A mentoring program offered through APA's Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) seeks to counter the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in neuropsychology by linking minority undergraduates, graduate students, interns and postdoctoral students interested in neuropsychology with neuropsychologists. Participating senior-level, academic and clinical neuropsychologists will serve as role models and advisers to the students.
Div. 40 will use a database to match students with mentors based on location and students' interests. Its new program is one of the division's several efforts to bring more minority students to neuropsychology through a recent $3,000 grant from the APA Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention and Training in Psychology.
Using the grant, Div. 40 will also create a mentoring and training workshop for minorities in neuropsychology and survey neuropsychology minority students and faculty by e-mail to target what issues lead to low minority enrollment.
Div. 40's efforts received a boost during February's International Neuropsychological Society Conference in Baltimore, when more than 50 neuropsychologists volunteered to provide one-on-one mentoring to minority students.
To complement this mentorship initiative, Div. 40 also will launch an annual half-day training and career guidance workshop for ethnic minorities in neuropsychology, beginning at APA's 2005 Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., Aug. 18-21.
The group's latest efforts come at a crucial time because--as stated in their grant application--although 13 percent of graduate neuropsychology students were minorities in 1993, only 9 percent of the students graduated. The dropout rate is partly attributed to the lack of minority faculty advisers and role models available to the students, says Jennifer Manly, PhD, a member-at-large of Div. 40 and an assistant professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University. Manly hopes that Div. 40's new activities will increase the number of ethnic-minority applicants to neuropsychology graduate programs and that "every step of the way they will have sufficient mentorship."
Students and practicing neuropsychologists can already address multicultural issues in the field through a Div. 40 listserv that addresses such topics as neuropsychological testing, internships, research and mentoring. To join the listserv, visit the Div. 40 Web site at www.div40.org or contact Div. 40 member Jovier Evans, PhD, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on getting involved in the Div. 40 ethnic-minority mentorship program, contact Desiree Byrd, PhD, at email@example.com.