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Diversity Statement

​The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences holds diversity, equity, and inclusion as important values. We view diversity broadly, including but not limited to an individual's race, age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability status, beliefs, and culture, as well as how those identities intersect. Supporting diversity in our faculty, student body, and staff, as well as valuing and respecting diversity in our teaching, research, service, and clinical work, represent important priorities that contribute to the strength of the department. We encourage the open exchange of ideas from a variety of viewpoints in an environment of respect, collaboration, and fairness. We promote the principles of equity and inclusion within our department and beyond through recruitment and retention, graduate training, clinical work, research, service and teaching, as well as through open and productive dialogue.

Faculty with diversity relevant research

Jasmin Cloutier - Much of my research focuses on how race and status-based diversity impacts how we form impressions of others.  This work stems from a theoretical framework that systematically investigate the different facets of how social status shapes the perception and evaluation of others. As socioeconomic stratification becomes increasingly prevalent and salient around the world, being able to identify when status-based biases occur and what are the consequences of these biases is vital to prevent discriminatory behavior. My other central research focuses on examining how interracial contact and motivation impacts our impressions of both outgroup and ingroup individuals. For example, my research reveals that perceivers with greater experience with racial outgroup members have differential brain responses to Black familiar faces than those with little contact, indicating a potential threat reduction. We are also investigating how interracial contact broadly shapes brain responses and mentalizing performance towards others beyond interracial interactions.

Chad Forbes - The underrepresentation of minorities in academia and women in STEM fields has deleterious ramifications on the nation’s economy, academic and corporate diversity, national productivity, innovation and quality of STEM products, services and education, and overall quality of life. My research program seeks to identify ways to increase the representation of minorities in academia and women in STEM fields; thus it stands to have broad impacts on future intervention programs, science and our nation. My research has been disseminated to many minorities and women STEM majors in public forums, which has provided an opportunity to educate these groups, as well as majority groups, about the deleterious consequences of stereotype threat on minorities’ academic and women’s STEM engagement and the dire need to promote their retention in these fields. Furthermore, dozens of students, including women and underrepresented minorities, are trained yearly in cutting-edge neuroscience methodologies and have had the opportunity to present findings at national conferences. This is in addition to contributions my research program has made to the University of Delaware’s Center for the Study of Diversity, as well as numerous McNair scholar’s that I, as a first generation college student myself, have mentored in the past.

James Jones (Professor Emeritus) - James Jones has developed the idea of diversity competency—the perspective, attitude and motivation to interact in and benefit from diverse contexts and relationships. The diversity competence model consists of five main features: diversity self-awareness, perspective taking, cultural intelligence, personal and social responsibility and knowledge application. We have developed a 15-item diversity competency scale, which has demonstrated good psychometric properties and is associated with a variety of trait level characteristics integral to prosocial behaviors. Current research explores the ways in which diversity competency is expressed in problem solving, interpersonal relationships and interactions, decision-making and academic success. The research further explores how academic curriculum and co-curricular activities contribute to the development of diversity competency.

Jennifer Kubota - The aim of my work is to identify the factors that reduce implicit and explicit social group bias to better understand how to intervene in discrimination and decision-making. My approach to diversity science underscores my deep commitment to prejudice intervention research by not only identifying how we might decrease discrimination, but also testing these interventions in real-world settings in order to more appropriately inform public policy. I also enjoy serving as a mentor and providing a voice for diverse scholars and strive to include a variety of diverse perspectives in the courses I teach. Throughout my academic career, I have made it a priority to engage fellow members of underrepresented communities with the goals of highlighting resilience and building sources of mentorship to maximize positive academic outcomes. As a multiracial first-generation scholar my personal journey, research, teaching, and service can be characterized by a strong commitment to promoting and creating diversity and multicultural competency.

