Psychology Department Diversity Commitee

Purpose & Goals

The Psychology Department Diversity Committee exists to catalyze the members of its community to foster inclusion, equity, and diversity of all members of society. Specifically, the committee actions will focus on educating and equipping faculty, staff, and students to live in ways that support equity and inclusion of diverse populations in the student body, faculty, and staff; and monitoring departmental policies and procedures for explicit and implicit support for inclusion, equity, and diversity.

The Diversity Committee is currently comprised of Dr. Sara Qualls (chair), Dr. Steve Bistricky, Dr. Leilani Feliciano, Dr. Magdalene Lim, Dr. Diana Selmeczy, and Dr. Rachel Weiskittle. 

Please feel free to contact the committee by emailing psychdiv@uccs.edu. Send us your suggestions for events, faculty, staff, and student highlights, and other information to disseminate. Questions, comments, or concerns are more than welcome as well.

If you are a student who has experienced a discriminatory event, please see this document describing your options on how to proceed: Responding to Unsafe Situations Related to Discrimination

Anti-Racism Statement

The UCCS Psychology Department stands strongly as allies of those protesting both the recent and long history of deaths through violence in our racist society. We are firmly antiracist, and work actively to raise our own awareness, understanding, and commitment to action toward the advancement of social equity, justice, and inclusiveness. We recognize the extraordinary pain that is born by Black members of our society whose lineage of slavery in the U.S. continues to produce policies and practices that threaten their lives and livelihood. We deeply grieve the loss of innocent lives of Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, as some of the most recent Black victims of senseless and tragic killings at the hands of police. We want to acknowledge the students, faculty, and staff who may be sharing in this incredible sadness and pain. We also want to acknowledge the ways in which that pain surrounds us, impacting our society more broadly in ways that we hope will lead to significant changes.

We seek to participate in changes that improve social justice and equity in the coming days/weeks/months/years. We acknowledge that psychology has historically contributed to systems that perpetuate racism; we will actively attend to our history and work to change our future impact. As such, our department commits to improving our own community’s inclusivity. Some immediate actions we are taking are to conduct a student survey about areas of concern and opportunity for change in our department. A departmental Diversity Committee is building a strategic plan of action over the summer, with plans for implementation of specific activities in the fall. The plan will incorporate recommendations from experts in leading departmental cultural change as well as from the suggestions of a graduate student discussion that followed participation in the “Racism Pandemic” Special Townhall hosted by APA. We will be creating mechanisms for input and engagement from all members of our community.

In preparation for the social justice work we have to do, we encourage all to engage in a substantive self-education effort. Here are two reasonable places to start: anti-racism resources; what can you do. Watch for more opportunities to learn, grow, expand consciousness, communicate and work for justice for all members of our society. We acknowledge that this will be a long-term process that requires effort and, at times discomfort, which we commit to do.



Mountain Lion Connect
Featured Content

Hughes, B. E., Smith, J. L., Bruun, M., Shanahan, E. A., Rushing, S., Intemann, K., Handley, I. M., Belou, R., Stoop, C., & Sterman, L. (2022). Department Leaders as Critical Conduits for the Advancement of Gender Equity Programs. Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/26379112.2022.2034122 

Brown, E. R., Smith, J. L., & Rossmann, D. (2022). “Broad” Impact: Perceptions of Sex/Gender-Related Psychology Journals. Frontiers in Psychology13, 796069. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.796069

Resources to support student inclusion at UCCS

Feliciano - Why older adults are more resilient in the face of pandemic

APA apologizes for longstanding contributions to systemic racism

UCCS Psychology Department Student Research & Activities 

The Best Way to Honor AAPI Heritage Month - Dr. Kimberly Hiroto (alumna)

Congrats to Dr. Jessi Smith (PI) and Dr. Beth Daniels (Co-PI) for their recent funded grant from NSF. Project Title: Adaptation: Project CREST - Changing Research Experiences, Structures, and (in)Tolerance through the Adaptation of Promising Equity Practices.

Christodoulou, Joan, and Andrew Lac. "Examining the Communication of Gender Roles to Parents: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Online Birth Congratulations Cards." Psychology & Sexuality (2021). https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2021.1902378