As the head of the Department of Psychology at Penn State, I am delighted to affirm our ongoing commitment toward making diversity an integral part of our scholarship and our community. This commitment is reflected in our department’s strategic plan, which makes explicit our goal of creating an intellectually enriching environment where diversity is valued and nurtured. Our attention to diversity includes but is not limited to differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability status and socioeconomic status. We work to realize this commitment in a number of ways, including through the efforts of the department’s BRIDGE Diversity Alliance, a group of students and faculty devoted to advancing departmental initiatives on diversity, cultural competence, and multicultural education.
The BRIDGE Diversity Alliance has selected as its three primary goals:
- Better integrating issues pertaining to diversity into the curriculum
- Increasing discussion of diversity issues at all levels within the department
- Increasing recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students from diverse backgrounds
To this end, BRIDGE members have been involved in a variety of activities, including sponsoring events that promote and celebrate diversity (diversity movie night, diversity dinners, etc.), organizing lectures and workshops on diversity-related topics, and promoting the success of current and prospective students from diverse backgrounds. In addition to these and other important efforts by BRIDGE members, the department and its administration also maintain a commitment to diversity. To this end, we have sought and received support from the College of the Liberal Arts, the Graduate School, and central university administration, which provides funding for research with diverse populations and for researchers of diverse backgrounds. I am also delighted to say that our department includes several faculty members with expertise and interests in diversity, multicultural psychology, and cultural competence, and who help actualize and energize our commitment to diversity.
We invite prospective students and others to consider joining us in this mission. Our department welcomes students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds and we encourage scholarship that enhances understanding and practice related to diversity. We welcome the free exchange of ideas within our community, including honest and productive dialogue about culture, context, and other matters of diversity and multicultural awareness. We are strongly committed to graduate training that prepares individuals from all backgrounds to work effectively and competently with diverse people and in diverse settings. Indeed, we believe that inclusion of diversity in all areas of departmental operation is necessary for achieving true academic excellence.
Should you have any additional questions regarding our department or this statement feel free to contact me at the email listed below. And I hope you will consider contributing to the Department’s ongoing efforts.
Professor and Head
Department of Psychology