Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At the School of Psychology, Family, and Community, we are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across different cultural identities. We believe this makes us a stronger learning community.

Guiding principles

We highly value the representation and inclusion of diverse individuals in all of our academic endeavors. We are especially aware that individuals from certain social identities have been underrepresented in the psychological sciences and related fields, so we are intentional about the inclusion and support of individuals from those cultural backgrounds.

Such shifts in balance (for example, “de-centering whiteness”) will benefit all of us in SPFC as students, faculty, and staff. We seek to love our local and global neighbors as God intended by engaging in scholarship and learning across multiple systems that will help bring about human flourishing for all.

At SPFC, we adhere to the diversity, equity, and inclusion guidelines set forth by our accrediting bodies, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Here are examples of these guidelines:

Mission statement

To cultivate and maintain a supportive community within our school that values differences and prepares students and faculty for the growing diversity and inequality that exists within our local and global societies.

Strategies and corresponding tasks

We partner with faculty to prepare our students for the diversity and inequality that exist within our local and global societies, by:

  • Hosting quarterly gatherings of faculty
  • Connecting faculty with resources
  • Providing information to faculty regarding training opportunities in the areas of scholarship, service, and teaching specific to various populations and topics of diversity

We advocate for diversity-related issues across our school and represent our school on diversity issues across our university, by:

  • Connecting with the SPFC Leadership Team pertaining to school diversity
  • Representing SPFC at the university level on committees/task forces related to topics of diversity

We empower our school’s underrepresented students by listening to their voices and working to implement concrete strategies that address the effects of historical inequalities that persist into the present, by:

  • Conducting qualitative and quantitative studies to tell meaningful stories highlighting the experiences of diverse students
  • Proposing meaningful changes based on the above research findings

SPFC Student Diversity Award winners

The SPFC Diversity Committee grants annually the SPFC Student Diversity & Community Award to a poster presentation at the annual SPFC Research Conference. This winning presentation exemplifies a commitment to diversity, broadly defined, through impactful and innovative research.

2019-20: Vanessa Zhou, Kaitlyn Drafton, and John Strom

2018–19: Monica Moeng and Jasmine Blesoch

2017–18: Sarah Ann Moh

SPFC scholarship on diversity and inclusion topics

Focal populations across faculty D&I research topics

  • Children and adolescents as a vulnerable population
  • International disaster first responders
  • International missionaries
  • Prison inmates
  • Refugees (Muslim, Cambodian, Somalian)
  • Rehabilitation (physical) population
  • Veterans and their families
  • Women
  • Young adult expatriates

SPFC faculty research themes intersecting with diversity and inclusion topics

  • Assistive technology
  • Human development across the lifespan
  • Identifying disability characteristics
  • Intergenerational transmission of violence
  • Low-to-middle income contexts
  • Mental health cultural profiles
  • Stress in women
  • Traumatic life events
  • War, peace, and conflict

Psyc PEERS Mentor Program

Thank you to the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) for their financial support of our 2022-23 Psyc PEERS Mentor program--Psychology students Promoting Equity, Empowerment, and Representation in Science! We are so grateful and honored to receive a SIPS grant-in-aid. We welcome you to view our grant application here.

Professor Peter Rivera

Diversity is a central part of who I am and what I do. My faith and experiences as an ethnic-racial minority have shaped the way I see diversity in the lives of others, and I hope to invest my time in work that helps move society into a space that values diversity and promotes unity.

— Peter Rivera, Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy
Professor Jake Bentley

Diversity adds richness and texture to our experiences. For me, as a cross-cultural and disability researcher, the diversity committee provides a pathway to pursuing inclusion and equity in each of our communities.

— Jake Bentley, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology
Professor Paul Youngbin Kim

Beyond celebrating diversity, we also must lament the ways we have set up our society to privilege certain groups, identities, and cultures over others. I strive to describe the ways in which we as a profession have fallen short, and seek practical solutions that will address the inequities.

— Paul Youngbin Kim, Professor of Psychology

Recent research highlights

Undergraduate students in Dr. Paul Kim’s research team recently published an article on the acceptability of racial microaggressions among Asian American college students.