Diversity Committee

The CWRU Department of Psychological Sciences Diversity Committee is comprised primarily of doctoral students in psychology who work to welcome, embrace, and promote the diversity of human experiences and cultural and individual differences. Goals of the Diversity Committee are to promote research on diversity, foster recruitment of diverse students and students who are interested in studying diversity, and ensure that coursework, clinical training, and didactics in the department focus on diversity.

Diversity Committee Current Projects

  • Creation of a graduate student course reserve library so students can check out books for courses instead of having to buy them; therein, easing the cost of graduate school for students.
  • Encouraging faculty teaching undergraduate student courses to put their textbooks on course reserves in the library to provide access to textbooks for impoverished undergraduate students.
  • Creation of an online folder of diversity resources (articles on diversity, articles by BIPOC authors, APA Guidelines, etc) for graduate students and faculty.
  • Creation of an online workshop to mentor prospective graduate students from underrepresented minority groups, impoverished prospective students, and first generation prospective students who are seeking additional mentorship and guidance about how to gain admission into a clinical psychology Ph.D. program. Check back for information in the next several months!
  • Creation of a mentorship program for current CWRU psychology majors who are from underrepresented minority groups, impoverished, and/or are first generation prospective students.
  • Current graduate students will be matched to undergraduate students who are seeking guidance and mentorship.

Diversity Committee Faculty Co-Chairs

Amy Przeworski is the co-chair of the diversity committee. She specializes in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults and is interested in the intersection of cultural factors that may lead to resilience or contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety and depression. Dr. Przeworski is currently the chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Minority Affairs. She and students in her lab are currently conducting studies examining the experience of stress and resilience during the coming out process in gay and lesbian individuals, the experience of transgender, gender nonconforming, gender variant, and gender fluid individuals, and cultural and family factors related to anxiety and adaptive functioning in African American children. To learn more about Dr. Przeworski’s lab and research, please visit her lab website.





Arin Connell is the co-chair of the diversity committee. His research is focused on understanding the etiology of depression, conduct problems, and substance use across childhood and adolescence, and on translating such developmental models into prevention and intervention programs for at-risk youth. His work integrates psychosocial and neurobiological risk and protective factors to facilitate improved understanding of child and family functioning across diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Dr. Connell is also the Director of Clinical Training in the department. He is currently conducting studies examining emotional development in youth at-risk for depression, as well as studies examining emotional processing in adolescence and early adulthood in relation to depression and alcohol use. To learn more about Dr. Connell’s lab and research, please visit his lab website.





Diversity Committee Members

Eleanor Beale

As a scientist practitioner, I value the role diversity plays in both research outcomes as well as clinical progress. I strive to consistently improve my clinical competency in addressing multicultural topics and issues relating to identity in all of my work. I am particularly interested in the intersection of different identities and how personal experiences influence mental health symptoms.





Elisa Borrero

Broadly, I am interested in exploring the effects of attentional and behavioral factors on the development of anxiety, and how these effects may vary or be moderated by inclusion in sexual, racial, and ethnic groups who commonly feel the distinct and profound effects of social, economic, and political marginalization. Additionally, I am interested in exploring buffering factors that may contribute to resilience and coping in minority individuals.





Ellen Doernberg

As a training clinician in the field of developmental psychopathology, a commitment to diverse and culturally competent practices is essential to me. My research is focused on working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, and I feel passionate about increasing the accessibility of evidence-based clinical research opportunities to people from all backgrounds, by creating assessments and interventions that are easily disseminated and translated into the community. Specifically, I work on developing and implementing play-based interventions for children with autism and related disorders via telehealth practices.





Kathleen Pait

As a researcher, I am primarily interested in exploring the impacts of religious, spiritual, and supernatural beliefs on mental health and wellbeing. As a clinician in training, I am committed to ensuring the protection and acceptance of religious diversity in and outside of the therapeutic space. I strive to remain culturally humble and deeply curious about the lived experiences of others throughout both my personal and professional lives.





Emily Peterson

My primary research interests involve exploring the factors that contribute to anxiety and depression in members of stigmatized and underserved populations, particularly racial/ethnic minority and LGBTQ individuals. It is my ultimate goal to increase understanding of the unique and intersectional experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds in order to more effectively tailor interventions and improve access to treatment.





Alex Piedra

Clinically, I am interested in working with minority and underserved child and family populations. My research is focused on optimizing and improving evidence-based treatment for child anxiety in minority and underserved populations, as well as in increasing access to these treatments.






Silvia Rodriguez

I believe that engaging in and remaining curious about the experiences of others, as well as my own, are crucial in fostering a healthy and vibrant work environment. Clinically, I continue to work toward an attitude of cultural humility when working with clients. In my research, I am interested in how mental illness, and specifically suicidality, is influenced by an individual’s age and life stage, and more generally, their socio-cultural context.




Have a question for us or interested in contacting us? Please email us at PSSCdiversitycommittee@gmail.com.