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Department of Psychological Sciences

Information on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

The Department of Psychological Sciences is committed to the mission of Kansas State University for fostering an inclusive environment. The department recognizes that its undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty, and staff represent multiple identities and cultures throughout the world. Everyone has their own unique perspective in life, which is honored and celebrated by our department. This website serves as a guide for those seeking to learn more or become part of the diverse culture within our department and within the world.

Land Grant Acknowledgement

The Department of Psychological Sciences wants to recognize and acknowledge Kansas State University’s establishment on native lands. K-State was the first land-grant institution established under the 1862 Morrill Act. Many Native nations utilized the western plains of Kansas as their hunting grounds, and others – such as the Delaware – were moved through this region during Indian removal efforts to make way for White settlers. It’s important to acknowledge this, since the land that serves as the foundation for this institution was, and still is, stolen land.

We remember these truths because K-State’s status as a land-grant institution is a story that exists within ongoing settler-colonialism, and rests on the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and nations from their lands. These truths are often invisible to many. The recognition that K-State’s history begins and continues through Indigenous contexts is essential.

Undergraduate Program

Many of the undergraduate courses in psychological sciences cover topics that are relevant to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The following undergraduate courses  have a significant focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging:

Cross-Cultural Psychology (PSYCH 538) focusses on how human psychology and behaviors both differ and are consistent across cultures, and sometimes within subcultures. 

Psychology of Gender (PSYCH 540) is an investigation of psychological processes involved in gender with emphasis on development and major life events. Topics include physiology, early socialization into sex/gender roles, friendship, achievement, motivation, sexuality, romantic relationships, family development, work, and mental health.

Multicultural Psychology (PSYCH 556, a K-State 8 diversity overlay course) introduces and familiarizes students with the concept of multicultural psychology (how people of different cultures live and interact within a shared space).

The Psychology of Ethnic Humor (PSYCH 557) reviews the structure, dynamics, and social functions of ethnic humor.

Gender Issues in the Workplace (PSYCH 563) covers experiences of women and men in the world of work, with emphases on traditional and nontraditional sex-role behavior, sexual discrimination and harassment, and relevant socialization experiences.

Advanced Social Psychology (PSYCH 605) is an advanced look at some of the core topics in social psychology (e.g. the self, social influence, personal relationships, prejudice and discrimination, group processes) with a strong emphasis on applying the theory in these areas to current social problems and students’ daily lives.

Graduate Program

The Graduate Association for Psychology Students (GAPS) exists to foster and support the education, personal development, and professional growth of graduate students in the field of psychology. These goals are accomplished in accordance with Kansas State University’s mission and principles of community. GAPS, both members and elected officers, are committed to embracing and honoring diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization. GAPS demonstrates this commitment by continued formal and informal education opportunities to promote an inclusive culture at the group, classroom, department, and university levels.

The GAPS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer is responsible for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Psychological Sciences in accordance with the missions of Kansas State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The DEI officer maintains a calendar of university events and encourage members to attend. The DEI officer organizes at least one diversity and inclusion professional development talk/workshop per semester. The DEI officer has the authority to assemble committees to address specific issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide guidance and continuing education to the officers and members of GAPS.

Department Scholarships and Awards

The department works to support students from diverse backgrounds through the following funds:

The  Leon Rappoport Memorial Scholarship for Nontraditional Students provides financial assistance to students properly enrolled in the Department of Psychological Sciences who are full-time junior(s) or senior(s) who have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Preference is given to non-traditional students, defined as a student meeting one of the following criteria 1) 25 years of age or older 2) Married 3) A parent 4) A veteran or 5) Returning to school after an absence (usually 3 or more years).  Donations to support this fund can be made via the K-State Foundation.

The Sewell Research Scholarship is for a psychological sciences major that is involved in research with a faculty member.  Preference is given to first generation college students or students who transferred to KSU from a community/junior college. The student does not have to be a graduating senior.

Recent Presentations

The following are recent presentations by department members that are related to DEIB issues.

