Diversity in Psychology

Statement on Diversity

The Department of Psychology values the diversity of its faculty members, staff, and students in regard to their ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual orientation, age, language, socioeconomic status, nationality, culture, and ability. Please visit our Statement on Diversity page to read our full statement.

Committed to Education and Research

The Department of Psychology is committed to educating students and conducting research on a variety of diversity related topics.

  • Diversity in Psychology Conference – The Department hosts an annual Diversity in Psychology Conference dedicated to preparing and recruiting students from under-represented backgrounds to doctoral psychology programs. We host
  • Colloquia and workshops – We host Colloquia and workshops covering diversity-related topics.
  • Multicultural Awareness and Professional Integration – The department offers a graduate certificate in Multicultural Awareness and Professional Integration.

Cutting-edge Research

Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students are currently conducting cutting-edge research on diversity related topics, such as:

Latinx Mental Health and Well-being

TorresLucas Torres, Ph.D.
Co-director of the Latino Well-being Research Initiative.
Our research focuses on the broad area of mental health disparities or the burden of psychopathology experienced by members of ethnic minority groups. Specifically, projects in the mental health disparities lab have focused on examining the protective and risk factors associated with depression, anxiety, and alcohol use primarily among Latino adults.

NielsonKristy Nielson, Ph.D.
Dr. Nielson is a partner in a community collaboration addressing disparities in research, prevention, diagnosis, services, and support in the underserved Latino/a community in Milwaukee, WI.


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Kimberly D’Anna-Hernandez, Ph. D. 

Dr. D’Anna-Hernandez’ research focuses understanding how sociocultural stressors, such as acculturation and discrimination, affect stress biology in pregnant women of Mexican descent and their developing fetus. Current projects follow mothers and children from pregnancy to preschool-aged to understand how exposure to in utero cultural risk and protective factors affect mental health risk.

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John Grych, Ph. D.

The Resilience and Relationships (RAR) Lab works collaboratively to design and conduct research on resilience in youths exposed to violence and other types of adversity. We are particularly interested in studying families, schools, and communities as contexts for promoting resilience in children and adolescents. Currently we’re conducting a study that investigates how community and cultural factors can foster healthy adaptation in Latinx immigrant families.

Gender Issues

OswaldDebra Oswald, Ph.D.
Dr. Oswald examines how gender stereotypes, prejudices, and sexist experiences influence both perception of women, as well as young women’s experiences and well-being. She is especially interested in examining young women’s experiences with hostile and benevolent sexism.

Sexual Identity and Orientation

AubinEd de St. Aubin, Ph.D.
Dr. de St. Aubin's Sex and Gender lab has a number of projects that examine the dynamics of minority stress theory as these apply to lesbians and gay men.  We are particularly interested in issues of internalized heteronormativity, resilience, intersectionality, self development, and mental health outcomes for LBG individuals.  We employ mixed methods in a way that promotes the voices and stories of our participants.


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Tiffany Kodak, Ph.D.

Dr. Kodak’s research focuses on methods to improve the quality and speed of learning for neurodiverse children and adolescents. A few current research projects include designing an inclusive pronouns instructional program, teaching neurodiverse children to identify and respond to bullying, and using assessment-based instruction to guide the development of individualized instructional methods for diverse learners.

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Amy Vaughn Van Hecke, Ph.D.

Our research focuses on improving access to the supports autistic children, teens, and adults would like in order to live their best lives. Specifically, we have a project to expedite diagnosis of autistic toddlers, helping improve access to wanted and needed supports earlier, and empowering families to exercise their right to choose the supports that fit their family culture.  This project specifically focuses on training primary care physicians how to identify autism in underserved populations: urban toddlers of color and toddlers living in tribal and rural areas of the state, and in training more family navigators who can help families through the maze of supports. We also have a project designed to support autistic teens and young adults in developing their relationships.  Finally, we will be starting a new project next year, focusing on helping autistic children and teens cope with uncertainty in their lives.

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Stephanie Hood, Ph.D.

The SSAIL Lab is leading the development of new interventions to promote independence and increase our neurodiverse client’s overall well-being and quality of life through increased participation in the community, workforce, and interpersonal relationships. In addition, the SSAIL Center provides a high-quality educational training environment for the next generation of scientist-practitioners.


Diversity Conference

Diversity in Psychology