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Spring Diversity Research Conference

Friday, April 27, 2018 - 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Riggs Alumni Center, Orem Hall A

The UMD Department of Psychology is hosting its 6th annual, FREE one day Spring Diversity Conference. The conference is organized by the Graduate Student Diversity Training Committee (UMDdiversitycommittee@gmail.com) in partnership with the Psychology department. 

Check-in will be from 8:30 am - 9:00am. The conference will run from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm. Lunch will be held after the conference. Please register by April 13 to be guaranteed a spot at lunch. 

Presentations will focus on current directions in research and practice on cultural competence and diversity, with a focus on its link to psychological processes across disciplines. Planning for the conference is currently underway! Please check back to this website for important announcements, speaker biographies, and presentation information. The public, and all students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend.

Conference program:

Keynote Speaker: Bethany Letiecq (GMU)

Title: Meaning Making on the Margins: Partnering with Undocumented Immigrants to Understand and Promote Mental Health in Context

Bio: Conducting community-based participatory action research with families who have been systematically and historically marginalized, Dr. Bethany Letiecq’s work focuses on building and sustaining community-university partnerships and engaging in community-driven research and action. Her work also interrogates the ways in which laws, policies, and systems perpetuate inequalities and injustices that influence and determine individual, family, and community health. She is an associate professor of Human Development and Family Science at George Mason University, the President of the Mason chapter of the American Association of University Professors, National Council on Family Relations board member, a faculty senator, a scholar-activist, a partner and mother, and a proud alumna of the University of Maryland.


Allison Ratto (Montgomery County Outpatient Center)

Title: The Assessment and Treatment of ASD in Dual Language Learners

Bio: Allison Ratto received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her predoctoral internship at Children's National, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National, prior to becoming a member of the faculty. Her research focuses on better understanding the manifestation of ASD in under-studied populations with ASD, including females, children of color, and dual-language speakers, as well as reducing disparities in access to diagnostic and treatment services. Clinically, Dr. Ratto specializes in assessment and treatment of ASD and related developmental disorders, particularly in young children and intellectually delayed individuals. Dr. Ratto also speaks Spanish fluently and has a strong interest in working with families from Spanish-speaking backgrounds.


Antoine Banks (UMD)

Title: The Effectiveness of a Racialized Counter-Strategy

Bio: Antoine Banks is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. He is also Director of the Government and Politics Research Lab. His research interests include racial and ethnic politics, emotions, political psychology, and public opinion. His book, Anger and Racial Politics: The Emotional Foundation of Racial Attitudes in America, published by Cambridge University Press, explores the link between emotions and racial attitudes and the consequences it has for political preferences. His articles have appeared in journals such as American Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, Political Analysis, and Political Psychology.


Tanya Tavassolie (GMU)

Title: Preschool Readiness and Early Elementary School Performance of Children of Migrant Farmworkers

Bio: Tanya Tavassolie is currently a doctoral candidate at George Mason University in the Applied Developmental Psychology Program, under the advisement of Dr. Adam Winsler. She has started a post-doc at Univesiry of Maryland with Dr. Brenda Jones Harden, and will continue this work after graduation. Her research focuses on the predictors of academic performance and potential outcomes from high-stakes testing in elementary school among a low-income, ethnically and linguistically diverse sample. She also has a special interest in the academic success and school readiness of Migrant children. Her dissertation work uses a person-centered analytic approach to determine profiles of school readiness among a diverse sample of young children and describes how these profiles predict longitudinal academic performance in elementary school.


Hannah Samuelson (UMD)

Title: Below the Glass Ceiling and Through the Glass Door: Developmental Opportunities and Hiring in a Model of Gender Stratification

Bio: Hannah Samuelson is a PhD student in the Social, Decision, and Organizational Sciences program in the University of Maryland Psychology Psychology Department. She is broadly interested in how individuals pursue their goals and the systems in which they do so. This includes mechanisms at the individual level that drive goal choice and self-regulation, up to organizational-level factors that facilitate or hinder a member's ability to achieve their goals. She aims to capture the complexity of these topics using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, such as grounded theory and computational modeling.