Difficult Dialogues Webinar by Dr. Don Saucier (Professor in Psychological Sciences) and Dr. Be Stoney (Associate Professor in Physical and Multicultural Education)
In this webinar, we will provide instructors with effective guidelines and practices to help them facilitate difficult dialogues and conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in their classes. We will discuss concrete and practical recommendations to help instructors build community within their classes, foster empathy for multiple perspectives, and create ways for individuals to use their voices both to share their perspectives and experiences during these discussions and to promote social change through future action. We will discuss how to help students appreciate the importance of understanding others’ cultural norms and values and to have fact-based conversations about culture, race, and ethnicity. We will discuss how to cultivate students’ attitudes of discovery, curiosity, and inquiry to allow them to better consider and understand issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Tips & Tricks for Incorporating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Initiatives in Your Classroom: This recorded session from the Teaching and Learning Center Professional Development Series provides tips and tricks for designing your syllabus, lectures, and classroom materials to include students of all identities in the classroom. Presented by Trevor Bell (Psychological Sciences) on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022.


Research Contributions

Several of the research programs within the Department of Psychological Sciences include research on issues related to DEIB. These include:

  • Dr. Heather Bailey’s research examines aging and memory, including the challenges of inclusion for some older people.
  • Dr. Natalie Barlett's research examines factors that support individuals during their transition through emerging adulthood specific to their identities and backgrounds.
  • Dr. Laura Brannon's research investigates how to positively modify different attitudes and behaviors, challenging individuals to consider new and diverse perspectives.
  • Dr. Don Saucier’s research examines the psychological processes of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.
  • Dr. Tianjun Sun's research examines ways to reduce measurement and selection biases for individuals of diverse characteristics and experiences in life and at work

Programs and Organizations

Members fo the Department of Psychological Sciences also work with numerous Kansas State University programs to foster DEIB.  These programs include:

The Developing Scholars Programoffers historically underrepresented students opportunities to gain valuable research experience along with peer and faculty member mentoring and the benefits of being part of a community of researchers advancing the science of psychology.

The McNair Scholars Program (The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program) is a TRIO Program funded by a grant from the federal Department of Education to prepare talented undergraduates for graduate study, with the goal of increasing the number of Ph.D. recipients from underrepresented socio-economic and ethnic groups. To be eligible, students must either be first-generation and income-limited, or a member of a group that is underrepresented in higher education. The McNair Scholars Program is a program within the Office of Student Success and is structured to prepare undergraduates for successful careers as professors and professional researchers. Scholars receive advice and assistance in preparing themselves academically for graduate school, searching for graduate programs to apply to, completing the application process, and deciding what program to enter. This preparation is offered in the form of classes, colloquia, advising, tutoring, faculty mentoring, and the completion of a Summer Research Internship. Scholars conduct original research, write reports, make presentations, and have the opportunity to attend research conferences.  

The Research Immersion: Pathways to STEM (RiPS) has as its goal to double the number of underrepresented minorities (URM) graduating with baccalaureate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees from K-State. The program is aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of students successfully completing STEM baccalaureate degree programs, and increasing the number of students interested in, academically qualified for, and matriculated into programs of graduate study. It recognizes Louis Stokes, a long-term African American congressman from Ohio.

The K-State Office for the Advancement of Women in Sciences and Engineering (KAWSE)is also a part of the Office of Student Success and works to increase the participation, retention and advancement of girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The office serves as home of the ADVANCE, SUCCEED, EXCITE! and GROW programs. These programs are open to all genders, and emphasize the exciting educational and professional opportunities available in the various STEM disciplines. 

  • GROW (Girls Researching Our World) is a hands-on programs for 6th-8th graders, designed to inspire students to pursue a STEM career.
  • EXCITE provides programming for 9th-12th graders, encouraging students to experience college life and enter a STEM major.
  • SUCCEED provides professional development, employment, volunteer and networking programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • ADVANCE provides professional development programs for postdoctoral students and faculty in STEM fields.

Other DEIB Resources

The College of Arts and Sciences offers programing, scholarships and resources for students and faculty in order to foster, encourage and promote diversity.

Diversity & Multicultural Student Affairs provides leadership in building an inclusive campus climate that fosters mutual understanding among diverse groups and helps to support several student organizations

LGBT Resource Center at Kansas State University is dedicated to supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) students, staff, and faculty and allied members of our campus and surrounding communities to be more secure, educated, and productive in their personal and professional surroundings.          

The Student Access Centerserves the campus community by partnering with students, faculty, and staff to create accessible environments and provide academic and housing accommodations.

The Teaching and Learning Center provides weekly professional development sessions for educators. Many of these events include information about how to incorporate DEIB in the classroom, including their archived events and upcoming events. 

President Linton's updates on the university’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts