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HISTORY AND MISSION
The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park, is strongly committed to issues of diversity. In conjunction with the department’s emphasis on diversity, a student-driven effort was needed to take diversity goals from doctrine to practice. Thus, under the guidance of the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill’s Diversity Training Committee and UMCP Department of Psychology Chairperson Dr. Jack Blanchard, doctoral students Victoria Smith and Sharon Thomas established the Clinical Psychology Diversity Training Committee (DTC) in 2013. The DTC adopted the following mission statement:
“The mission of the Clinical Psychology Diversity Training Committee is to facilitate training and education in diversity-related issues in research and clinical practice to produce culturally competent practitioners and researchers.”
The Diversity Training Committee recognizes the complex dimensionality of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, culture, language, socioeconomic status, age, geography, national origin, and physical ability. We recognize that any given individual may identify as a minority member, along with more than one of these dimensions.
The major goals of the DTC and the specific activities in service of these goals are listed below:
● Draw attention to the ways in which researchers, clinicians, and teachers develop a greater understanding of diversity and cultural competence in our multiple professional roles and serve as diversity liaisons between prospective graduate students, graduate students, and faculty
● Consult with Program and Department Chairs on:
- recruitment and retention of diverse graduate students
- monitoring current literature and current best practices in the field of clinical psychology on effective methods for integrating diversity education in clinical training
- Periodically assess the extent to which students and faculty in the program feel the department is meeting its diversity training goals (e.g. conversation forums, anonymous surveys).
- Assist with the selection of seminar speakers with expertise in diversity-related issues as a part of the Psychology Department’s Collaborative Research Initiative Seminars (CRIS).
- Collaborate with the Faculty Diversity Committee to meet department goals.
- Encourage initiatives that address the unique challenges faced by minority groups, including issues of acculturation and minority stress.
- Facilitate graduate student access to colleagues and faculty providing mentorship and expert advice on diversity, academic success, and professional development.
- Prepare a diversity panel/workshop for interview day to discuss the program’s current climate and initiatives that promote inclusion and belonging
- Ensure that students and faculty have access to diversity training information via the departmental website or listservs (e.g., UMCP Office of Diversity and Inclusion events, guest speakers, Terrapin Rainbow Network training and events).
- Send emails to department listservs, informing students and faculty of special events and diversity training opportunities (e.g., UMCP Office of Diversity and Inclusion events, guest speakers, Terrapin Rainbow Network training and events).
A final note: The diversity committee is open to any and all feedback about ways in which we can best serve the department in accordance with the goals outlined above. Please send any feedback to mdlatham [at] umd.edu. Any ideas that you may have for training opportunities, speakers, events, etc. can be sent to any member of the diversity committee and will be discussed in our next committee meeting.