Featured Psychologist: Muninder Kaur Ahluwalia, PhD
Ahluwalia was born and raised in New York. She was strongly influenced by her Indian immigrant parents; her dad is a mathematics professor and her mother, an artist. Her parents instilled in her and her siblings the importance of service to community, a lifelong pursuit of education and a commitment to the social justice ideals of the Sikh religion. In addition to her teaching, research and service in diversity and multicultural counseling, she is committed to mentoring students and junior faculty of color. In college, she majored in psychology and then earned both her master’s degree in counseling and her doctorate in counseling psychology — all at New York University. She completed her predoctoral psychology internship at the University of California, Berkeley. Upon graduation, she joined the faculty at Montclair State University (MSU), where she is an associate professor teaching in the graduate programs in counseling in the College of Education and Human Services.
Ahluwalia’s work has been focused on three areas: methodological issues in qualitative research, race and racism in academia, and the experiences of the Sikh community after September 11th. She received the ‘Ohana Award for her work with the Sikh community in 2012 and the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award at MSU in 2013. Ahluwalia has been active in the Asian American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association.
Currently, Ahluwalia is the chair of the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs of the American Psychological Association and the Interim Assistant Dean at MSU. In addition to her work as a faculty member, she is working with the dean to develop mechanisms to support faculty of color in the college. Outside the university, she works as a consultant to provide diversity assessment, trainings and programming in higher education and organizations.