The Department of Psychology is committed to recruiting, supporting and training a diverse community of graduate and undergraduate students and providing an environment that welcomes all regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, or religion.
Graduate students in the psychology department have access to fellowships from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Science Graduate Studies designed to enhance the diversity of the University of Pittsburgh's graduate student population. Graduate students and faculty in the department of psychology actively mentor students from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds as part of the Hot Metal Bridge Program. Each year the Hot Metal Bridge Program provides a two-semester post-baccalaureate fellowship programs for underrepresented students to help bridge the gap between an undergraduate degree and a graduate training program. The program helps talented students prepare themselves for a program of doctoral studies in psychology or related disciplines. The department provides mentorship for a cohort of 3 – 4 Hot Metal Bridge Fellows each year.
The Psychology Department is home to an active Diversity Committee that was established to increase inclusivity, representation, and sensitivity within the department and in the broader research community. Two goals guide their initiatives and activities:
- The Committee intends to support research addressing diversity in a substantial way. Diversity is intentionally defined broadly and includes economic, cultural, ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities, non-US citizens, non-traditional students, and individuals with disabilities. Much of the existing psychological research base has prioritized specific subpopulations of individuals, often White, highly educated US citizens, at the expense of other groups, resulting in an unrepresentative body of literature. We aim to support research that addresses this imbalance and explains psychological phenomena among underrepresented groups by financially supporting research projects and providing researchers with opportunities to showcase their findings.
- The Committee aims to support researchers who identify as members of underrepresented groups in the academic community at Pitt through various methods ranging from providing resources and support to undergraduates who may be interested in careers in psychology to emphasizing the need to diversity in hiring practices at the faculty level.
The Diversity Committee is active on many fronts.
Members of the committee contribute to the cultural competency of graduate student clinical training via workshops and lectures, including the Diversity Lectures provided to clinical program students in the Ethics and Professional Issues Course.
The Diversity Committee also provides fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups regardless of their area of research, and to students whose research concerns mind, behavior or well-being of individuals from underrepresented groups. Each year the committee also hosts a speaker as part of the department’s colloquia series. Previous colloquium speakers have included Dr. Nao Hagiwara speaking about intergroup bias and racial disparities in healthcare and health status and Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda speaking about her research on the quality of mothers’ and fathers’ interactions with children from diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds.. This winter Dr. Mesmin Destin will give a talk that addresses how social psychological interventions with diverse youth influence cognition and motivation as well as every day choices and educational success.
The Diversity Committee recently started PsychDRIVE, which is a new initiative that seeks to support undergraduates from groups that are typically underrepresented in psychology, including students who are first generation college students and students from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups. This fall PsychDRIVE hosted a Lab Meet and Greet to familiarize underrepresented students with research opportunities that are available in the department of psychology.
The Diversity Committee is an inclusive organization and therefore anyone is welcome to become involved. All interested parties are encouraged to attend committee meetings or to send suggestions and ideas for new initiatives.
May we also suggest:
The Graduate and Professional Opportunities for Diverse Students Brochure (PDF)