Skip to main content

Diversity Science

Human behavior is potentially shaped by numerous influences: differences related to sex, culture, social class, income, race, ethnicity, language, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and ability status, among others. As the study of human behavior, the discipline of psychology is well-positioned to be a leader in research and theorizing on the lived experience of diverse subgroups of individuals. Yet mainstream psychological inquiry has for the most part not sought to problematize how psychological functioning may be affected by the above-noted differences.

The Diversity Science Cluster was formed in 2013 with the aim of foregrounding the study of psychological dimensions of intersectional social identities with respect to sex, gender, race, ethnicity, cultural identity, age, language, sexuality, etc.  This cluster consists of a group of faculty and graduate students (see below). Individually and collectively, members of the group seek to conduct research and engage in other efforts to diversify the questions, conceptual frameworks, methods, and populations studied in psychological research with the goal of making the science, practice, and teaching of psychology more inclusive and more representative.

To facilitate intellectual exchange and build a supportive community of scholars engaged in diversity science, broadly construed, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences has allocated dedicated research and meeting space for shared use by cluster members.

Profiles of cluster members as they relate to diversity science are summarized below. For further information, please consult individual faculty website links. Prospective graduate students or visiting scholars are invited to contact any of the members of the cluster.

Affiliated Faculty

Bergman, Mindy

Diversity Science. Stigma; organizational climate; well-being.

Brooker, Rebecca

Personality Processes, & Affective Science. Developmental psychology; emotional and biological risk factors for anxiety and psychopathology in early life.

Hernandez, Paul

Diversity Science. Broadening participation in STEM among historically underrepresented groups; career development; mentoring relationships; social influence; motivation and STEM.

Howard, Daniel

Diversity Science. Cultural competency and workforce diversity; minority health and racial health disparities; health policy, program development, and evaluation; epidemiological patters of disease among African Americans and minority elderly.

Mathur, Vani

Neuroscience, Diversity Science, & Affective Science. Disparities in pain in humans; social and cultural factors affecting pain experience and pain physiology; empathy for physical, social, and emotional pain and suffering.

Medina, Raul

Diversity Science. Role of ecological factors in the population genetics of insects.

Midgette, Allegra

Diversity Science. Justice within the family; justice in the face of inequality; cultural, societal, and family practices that influence moral development.

Smith, Leann

Diversity Science. Race and culture; academic motivation, engagement and achievement; youth of color; school climate.

Vaid, Jyotsna

Neuroscience. Language in humans; neuropsychological and cognitive aspects of bilingualism.
Diversity Science. Multiple language experience and cognition; social construction of merit in academia.

Graduate Student Members

Jonathan Bailey
Jaren Crist
theresa hernandez
Whitney Howie
Elizabeth Jenkins
Caitlyn Maye
Jordan Schueler

Interested in joining the Diversity Science Research cluster?

Faculty and/or graduate students in any area of psychology and other faculty or graduate students at the university who wish to affiliate with the cluster in the coming year are invited to contact Dr. Jyotsna Vaid, the convener of the cluster. Please provide a brief bio and a 1-page statement indicating how your work aligns with the goals of the cluster and how you foresee your contribution to the cluster. Faculty affiliates are expected to contribute to the development and functioning of the Diversity Science Cluster on at least two out of three levels – research, teaching, or service.

To receive notifications of events related to Diversity Science, you can subscribe to our listserv by sending an email to and in the body of the message put SUBSCRIBE diversity-science-psyc [first and last name].