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Diversity Statement

This statement is intended to support a culture of respect, inclusion, and continual commitment to improvement within the context of the classroom and the field of behavioral sciences broadly. I aim to support environments in which the dignity of all persons is recognized and valued because I view this as an essential element to successful scholarly work and teaching.

 

Although clinical and scientific endeavors strive to be objective, it is important to acknowledge these endeavors are the work of individuals whose unique perspectives and experiences impact their work and interpretations. I acknowledge clinical and scientific work in behavioral sciences is disproportionately built and influenced by privileged individuals. As a result, both overt and covert biases are present in the materials used in clinical and research settings, due to the lenses through which they were written. I invite students to critically consider issues of diversity as they navigate these materials (e.g., assigned journal articles, course textbooks, programs, assessments). Integrating a diverse set of experiences is important for a more comprehensive understanding of human behavior.

 

I seek to create a learning environment that supports diversity of thought, perspective, and experience, and that honors students’ identities, including race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, and ability. To accomplish this, I ask students to engage actively in this endeavor. I ask students to indicate their preferred name and/or set of pronouns. I facilitate meaningful discourse in the classroom and intentionally present or solicit differing perspectives. In addition, I work to create safe environments wherein students can seek assistance when their performance in the classroom may be impacted by their experiences outside the classroom.

Like many people, I am still learning about diverse perspectives and identities. As I continue to learn, I will make mistakes. But I am always open to learning from students and colleagues to avoid making the same mistake in the future. I implore my students and colleagues to hold me accountable. My goal as a professor is to support the dismantling of systems of oppression in the academy for the benefit of behavioral sciences and, most importantly, students and scholars.

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