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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 into our multiple professional roles

Specific tasks:

●     Host an annual one-day Summer Diversity Conference focusing on key directions in research on cultural competence and diversity, with a focus on its link to psychopathology.

●     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.

Serve as diversity liaison between graduate students and faculty

●     Consult with Program and Department Chairs on diversity and climate within the department.

●     Periodically assess the extent to which students and faculty in the program feel the department is meeting its diversity training goals.

●     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.

Promote diversity among faculty and students of our department

Specific tasks:

●     Support recruitment of minority clinical psychology graduate students and faculty.

●     Serve as department ambassadors for minority applicants as part of applicant interview weekend.

Encourage the practical application of diversity training throughout our curriculum

Specific tasks:

●     Monitor current literature and current best practices in the field of clinical psychology on effective methods for integrating diversity education in clinical training.

●     Ensure that students and faculty have access to this information via the departmental website or listservs.

●     Support faculty who offer training opportunities related to the diversity committee’s goals (e.g., multiculturalism course, extra-curricular seminars, research assistantships, opportunities for publication).

Promote awareness of university/community events related to dimensions of diversity

Specific tasks:

  •   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. 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.