A Catalyst for Change: Post Reflection

When group project presentations begin, final exams start approaching, study sessions become rampant, that usually means the end of the semester is near. For me, I have the privilege of adding one more thing: a reflection of my CUTF fellowship.

I began this fellowship with one question in mind: What does an inclusive education look like in the field of Psychology?

It starts with recognizing we attend a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) in which most students on campus identify as White; roughly 77% of the undergraduate population (Pitt Student Diversity Dashboard,2020). My educational modules provided a steppingstone into a much larger conversation that needs to occur in the fight for equitable education practices at Pitt. Our fall semester Intro to Psychology Course, had the chance to be introduced to three modules: Neuroscience and Racism, Social Psychology and Racism, and Health and Racism. The goal of these modules was to provide a deeper understanding on how Neuroscience, Social Psychology, and Health upheld racism throughout history and what critical steps must be taken to dismantle the racist ideologies for the future

Students had the opportunity to engage in interactive experiments such as the Face Perception experiment (social categorization) and go through the intersectionality between social identities and stereotype threat. Students also participated in reflective questions that aimed to better understand how students see themselves and how those perceptions connect to the field of Psychology

My most valuable experience from the fellowship is the opportunity i had to create educational modules from start to finish. I was able to choose what supplemental information the students engaged as well as quiz questions for knowledge-based testing. I am grateful for all the skills i learned working with my faculty mentor. This fellowship has provided me with a new understanding of the complexities of teaching both in and outside the classroom. It has also provided me the necessary tools to continue finding the answer to my question. Moving forward, I hope to work with my faculty mentor to evaluate the connection between how students see themselves and the field of Psychology and their responses to educational aspects of the course that address issues of systematic racism in the field of Psychology.

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