PGSA has prioritized changes and improvements in our department surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. As such, we developed student-led initiatives and committees to work on these specific areas in order to better our department. We are also making changes to the organizational structure of PGSA to ensure DEIA is interwoven into what we do and how we function.
Here is some brief information about our eight initiatives developed and being completed by PGSA:
The committee is gathering resources (support groups, mental health, cultural resources) for a variety of marginalized groups. Resources will be added to the list on the department website, and the plan is to continue to update these resources over time and incrementally.
DEI Curriculum Resources for Instructors
The committee has created a UABox folder for student instructors and faculty with articles/readings, in-class activities, discussion questions, and other resources for incorporating DEI into the curriculum. The folder is divided into subfolders for “General Resources” and “Psych 101 Resources” (where we provide resources specifically related to each of the Intro Psych chapters).
Public Declarations of Allyship
The committee has been working on creating sample syllabus, email, and lab statements, as well as physical allyship displays (e.g., allyship signs/stickers for offices, bulletin board in Gordon Palmer).
The committee is working on hosting recurrent town halls to provide an open forum to discuss aspects of DEIA in the department (thoughts, feedback, updates on action plans, concerns, etc.). So far, we have facilitated two town halls.
DEI Faculty Evaluation
The committee has made a survey for students to evaluate faculty on an individual level regarding aspects of DEIA, cultural humility, etc. in order to serve as a grievance prevention system. We would like to disseminate evaluation surveys every semester to better assess faculty across multiple roles (e.g., instructor, supervisor, mentor) over time.
Undergraduate Recruitment at UA
The committee is working to implement systems to recruit UA undergraduates of underrepresented groups into the psychology graduate program. We are taking steps to increase undergrad involvement in research labs, and also developing standards/protocol to help faculty and grad students in recruiting, supporting, and mentoring diverse undergrads. We are considering creating a group that is specifically for traditionally underrepresented students in psychology at UA. We will survey undergrads to gauge interest in the idea and see what they would like a group like this to offer (e.g., webinars/workshops, opportunities for leadership roles, mentorship).
The committee has assisted with the implementation of the syllabus peer review process where faculty review and rate syllabi for inclusion of DEIA content and requirements. We are also focused on creating specific coursework on DEIA for experimental students, as well as earlier introduction to DEIA concepts in clinical curriculum trajectory.
The committee is focused on organizing diversity training for both faculty and students.