Peter Mende-Siedlecki - My primary program of research focuses on group-based influences on social perception. In particular, my work examines how the malleability of social perpeption can results in real-world disparities and inequality. For example, we've shown that racial disparities in pain treatment may stem, in part, from a perceptual source. White perceivers show more conservative thresholds for recognizing pain on Black (versus White) faces, and this gap in perception is driven by disruptions in human-typical face processing. Moreover, racial bias in pain perception predicts racial bias in treatment, above and beyond the influence of explicit stereotypes and prejudice. More recently, my lab's work has been focused on how racial bias in pain care is moderated by both bottom-up stimulus features, as well as top-down information regarding gender and social status. Beyond the focus of my research, I am deeply committed to fostering diversity in psychology and neuroscience, in terms of both demographics and viewpoints. In my lab in particular, I've made it a priority to recruit members of groups underrepresented in STEM at all levels of participation in my lab (from undergraduate research assistants to my graduate trainees) and I will continue to uphold this responsibility. Women of color are particularly underrepresented in my field, and thus are strongly encouraged to apply.

Funding opportunities


  • McNair Scholars Program - Provides support and preparation for doctoral studies to low-income, first-generation college students and students from underrepresented groups.  This includes funded support for summer research ($3,500 + on-campus housing).
  • UD Undergraduate Research Scholars Program - Provides summer research opportunities for students NOT currently enrolled at UD.  Support includes $4000, housing + transportation.


  • University Graduate Scholars Award - Provides up to two years of graduate fellowship support for members of historically underrepresented groups (African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, two or more races, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander); those with physical disabilities; need as determined by federal income guidelines [FAFSA], or first-generation college students.

Diversity-Related Activities by PBS Members

BRIDGE Visit Day: The BRIDGE Psychology network works to promote diversity and inclusion in clinical psychology graduate programs. Our department holds a BRIDGE visit day in which those interested in graduate school can visit UD and learn about our program. 

Project Brainlight - An outreach program led by graduate students in our department, focused on developing interest in psychological and brain sciences to students who may not get exposure to this in the classroom. Projects include visits to local schools and Brain-STEM Day, where local middle- and high-school students come to UD to get hands-on experience with neuroscience.

Scientista Foundation:Katrina Milbocker and Melanie Matyi co-founded a graduate chapter of the Scientista Foundation on campus this September. The mission of this organization is to promote the success of female graduate students in STEM-related disciplines. They are currently working on establishing a mentorship program between their members and those of the undergraduate Scientista Foundation chapter to encourage young women at UD to continue pursuing a career in science.

Letter to the UD community: Multiple faculty, graduate students, and staff in the PBS department signed a letter to the UD community in support of UD black, Muslim, Jewish, LGBTQ+, Latinx, Asian and Native American communities, along with people without papers, people with disabilities, women and girls, the impoverished, and immigrants and refugees.

Social Justice Coffee Hour: The goal of the Social Justice Coffee Hour, organized by PBS faculty member  Lisa Jaremka and various campus co-sponsors, is to allow students, staff, faculty members, and community members space and time to collectively learn about and meaningfully engage with social issues. Each coffee hour focuses on a different topic, and features 3 speakers plus extensive discussion. Thus far, the coffee hours have focused on intersectional identities, mass incarceration, talking to kids about racism, and the #metoo movement.

Demonstration of Solidarity: Dr. Lisa Jaremka, in conjunction with various campus co-sponsors including PBS, organized a demonstration of solidarity on the UD green to show support for members of under-represented groups.

Diversity Committee

​Our Psychology Department is home to an active Diversity Committee that was established to understand and address issues regarding diversity and inclusion, both within our own research and teaching and beyond.  The Diversity Committee welcomes participation from anyone who is part of the Psychological and Brain Sciences community (undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff).  For more information on the committee, please contact Dr. Jared Medina.

Committee members: Ryan Beveridge, Kim Clark, Amy Griffin, Lisa Jaremka, James Jones (emeritus), Jared Medina, Chris Sanger, Alexandra Tabachnick, Irem Yildirim

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