research Demonstrating the Importance of Diversity in Classrooms

"Schools remain one of the few social institutions that have the potential to bring youth together across racial and ethnic lines. New social science research demonstrates the importance of fostering sustained interracial contact between youth in order to prepare them to thrive in a multiracial society. This brief aims to summarize much of this new evidence, with special attention to its practical implications for the social relations and contexts within schools."

Institute for Diversity Sciences Awards Inaugural Seed Grants

​Nilanjana  Dasgupta, director of the campus's new Institute of Diversity Sciences, also College of Natural Sciences director of faculty equity and inclusion, and the institute steering committee have announced the first six multidisciplinary teams that have won seed grants of up to $12,000 to conduct preliminary studies investigating new research questions about the causes or consequences of group disparities or diversity from multiple scientific angles. 

PBS Graduate Student Diversity Committee Retreat

Each January, the PBS Graduate Student Diversity Committee hosts a retreat, which is a daylong opportunity for our community to convene and learn about topics relevant to multicultural practice and research. This year’s retreat was titled, “Diversity in Teaching and Mentorship: Navigating an Increasingly Diverse Academic Atmosphere." The committee hosted a number of great speakers who spoke about various aspects of diversity in academia: Dr. Chrystal A.

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