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Clinical-community psychology doctoral program honored

Jeff Unger, News Bureau


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The doctoral program in clinical-community psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been honored for its record of creating and sustaining effective programs for recruiting, retaining and training ethnic minority students.

The American Psychological Association Suinn Minority Achievement Award was presented Aug. 7 during the 111th annual APA meeting in Toronto. Sumie Okazaki, a psychology professor and program representative, accepted the award. The award also was presented to the doctoral program in social psychology at the University of Michigan and the doctoral program in community psychology at New York University.

The clinical-community psychology program at Illinois includes a weekly diversity seminar during which students and faculty discuss a variety of diversity- and social justice-related issues and how they affect the participants’ roles as teachers, students, researchers and service providers.

Students are exposed to diversity issues beginning in the first year of study in the program at Illinois. The required introductory course sequence includes extensive coverage of topics related to ethnic minority mental health and communities of color. Students work with diverse members of the community in public schools and neighborhood organizations.

Many students and faculty members are collaborating on research involving women and ethnic minorities, such as the role of culture and ethnicity in emotion, personality and psychopathology; and experiences of Latino family caregivers.

The current program enrollment consists of 41 percent ethnic minority students; the incoming fall class includes 80 percent ethnic minority students. The retention rate for minority students in the past five years has been 83 percent.