The latest

Through such means as new courses, mentoring programs and diversity research awards, the three winners of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students' (APAGS) Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) Grant Program have worked to increase their universities' ethnic-minority graduate student recruitment and retention.

The $500 grants-awarded in September-recognize projects that recruit and retain ethnic-minority graduate psychology students and enhance their psychology training.

Meet the winners:

  • The Psychology Student Diversity Committee (PsychSDC) of the University of South Florida, an organization for psychology students to discuss diversity issues that aims to foster recognition of diversity within the department.

The group, formed in the fall of 2003, organizes student volunteer efforts and guest lectures on diversity, says Elena Lopez, a fourth-year clinical psychology graduate student and the group's president. The CEMA grant will allow PsychSDC to develop its own Web site and purchase two training videos, narrated by psychologists, which discuss racial biases in research and culturally sensitive research and practice.

  • The Committee on Diversity at the Rutgers University Graduate School for Applied and Professional Psychology. The committee won for its Multicultural Supervision Group, a new clinical supervision course dedicated to discussing diversity and multicultural issues. Rutgers adjunct faculty member Anita McLean, PsyD, teaches the seven-person course-which began in the fall semester and includes students from diverse backgrounds, from a native Pakistani to a Filipino American. The weekly sessions discuss how cultural identities affect the therapeutic process, says second-year clinical psychology student Rose Zayco.

"This course helps round out our curriculum by providing clinical supervision that tackles diversity issues, such as differences between a client and therapist in gender, racial identities or acculturation," she explains.

  • The Diversity Concerns Committee at the University of Virginia, a psychology department committee of students and faculty who promote diversity awareness on campus and recruit ethnic minorities.

The committee's CEMA grant will fund a Web site that highlights UVA's research on diversity and underrepresented populations, ethnic-minority and international student activities and a mentorship program that pairs first-year graduate students with their older counterparts. The group will also mail fliers advertising the UVA program to ethnic-minority undergraduate students taking the psychology Graduate Record Examination at other universities.

"We hope to make the transition a little easier for all students," says committee chair and third-year developmental psychology student Tracy Nishida.

-M. GREER