The Department of Psychology’s EDI Committee is responsible for implementing policies and initiatives related to equity, diversity and inclusion within our department.

Committee Members

The EDI Committee is composed of the Associate Head, EDI (Amori Mikami; committee chair) and the leads of the EDI working groups (Lily May, Lauren Emberson, Toni Schmader, Kiran Soma, Joelle LeMoult, Daniela Palombo, Catherine Rawn [covering for Bonnie Vockeroth until March 2024], Todd Handy, GSC Presidents Julia Nakamura and Lydia Ong [as of Dec 2023], Sunaina Assanand [on leave as of Jan 2024], Steven Barnes [on leave as of Jan 2024]). The committee meets monthly and is responsible for all decisions and policies that reflect our Department EDI Committee.

Read below to learn more about the initiatives undertaken by each working group, each group’s goals, and the many department members who are contributing to that working group’s efforts. These department members are not part of the committee that is creating the decisions and policies attributed to our Departmental EDI Committee as a whole, however, the initiatives carried out by each working group could not succeed without these department members’ efforts.

Community engagement (educational and research partnerships with community members and/or with non-profit organizations that serve local, national, and international public interests) can advance EDI-related objectives and attract students from traditionally underrepresented groups to the field. In addition, community engagement allows for underrepresented and marginalized voices in the community to be acknowledged, valued, and prioritized in education and research. Moreover, because community initiatives often emphasize social change and justice, engagement with community can support anti-racist goals. Although community engagement is widely considered to be an asset for academic units, it necessitates an ethic of care, an ethic of responsibility, and a host of cultural, practical, and research competencies. In the 2023-2024 academic year, this working group will investigate and establish incentives and funding opportunities for community engagement in teaching and research. (Inclusion 19, 20, 21)

Co-Leads
Sunaina Assanand (Faculty)
Steven Barnes (Faculty)

Members
June Brown (EDI Program Assistant)
Sakshi Sahakari (Graduate Student)
Rebecca Todd (Faculty)

This working group consists of trained graduate student consultants who are available to support department members on EDI-related goals. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the consultants are focusing on offering a syllabus review to any faculty or graduate students teaching a course. The syllabus review involves 1:1 meetings where the consultant can offer suggestions about diversifying the reading list, EDI-friendlier course policies, land acknowledgements, and syllabus language. However, the consultants are available to support other, individualized, EDI-related goals that department members or areas may have, such as reviewing the graduate curriculum, creating a more inclusive lab environment, or using non-biased language in recommendation letters, as examples. (Inclusion 4, 10, 11)

Lead
Lily May (Faculty)

Members
Lauren Emberson (Rep. of Dialogue and Learning)
Michelle Hunsche (Graduate Student)
Kiahraa Nath (Undergraduate Student, PSA Equity Chair)
Alannah Wallace (Graduate Student)
Victoria Wardell (Graduate Student)
Bita Zareian (Graduate Student)

EDI Consultation Working Group 2022-23 Goals and Actions

The focus of this working group is on supporting EDI-related learning and conversations between department members about this content. This working group has arranged lunch and learn workshops (sometimes involving external speakers and other times involving internal facilitators), as well as a book club, about EDI-related topics. Most events are open to all department members. A high priority is placed on encouraging attendees to dialogue with one another about the material and how they want to apply it. Sign up for the EDI Dialogue and Learning newsletter. (Inclusion 5, 7, 8)

Lead
Lauren Emberson (Faculty)

Members
Carmelle Bareket-Shavit (Graduate Student)
Jay Hosking (Faculty)
Lily May (Rep. of Consultants)
Kiarah O'Kane (Graduate Student)
Maya Wu (Undergraduate Student)

EDI Dialogue and Learning Working Group 2022-23 Goals and Actions

This working group is aimed at creating priorities and programs that provide financial support for graduate and undergraduate student research assistantships, in ways that support diverse students, including students who otherwise would not be able to have these research opportunities. This group is developing and fundraising to create a Psychology Inclusive Excellence (PIE) Fund which is a new funding stream for these research assistantships. Procedures for adjudicating graduate and undergraduate student awards are being developed. (Inclusion 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25)

Lead
Toni Schmader (Faculty)

Members
Steven Barnes (Faculty)
Andrew Baron (Faculty)
Samantha Dawson (Faculty)
Daniela Carbonelle Enriquez (Undergraduate Student)
Leilani Forby (Graduate Student)
Kimia Nouhi (Undergraduate Student)
Noah Silverberg (Faculty)

