Diversity and Inclusion Excellence
Stony Brook Psychology has long been committed to diversity and inclusion excellence in our research, teaching, clinical training, and our department as a whole. Diversity includes but is not limited to age, culture, disability status, ethnicity, gender identity, language, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. The department is committed to a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for our faculty, students, and staff.
Our department has a well-funded and influential portfolio of research on diversity. Diversity and inclusion excellence is well-integrated into our curriculum. We consistently teach undergraduate and graduate courses on diversity and inclusion including PSY341 Psychology of Prejudice, PSY347 Psychology of Women, PSY549 Prejudice and Discrimination, PSY559 Psychology of Women’s Health, and PSY594 Psychology of Gender. We continue to expand our offerings with new courses including PSY339.01 Gender, Sex, and Mental Health (Summer 2012), PSY339.60 Human Sexuality (Summer 2012), PSY386 Research Lab in Cultural Psychology (Spring 2014), and PSY349 Psychology of Sexual Orientation (Summer 2016).
Our enduring commitment to recruiting graduate students who are under-represented minorities (URM) in psychology and to providing a supportive and welcoming environment, are also seen in our record of successfully recruiting Turner Fellows (https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/turner/) and NSF LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation) Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows (https://www.stonybrook.edu/ampcstep/about).
Additionally, our department has been home to AFFIRM: Psychologists Affirming their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Family Network since its creation in 2000 (https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/affirm/).
Moreover, our faculty are leaders in diversity initiatives around campus such as the SUNY Diversity Task Force (2014-2015) and Stony Brook Diversity Plan Committee (2016-2017).
Our faculty have been recognized for their outstanding contributions, including the 2017 Public Service Award for Dedication to Civil Rights from the Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission (https://you.stonybrook.edu/identitylab/).
Furthermore, our department has consistently sought out Presidential Mini-grants for Departmental Diversity Initiatives to expand our department’s contributions to excellence and outreach. We have been awarded four mini-grants since 2010 (https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/pres/minigrants/winners).
To promote diversity, equity and inclusion the department of Psychology has formed 5 steering committees consisting of graduate students, faculty and staff members. Each of the following committees focuses on goals aimed at a specific aspect of diversity:
1. Recruitment and retention of diverse graduate students. This committee focuses on outreach to recruit a graduate student body that represents diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, the committee focuses on identifying and amending barriers to recruitment of students of diverse backgrounds. Finally, a major goal of this committee is to address mentoring and larger systemic issues that impact retention and advancement of diverse students.
Work conducted by this committee includes an online cafe for mentoring diverse students to apply to graduate programs, collaborations with center for inclusive education for outreach and recruitment of diverse students, advocating for reduced or fee waivers for applications, modifying graduate student admission strategies to make them more inclusive, creating resources such as repositories for personal statements to aid application to graduate school.
2. Recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff. This committee focuses on identifying and remediating barriers for recruitment of diverse faculty and staff. It advises the department on using fair and unbiased recruitment and hiring practices as well as practices for retaining faculty of diverse backgrounds.
This committee has worked on creating a resource guide for inclusive recruitment, outreach and hiring protocols, evaluation of candidates, interview protocols and hiring decisions. This committee also focuses on identifying opportunities for expanded hiring at the University, issues of diverse faculty retention and removing hurdles to increase visibility to underrepresented populations.
3. Integrating diversity-related knowledge into teaching and research. The goals of this committee are to offer resources for instructors to make their syllabi and instruction more diverse and inclusive, offer professional development opportunities and initiate structural changes. The committee also aims to help undergraduate psychology majors and others develop an understanding of diversity related issues in psychology. In research, the committee develops and supports the diversification of recruiting and sampling strategies as well as the inclusion of diversity and equity related research topics.
Examples of work conducted by this committee include providing instructors with recommendations and resources for creating and integrating diversity statements into their syllabi, reviewing and revising identity-related demographic questions for subject pool data collection, and identifying diversity-related content for a core undergraduate course in research methods.
4. Mentoring diverse undergraduate students. This committee focuses on mentoring diverse undergraduate students in professional development and in seeking educational and research opportunities on campus. It is committed to identifying and amending barriers for diverse undergraduate students in applying to graduate school. This committee aims to work with organizations on campus to disseminate information regarding careers in psychology to diverse undergraduates.
The committee has met with representatives of undergraduate organizations and surveyed the undergraduates to determine their needs. In response to this information, the committee has put together a presentation on resources for students, including university and departmental resources for academic support, career counseling, mentorship programs at Stony Brook, research opportunities and internships, scholarships and fellowships available, and materials on applying to graduate school In addition, a resource on mentoring for faculty has been developed, providing a list of articles on mentoring undergraduates, particularly BIPOC undergraduates. Finally the committee has recommended curriculum changes, including a professional development course and alterations in the honors program.
5. Department-wide diversity seminar. This committee focuses on developing and implementing an annual department-wide seminar on diversity-related issues in research, teaching and practice of psychology. Each year the committee is responsible for developing the framework for the seminar, developing the syllabus and curriculum, inviting speakers, preparing lectures and experiential exercises, and obtaining feedback from participants.
This committee has developed a departmental DEI seminar that is mandatory for all first year students. The committee is responsible for developing the syllabus for the seminar, identifying speakers, coordinating all aspects of the seminar, collecting and evaluating feedback and making modifications to the seminar based on feedback.
Continuing to foster diversity and inclusion excellence remains an important goal in our department plans moving forward.