Graduate Climate Interviews Report 2020-2021

In Spring 2021 the EDI Committee secured an outside expert to conduct interviews with current and former graduate students of color to get their sense of the department climate for graduate education and research. A report of the findings was presented to and reviewed by the EDI committee during Summer 2021, and presented to the department faculty in Fall 2021. With permission of the (anonymous) respondents, the full report is available here. The report includes several anecdotes reflecting challenges and opportunities for growth and improvement.

The EDI Committee, Director of Graduate Studies, and Department Chair are working in concert to use this report to guide sustainable initiatives to address and assess climate for graduate education and training. Comments on the report can be sent to individuals in any of the above named positions. Contact information can be found on the Psychology Department website.

Special thanks to graduate students Lena Warnke and Raea Rasmussen for leading this initiative, and to the many graduate students who contributed their time and reflections.

Supplemental EDI Course Evaluation Resources/Questions

As the semester is coming to an end, the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee would like to share some resources for faculty members who are teaching courses in the Psychology Department.

At the beginning of the year, faculty received information on how to better support our students given the pandemic and surge in racial justice movement (see here: Now that we’re nearing the end of spring semester, the EDI Committee has put together a series of optional course evaluation measures that you can choose to distribute to your students. This survey will be helpful in determining if any changes you have made to your course impacted students in a positive way, or to assess potential future changes to your course. 

The course evaluation items that Maria Garay, Rachel Wang, and Hasan Abdel-Nabi created are intended to promote anti-racist initiatives, which is the focal point of the EDI committee’s work. If you would like to know more about why the course evaluation items are focused on racial identity, please re-visit the Ways to Support All Students resource on our website or read the Department Statement in response to the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the pandemic of racism in the United States ( 

This is a word document with the set of questions we recommend. You may choose some, all, or a modified form of any of these questions for your class, as appropriate. One part of the EDI committee’s mission is to support students of color; therefore, it is important to consider perceptions of the class and class materials from the perspectives of your students of color. This is why we recommend that, in some cases, it is helpful to include questions that ask about the students’ racial identities. However, it is important to keep in mind that, especially in small classes, but also in large classes that are racially homogeneous, such questions may make it easy to identify students who respond. We encourage you to preserve the anonymity of student responses by responsibly selecting items you believe are most beneficial for understanding your class climate. If you would like to receive the full set of questions programmed into a Qualtrics survey, this is a .qsf file that you can download and upload into Qualtrics.  

Should you decide to use any of these questions, the data you collect from your survey will go to you, of course, and not the EDI committee. If you believe, after distributing the survey and reviewing the responses, that there are additional changes you would like to make to your course, some resources to assist in the process would include:

1) Contact CELT (Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching;, as they have many professional services that can help better your classroom and teaching.

2) You may also review the Ways to Support All Students resources, as there are many resources under the “Promote Anti-Racist Values” section.

3) Lastly, you can contact the EDI committee (chair:, as we would be more than happy to think through additional ways for revising course content and/or climate.

We hope this resource will be useful to you all as we begin to approach the end of the semester.

Thank you!

Diversity Mentorship Program for Prospective Graduate Students in Psychology

The Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia is launching a Diversity Mentorship Program for students from diverse, under-resourced, traditionally underrepresented, and/or marginalized backgrounds. This program is geared towards advanced undergraduates or recent graduates who are interested in applying for research-oriented graduate programs in psychology.

This program will begin with a virtual weekend of workshops, panels, and small group meetings on June 4 to 5, 2021. Following the event in June, mentees and mentors will meet through the summer, fall, and winter to discuss topics of greatest interest and need for the mentee, such as selecting graduate programs, personalized feedback on application materials, preparing for campus interviews, and navigating academic and professional decisions.

A limited number of vouchers will be available to program participants to offset the UBC graduate school application fee.

For more information and to apply, visit

Applications are due Monday, April 26.Questions? Email us at

Supporting our Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Members of the Psychology Community,

I’m writing to amplify ongoing Psychology Department support for members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the face of ongoing trauma, as expressed in a recent message from Psychology Chair Sam Sommers.   Below you can find several resources to support your own efforts to learn and engage in AAPI allyship.

These resources have been collected and shared by my counterpart at the UC Davis, Dr. Alison Ledgerwood:

  1. free virtual event on How to Survive and Thrive in the Face of Gendered Racism
  2. This article from sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen on coping with anti-AAPI racism
  3. This very useful thread of resources for understanding and responding to anti-AAPI racism.

In addition I’ll repeat some resources shared in a recent message from the Reverend Elyse Nelson Winger, Tufts University Chaplain:

  1. Tufts’ Counseling and Mental Health Services is available for appointments and brief, confidential consultations
  2. The Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion, including the Asian American Center, is available to support students in their communities 
  3. Find resources in the Toolkit for Combatting Anti-Asian Racism from Seattle University 

Please refer to our department Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) page for information about the department’s ongoing efforts and for contact information for your EDI-related concerns and suggestions.