EDI Funding Working Group 2022-23 Goals and Actions

The working group is helping the Department Search Committees to implement recommendations concerning the recruitment and selection of faculty members who advance our department’s EDI-related goals. Some efforts have involved getting the word out about our jobs more broadly, changing language in our job ad and interview procedures in ways that value our department commitment to EDI, and contributing to procedures to adjudicate applicants that involve consideration of their EDI contribution as a part of the decision. (Hiring 1 through 16)

Lead
Kiran Soma (Faculty)

Members
Friedrich Götz (Faculty)
Grace Truong (Faculty)
Elizabeth Zambrano Garza (Graduate Student)
Mudi Zhao (Graduate Student)

EDI Hiring Working Group 2022-23 Goals and Actions

This working group runs the Diversity Mentorship Program, which aims to prepare and mentor undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students from diverse, under-resourced, traditionally underrepresented, and/or marginalized backgrounds for graduate admissions in psychology. Mentees are paired with a graduate student mentor and participate in workshops, discussions, and coaching. This working group helps to design, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of this program each year. (Inclusion 17)

Lead
Joelle LeMoult (Faculty)

Members
June Brown (EDI Program Assistant)
Ben Cheung (Faculty)
Todd Handy (Faculty)
Connor Kerns (Faculty)
Caroline Miller (Graduate Student)
Julia Nakamura (Graduate Student)
Sakshi Sahakari (Graduate Student)
Victoria Wardell (Graduate Student)

EDI Mentorship Working Group 2022-23 Goals and Actions

This working group is establishing and implementing a regular annual assessment of our department’s progress on EDI goals. This group supports the other working groups in their goal setting for the year and promotes the transparency of these goals on our website. The working group also conducts an annual EDI climate survey in the department, writes an annual EDI report, and contributes to a yearly department-wide Town Hall about our department’s EDI goals and progress. (Progress Monitoring 1, 2)

Lead
Daniela Polombo (Faculty)

Members
Chantelle Cocquyt (Graduate Student)
Marta Kolbuszewska (Graduate Student)
Ron Steckly (Undergraduate Student)
Jessica Tracy (Faculty)

EDI Progress Monitoring Working Group 2022-23 Goals and Actions

This working group oversees the EDI-related content on our department website. This includes sourcing information and resources to display on the website and Student Guide, as well as efforts to structure these platforms to make the information more accessible to user groups (prospective graduate students and faculty members, current interested department members, current undergraduate students, other departments looking for models, the general public). This group has also contributed to a centralized Research Assistant (RA) application portal to allow students to see the list of labs that are currently recruiting and apply to them directly. (Inclusion 6, 9, 14, 18)

Co-Leads
Catherine Rawn (Faculty)
Bonnie Vockeroth (Staff)

Members
June Brown (EDI Program Assistant)
Benjamin Cheung (Faculty)

EDI Website and Resources Working Group 2022-23 Goals and Actions

Formerly its own committee, this working group addresses issues of wellness and wellbeing for department members (faculty, staff, students). They are working on incorporating information about supports within the department and university into the graduate student handbook and orientation. In the 2022-2023 academic year, this group is also advising on department- and university-wide policies regarding procedures when allegations of sexual misconduct are made.

Lead
Todd Handy (Faculty)

Members
Nada Alaifan (Graduate Student)
Melanie Butt (Graduate Student)
Cameron Hall (Graduate Student)
Nicole Stuart (Graduate Student)


EDI Strategy and Initiatives

Our EDI Working Groups are implementing a number of initiatives for faculty hiring, inclusion, and progress monitoring in the department.

EDI Goals and Actions

Our EDI Working Group’s goals and actions advance equity, diversity, and inclusion priorities in the Department of Psychology. These initiatives stem from the Psychology EDI Task Force report and recommendations.

EDI Involvement



Psychology EDI Surveys

2023 EDI Climate Survey

In March 2023, the EDI Progress Monitoring Working Group launched the Psychology EDI Climate Survey to understand the psychology community’s feelings and experiences of inclusivity and sense of belongingness—and to measure progress over time. The results were shared at the psychology department’s EDI Town Hall on May 16, 2023.

2021 First Generation Student Survey

The EDI committee is organizing a community for First Generation students—students who’re the first in their family to pursue higher education. ⁠We wish to put in touch students that have similar backgrounds and experiences, with the ultimate goal of creating a safe and positive community with the department. ⁠Let us know what we can offer you.

2018 EDI Committee Survey

In February 2018, the EDI committee distributed a survey to understand if the psychology community is aware of UBC’s Equity and Inclusion resources and policies.

2017 EDI Committee Survey

In March 2017, the EDI committee distributed a brief survey to faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students about equity issues that affect our department and how we may better support an inclusive environment. Below are survey questions and results for your reference.

Contact Us or Get Help

Do you have EDI related questions or concerns? Complete our Contact form and select I have an inquiry about Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

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