Winter 2024 Update

The committee met every other week in Winter Quarter. Our main activities were as follows:

1. Organization of Imposter Syndrome Workshop. We worked with Molly Kirk (a postdoc MCDB) to organize a workshop on imposter syndrome/phenomenon for PBS graduate students, faculty and staff, which will take place on May 17 at noon in Psych 1312. Molly has organized similar workshops for the MCDB department, which were very successful. Organization of this workshop involved soliciting funding from the department and CNSI (we received $300 from the department for an honorarium for Molly and $500 from CNSI for a pizza lunch following the event). It also involved working with Shannon to include the staff, and as a result Ikuko Smith and Molly Kirk met with Chris Mc Ferron to talk about how to include staff concerns in the workshop. We will make an announcement about the workshop shortly which will also include an invitation to participate in a short survey before the event.

2. Review of Department Webpage. We reviewed the department website to consider how it can better reflect the diversity of our department. One finding was that the graduate students featured on our website did not necessarily reflect the diversity of the department (e,g., there was no student from N&B) and we sought the help of the Graduate Executive Committee and Katherine Lowe in identifying other students who are willing to be featured. The website has been updated somewhat in this regard but we welcome other students who are willing to be featured and are reaching out to some others.

We also solicited photos of students from different groups in the department (access grads,SUP, labs etc) especially those that are representative of the diverse groups, and we plan to post these on the DEIC page of the department website in Spring.

3. Assessment of Undergraduate Needs. We discussed how we could better serve undergraduates and Mary Hegarty and Ava met with Vanessa Woods in this regard. Vanessa informed us that the assessment plans for the department now have to have a diversity component, and shared the plans for the next assessment cycle and we plan to collaborate with the assessment committee in carrying out these plans.

We also reached out to Access Grads, and as a result, Mary Hegarty was invited to participate on a panel organized by this group on the Graduate Application process. Finally, we had informal conversations with the leaders of SUP and plan to meet with them in Spring quarter about possible events that we could co-sponsor with this group.

4. Graduate Recruitment. We worked with the Grad Recruitment committee, department and Grad Division to ensure that prospective students from underrepresented groups were offered a second night’s accommodation during their visit, and with Carlos Nash, Director of Diversity programs in Grad Div to organize a presentation on DEI resources that would be helpful to us in recruiting students.

5. DEI Summit. Mary Hegarty represented the department at the 2024 DEI Summit, on Friday March 8th, 2024

6. Calendar of events. We created a calendar of events for our committee. Note that we decided not to have a survey this year, as a climate survey was administered in relation to the Program Review of the department and we expect to be asked to work with that once the department receives the survey data.

Fall 2023 Update

1. Sneak peek event for prospective students. The major activity of the DEI committee this quarter was to organize a “Sneak Peek” event for prospective graduate students from underrepresented communities. The committee met in September to organize the event and the Sneak Peek event occurred on October 10 from 4:00 to 6:00 via zoom. Organizing the event, including reaching out to staff, graduate students and faculty in our areas and graduate division personnel who participated in panels, and advertising the event widely to organizations like McNair scholars, undergraduate advisors at other UCs and CSUs, and our professional associations. Approximately 12 faculty and 12 graduate students participated in the event and over 70 prospective students attended. We met again after the event to review how it went. In general, the event was very successful, but there were some issues related to the webinar format and there was one student who disrupted the N&B breakout room. We agreed that in the
future, we would not request a webinar and just run it as a zoom meeting so we would have more control over muting students or putting them in breakout rooms as necessary. We were also surprised by the lack of knowledge of some students about our field, and in the future we should make it clearer in our advertising that we do not offer graduate degrees in clinical psychology.

2. Updates page on DEIC website. We’ve added an Updates page on the DEIC website, which contains summaries of work done by the committee every quarter since Spring 2022. We hope this serves as a useful archive for committee members and the rest of the PBS community to follow our progress and identify areas needing attention to meet the goals outlined in our action plan.

3. Karen Szumlinski reappointed as diversity officer for liaison with Grad Div. In addition to these activities, Karen Szumlinski was reappointed as our diversity officer for liaison with the Graduate Division, and in this role, Karen composed an email about our department to be sent to prospective students on a list, maintained by the Graduate Division, of students who have indicated an interest in psychology in their outreach events. Karen also compiled information from faculty and graduate students on our activities related to recruiting and supporting diverse students for an annual report to the Graduate Division, which determines the size of our diversity augmentation to the block grant that supports graduate students.

4. Additional events and workshops. Members of the committee also participated in events organized by the campus diversity office, including visiting speakers and an event on diversity grants. Members of the DEI committee and Graduate Recruitment committees also participated in two 2-hour workshops organized by the Graduate Division for our department and the Department of Geography on issues of diversity in graduate admissions.

5. Winter 2024 goals. In Winter we plan to meet every two weeks. Our goals for the winter quarter include reviewing the Department website to consider how it could better reflect the diversity of our department. In addition, we will review the results of our previous surveys and the campus climate survey and plan future surveys.


