The faculty and staff of the Department of Psychology join our voices with the many
others who speak out against the racism and injustice highlighted by the events of
the past few weeks. We are heartbroken that the life of a man could be extinguished
in such a publicly dehumanizing way and that his family, friends, and community are
left with unbearable suffering and grief. George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis
police officers also reminds us of the untimely deaths of unarmed Black Americans
and points to the long history and systemic forms of racism, oppression, and injustice
that plague our country. These systemic inequities are tied to a legacy that includes
genocide of Indigenous peoples, enslavement of people of African heritage, and xenophobic
hatred and violence diminishing the value of human lives. The Psychology Department
commits to addressing issues of injustice and inequities in our actions and curriculum.
We recognize that students and university colleagues both within and outside of our department are impacted by racial inequities. Many live in fear and apprehension because their lives and the lives of their loved ones are at constant risk and many are the targets of overt prejudice as well as behaviors that are influenced by implicit bias and systemic prejudice. As your professors, advisors, and staff members, we aim to create a safe space in our department for students to share their knowledge and wisdom from their own life experiences. There is much we can learn from one another.
As psychologists, we use evidence-based methods to study the factors that influence and change behavior. As a discipline, we are uniquely trained to shed light on the conditions that contribute to stereotypes, bias, and racism; to find ways to ameliorate their impact on individuals, families, and communities; and to work towards ending these ills. As professionals, we uphold the objectives of our professional organizations, including to foster the advancement of human rights, fairness, diversity, and inclusion through the application of psychological science, and to use psychology to improve the functioning of institutions, organizations, systems, and communities. As individual faculty and staff members, we commit to deep personal reflection to increase our own awareness. We pledge to work towards dismantling racism and its corrosive effect on those most immediately impacted and society at large. We encourage our students to become agents of personal and community change and commit to eliminating injustice, inequities, and oppression. The department’s ad hoc committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will convene in the fall to outline specific steps for the department to take to begin to address racial inequities.
To the extent that we as psychology students and faculty strive to be a part of this much needed change, we will fulfill the highest ethical aims of our discipline and our professional organizations. Psychologists are committed to increasing scientific and professional knowledge of behavior and people's understanding of themselves and others and to use such knowledge to improve the condition of individuals, organizations, and society. As such, “Psychologists respect and protect civil and human rights” (Preamble, APA Ethical Code).
Finally, we remind students of the importance of connecting with family, friends, and community to find comfort and strength in support. We encourage you to reach out to sources of support, as needed, including professional counseling. You also can reach out to your faculty, the Counseling and Psychological Services Center, or the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For further information about psychology courses that deal extensively with the problems of racism, inequities, oppression, and injustice, please see course list below.
Your professors and the staff of the Department of Psychology
June 9, 2020
Psychology offers insights into structural inequalities and evidence-based solutions to benefit individuals and society broadly. Interested students might consider the following courses:
PSY 120. Multicultural Psychology (satisfies a requirement for the Minor in Ethnic
PSY 215. Liberation Psychology: Sustaining Community Change
PSY 254. Social Psychology
PSY 365/565. Psychology of Women
PSY448/449. Field Experience in Psychology: Diverse Communities
In addition, the research labs of the following faculty members specifically study
issues of race, oppression, privilege, and equity, and these labs often have opportunities
for student involvement. Please contact the professor directly for more information:
Drs. Ellie Brown; Janet Chang; Stevie Grassetti; Lauri Hyers; Jasmin Tahmaseb McConatha.
The Psychology Department of West Chester University seeks to advance the discipline of Psychology as an area of scholarly, professional, and scientific endeavor. Our primary focus is to provide a high quality, liberal-arts education. We actively engage in the discovery and dissemination of knowledge in the behavioral sciences and encourage research and scholarship by both the faculty and student body. We prepare students for a wide variety of career options, including those in teaching, research, and services delivery, many of which require graduate study beyond the baccalaureate. Our programs are designed to prepare students for lifelong education and participation in an increasingly diverse society.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania’s Psychology Department believes that diversity and inclusion enhance learning, teaching, scholarship, applied work, and a sense of community. We view diversity broadly and aim to promote a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
- We aim to facilitate students and faculty members exchanging ideas stemming from a variety of viewpoints in an environment of mutual respect, collaboration, and equity.
- We are committed to increasing representation and inclusion of groups that are marginalized.
- We promote the principles of equity and inclusion within our department and beyond through increasing everyone’s belonging in our classrooms and other spaces as well as through recruitment and retention, training, clinical work, research, service and teaching, and through open and productive dialogue, advocacy, and support.
Deadline for Psy.D. applications is December 15th.
In the News: New Research Points to the Strengths of Adolescent Girls Despite WWII: Anne Frank & Renia Speigel
Jenna Walmer, a master’s student dual majoring in psychology and Holocaust and Genocide Studies, has spent the past year conducting a comparative analysis of two diaries. The archival research has been supervised by her advisor, Professor of Psychology Lauri Hyers, a psychologist and diary research expert who recently published Diary Methods (Oxford University Press, 2018).
- Undergraduate Admissions
- Undergraduate Catalog
- Graduate Admissions
- Graduate Catalog
- Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Program
- General MS Program
- Industrial/Organizational MS Program
Links to Organizations
- WCU Student Organizations
- Academy of Management
- American Psychological Association
- Philadelphia Behavioral Therapy Association
- American Group Psychotherapy Association
- American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama
- I/O at Work
- Pennsylvania Psychological Association
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology