Fall Semester Wrap Up from Diversity in Psychology Club President Katie Hogan

Katie HoganMy name is Katie and I’m a senior here at UMass, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education. After graduating, I want to go to grad school and become an adolescent therapist. I was a part of the Diversity in Psychology Club (DIPC) before I studied abroad last semester and wanted to step up my role in the club as President upon coming back to UMass. I’m hoping to see more familiar faces with different psychological interests in our club so we can have a range of perspectives! I think psychology is so fascinating and has such a large scope that classes themselves don’t have the time to cover everything! Let me tell you a bit more about the club:

Our organization focuses on increasing awareness, knowledge, and skills regarding multicultural/diversity/psychological/social justice issues whilst creating a space that flourishes upon open discussion, team bonding, and expanding cultural horizons.

A major highlight of our club is trying new kinds of foods to celebrate a diverse array of cultures. We had a variety throughout the semester, including basic pizza all the way to the tastes of Tibet, Puerto Rico, Japan, etc. At each meeting, we aimed to try a different food, and below is a snippet of one of the many cultural food choices of the day!

Club members enjoy sushi!
Club members enjoy sushi!

movie screenFor those interested in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, and analysis, we watched psychological documentaries. Upon completion of the film, we would share opinions, insights, analogies, theories, hopes, and questions with all members in a group-based discussion. This was a great way to tune into a more virtual experience of psychological interests and to share one’s voice.

drawing of meditationAdditionally, we prioritized everyone’s mental health and homework load by listening to music, meditating, and using the space to study and catch up on homework with new club member friends during high stress points throughout the semester. This was a great time for those with hectic schedules, unable to attend previous meetings, to come and join everyone by working on what they needed—whether it was help with an essay, prep for an exam, or to meet new people and take a breather.

pieces of paper with questions written downFor those who enjoyed hands on activities, we played psychological brain teasers! In one such game we were given a series of “think out of the box” questions and limited time to think about an answer. When the game was finished, I asked members to question the purpose of the game. A typical response might yield “a good brain exercise”, but a psych major might relate the game to other more generalized aspects of psychology where thinking outside of the box is extremely salient when evaluating differing psychological principles from multiple angles. Thus, we may play fun games, but it always ties back to the bigger picture!

Wrapping up the semester, we asked members to write down their biggest takeaways and as a group, voted on which we deemed the most essential takeaway. The winner of the vote chose our next meeting’s cultural food choice! Throughout this semester, I hope to do more activities that involve prizes!

whiteboard with text

All in all, whether you are looking for new friends, a fruitful homework environment, help with finding post grad opportunities, expanding your cultural horizons, participating in group debates on important psychological concepts, or wanting to get more involved on campus, DIPC is a place where all are welcome. Our schedule of activities places huge emphasis on what members want to do, so they can get the most out of their time. With enticing documentaries, free discussion, brain teaser games, delicious food, and good company, we thrive on increasing awareness, knowledge, and skills in the many multicultural, diverse, and social issues that pertain to our member’s psychological interests. The field is psychology is so vast and much of the time our classes can’t cover it all or tune into more specific topics of interest, but here, we invite all interests!

Check out the DIPC webpage for more information