Spring 2023 Update

The PBS DEIC met about every other week in Spring 2023. The issues that were discussed and actions taken this quarter were as follows:

1. Data from the PBS 2021-22 PBS Climate Survey was analyzed. While low response rates for many of the constituent departmental groups (e.g. Faculty, Staff) limits the broad conclusions that can be drawn, some details were shared at the DEIC Town Hall meeting during week 10, with a specific focus on Graduate student responses (where the response rate was better).

2. DEI Committee members wrote and submitted a grant proposal to the Cognitive Science Society program on broadening participation in Cognitive Science.

3. Efforts to establish a system for achieving some UG representation on/for DEIC remain in progress, though the goal of having this in place by this quarter was not met. This effort will be renewed in Fall, where we will explore whether collaboration across Departmental committees (e.g., The Undergraduate Experience Committee) might be a more effective strategy.

4. Faculty representatives from the committee attended monthly meetings of Diversity Officers (TG, IS, KS) run by the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as working groups focused on UG and PG specific DEI issues (TG, KS).

5. What the goals for the committee should be next academic year were discussed; they will include a review and evaluation of progress on the PBS strategic DEI plan.

Winter 2023 Update

The PBS DEIC met three times in Winter 2023. Fewer meetings were possible because of the very busy faculty search candidate visit schedules, with each Faculty member of the committee on one of the three committees. The issues that were discussed and actions taken this quarter were as follows:

1. The committee discussed a number of items raised by graduate student representatives on a range of DEI issues including submissions to the anonymous reporting tool on the Diversity microsite, transparency in the faculty hiring process, and the aftermath of the UAW academic worker strike.

2. A memo in response to inquiries from the office of the VCDEI was discussed and drafted detailing progress made on the PBS Departmental Strategic DEI Plan. This also asked us to comment on feedback/questions about one particular aspect of the plan (Topic C: Faculty Recruitment, Promotion and Retention). This memo can be viewed here.

3. Further progress was made on achieving UG representation on the DEIC; a group of 10-16 interested UG major students will meet with TG in week 10 of W23 to discuss details and implementation. We hope to have this UG committee set up and ready to provide input by early in S23.

4. Faculty representatives from the committee attended a mandated bias training session (IS) as well as monthly meetings of Diversity Officers (TG, IS) run by the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

5. Goals for the committee for S23 were also discussed, chief among them the analysis and dissemination of the 22-23 climate survey and the possibility of running a DEI town hall.

Fall 2022 Update

The PBS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for 2022-23 comprises:

Tamsin German (Faculty rep, Chair), Kallie Hill (Staff rep), Ikuko Smith (Faculty rep), Shreya Sodhi (grad rep), Karen Szumlinski (Faculty rep), Vinnie Wu (Grad rep), and Hongbo Yu (Faculty rep)

The PBS DEIC met most weeks in Fall 2022. The issues that were discussed and actions taken are as follows:

1. Organized and ran a ‘sneak peek’ graduate recruitment outreach event via zoom (spearheaded by Karen Szumlinski); potential graduate students from PBS, and organizations such as SACNAS, McNair, and UC-LEADS were invited to hear presentations about UCSB, PBS, graduate student support, Faculty and graduate student research and participate in Q’n’A with graduate students and Faculty. Attendance was unfortunately quite low, but important lessons were learned to improve things for next year.

2. A UCSB graduate school fair was held at a Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in San Diego on November 14 and 15th. The goal of the event was to increase the exposure of the three neuroscience programs (MCDB/DYNS/PBS) to prospective applicants. Many graduate students from PBS contributed greatly to the event.

2. A memo detailing PBS efforts for graduate student outreach and support was compiled and sent to graduate division in response to their request for that information for deciding the level of the department’s block grant diversity augmentation.

3. A plan for a Diversity in Psychological Science UG class, to be offered for the first time during the 2023-24 academic year was developed; in its initial form the class will be offered via the UD special topics course #, with the goal of converting it to a course catalog class thereafter.

4. A plan was made to develop UG representation on the DEIC; several meetings were held with representatives of SUP, in order to recruit volunteers to create an UG panel with which DEIC would meet at least once quarterly.

5. Representatives from the committee attended monthly meetings of Diversity Officers run by the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Tamsin German attended working group meetings of a small number of UG Diversity Officers from STEM departments to brainstorm UG focused diversity issues.

Spring 2022 Update

The PBS DEIC met most weeks in Spring 2022. The issues that were discussed and actions taken are as follows: 1) Completed analysis of the 2021 Climate Survey. Dan Conroy-Beam took the lead on this, with Shuying Yu and Vinnie Wu completing some additional analyses specifically on the Graduate Student portion of the survey. 2) Presented the results of the Climate Survey to Faculty at a Faculty meeting. 3) Representatives from the committee attended monthly DEI meetings organized and run by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity Equity and Inclusion. 4) The 2022 Climate Survey was released to respondents. Because the release of the survey was delayed until after the end of Spring quarter, the survey will remain open, and reminders will be sent to our department constituencies at the beginning of Fall quarter to ensure sufficient numbers of respondents. 5) A Graduate Student Town Hall meeting was organized and run over zoom in week 10, where the broad results from the 2021 climate survey were disseminated by Dan Conroy-Beam and the graduate student specific elements were disseminated by Vinnie Wu and Shuying Yu.