Tri-Psych awards 2020 Graduate Student Diversity Fund grants

The Tri-Psychology Programs – Educational Psychology, Psychology, and the Institute of Child Development (ICD) – at the University of Minnesota are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Tri-Psych Graduate Student Diversity Fund grants. The goal of the awards is to build community and facilitate cross-departmental collaborations among Tri-Psych graduate students of color and/or student groups otherwise underrepresented in postsecondary education. 

Congratulations to this year’s recipients! 

Qurat-ul-ain Gulamhussein (Psychology), Amaniel Mrutu (Educational Psychology), Shreya Lakhan-Pal (ICD) 

We will facilitate a book club where BIPOC graduate students read literature by BIPOC authors and meet monthly via Zoom for 90 minutes for reflections. We will include both domestic and international students of color to support different racialized experiences. We hope that students will form sustainable friendships across Tri-Psych, without the simultaneous burden of educating White peers. After selecting materials based on an interest survey of students, we will also invite MN-based BIPOC authors once per semester to deepen discussions and collective healing. This initiative will contribute to existing resources by uniquely discussing BIPOC literature and offering peer-led support on race-related issues within psychology. We hope this book club provides a welcoming space for dialogue on race-related topics and builds a sense of connectedness among BIPOC master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral students in the Tri-Psych programs.

Robin Sifre (ICD), Isabella Stallwrothy (ICD), Melody Altschuler (ICD), Carolyn Lasch (ICD), Anne Floyd (Educational Psychology), Hannah Weiss (Psychology)

This project will provide a space for students to establish a common framework for anti-racist practice, and to discuss how to incorporate these principles in our roles as clinicians and researchers. Various smaller groups have started anti-racist journal/book clubs. We envision this group as a more “applied” supplement to those efforts, with the added goal of building community across the Tri-Psych departments. This group will meet monthly via Zoom and will begin with a workshop led by Dr. Anne Phibbs, Founder of Strategic Diversity Initiatives, to provide a foundation for anti-racist thinking and action. We believe that a space for students to discuss the role of anti-racist efforts in our day-to-day clinical and research practices will make us better academics and our departments more inclusive and equitable.

Meriah DeJoseph (ICD), Katherine Carosella (Psychology)

The Next-Gen Psych Scholars Program (NPSP) is a graduate student-led mentorship program for underrepresented (i.e. BIPOC, low-income, first-gen, LGBTQ+) undergraduates and post-baccalaureates interested in applying to psychology PhD programs. Through the generous support of the Tri Psych fund, 10 underrepresented graduate students in ICD and Psychology are paid a $100 consulting fee to honor their time and the diverse perspectives they share with mentees. The goal of NPSP is to cultivate long-term support structures between current underrepresented graduate students and diverse undergrad or post-baccalaureate mentees to (1) embrace and celebrate the unique journeys that have led current graduate students to pursue a PhD and (2) inspire and empower the next generation of scholars while enhancing feelings of belonging in academia. Although the process of applying to graduate school will be outlined, we will spend a significant amount of time discussing how to both challenge and navigate the “hidden curriculum” (e.g., networking, advocating for yourself) of academia as well as the hardships experienced by underrepresented students. Interested applicants should fill out this survey by 11/6. All are welcome to attend the information sessions, but preference for one-on-one mentorship will be given to undergrads/postbaccs who identify as a member of an underrepresented group (i.e. BIPOC, low-income, first-gen, LGBTQ+). 

Ashley Hufnagle (Educational Psychology), Tayler Loiselle (Educational Psychology), and Annelise Pesch (ICD)

2020-2021 Graduate Student Mentors: 

  • ICD: Julie Vaisarova, Alyssa Palmer, Romulus Castelo, Sarah Gillespie, Pearl Han Li, Andrei Semenov, Hayley Brigman, Finola Kane-Grade, Melody Altschuler, Trevor Day, Erika DeAngelis, Sophia Magro, Mariann Howland, Danruo Zhong, Destany Calma-Birling, Bria Gresham, Tori Simenec, Emily Padrutt
  • Educational Psychology: Ashley Hufnagle, Tayler Loiselle, Jesslyn Valerie, Yun Leng Wong, Vimal Rao, Maddy Kern, Corissa Rohloff, Alexandria Muldrew, Brianna Braun, Alyssa Pajari, Lillian LaPierre
  • Psychology: Nilsu Atilgan, Khue Tran, Grace Vieth, Jordan Alexander 

The Tri-Psych award will support an outreach initiative that is hosted by the Institute of Child Development (ICD): the Young Scientists Program. The Young Scientists Program is a combination of outreach and research training for high school students in the Twin Cities area. Graduate students from the Tri-Psych departments will be focused on mentoring high school students who are participating in the program to create their own research projects on topics in psychology/developmental science, as well as receiving mentorship from senior faculty/primary investigators affiliated with the Society for Research in Child Development. A key aim of this program is to establish mentorship pipelines from secondary school through higher education. Thus, graduate students will be involved and benefit from getting to serve as mentors and mentees simultaneously. Although the main focus of the program is to foster curiosity in developmental research and give high school students opportunities to learn about higher education and psychology related careers, this program also presents a unique opportunity to unite our three departments via graduate student cross-collaboration. Through developing the program, graduate students will work together to create online learning modules based on their own areas of expertise, while also gaining from the expertise, perspectives, and feedback of others in distinct, but related, disciplines.