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DEI Committee Meeting Minutes & Other News

In an effort to promote transparency, keep ourselves accountable, and invite feedback from our the larger community of UK's Psychology Department, we publish our monthly meeting minutes here. At each meeting, we discuss a selected reading (to make sure we're up to date on best practices), check in on our subcommittee initiatives, and leave space for open reflection.


During this meeting, we broke into working groups to address initiatives of interest. Here are the output summaries from each working group:

DEI DISSEMINATION COMMITTEE. We came up with the idea of creating a Qualtrics survey for DEI questions, concerns, comments, and “wins” that undergrads or grad students and professors can use. We could go over questions in DEI meetings, and perhaps have an undergrad student be in charge of keeping tabs on the survey. We then discussed how to disseminate the survey, including encouraging professors to add the link to their syllabus in the DEI section of the syllabus, and potentially having DEI members speak in classes during the start of classes. We also talked about trying to have a presence on Instagram and potentially using Instagram stories to create a DEI Q & A. Responses to these could help show us the direction to go for future 


We are excited to announce the official instagram page for Psychology's DEI Committee.


Broader check in: Structure DEI meetings somewhat differently this semester 👏

This semester: we will come up with initiatives/goals that we will accomplish for the semester and use meeting times to move those tasks along. 

Introductions (to old/new members and to undergraduates!): Angie 499 student: will add events to website, add DEI-related research that are happening in the department onto DEI website Katie 399 student: will assist committees to help DEI committee to reach our goals

The Students Participating to Advance Research in Kentucky (SPARK) Program trains undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to conduct impactful research related to health disparities.

Undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University are eligible to apply. Applications due October 31, 2022. 

SPARK participants are introduced to community-engaged research focused on health disparities/health equity and receive extensive mentorship from faculty. They identify a research topic and work with their mentors to develop a project. Students then conduct research projects in their home communities over the summer, receiving funds to support this research. After implementing the project, participants meet with their mentors, undertake data analysis and write-up, and present and


Minute Taker: Emily

Welcome (back): Review of committee nuts & bolts, time commitment

Subcommittees: (Brief overview of last year’s activity + what committees will continue + assignment of group members to committees)

Transparency Committee: Developed a departmental manual that makes explicit departmental roles and responsibilities and how-tos for both faculty and students. This is a work in progress still. (Christal in charge: could use some more sub-committee members here?)

Admissions Committee:

Last year: Web updates to simplify the process for applicants, development of an exit survey, collection of data on applicant demographics as a baseline

This year: need to update the site with who is taking a student; administer exit survey. Anything else?


Minute Taker: Emily Lapidus

Leadership Update: Shannon

Jake from HIVE sent the video!

Subcommittee Updates:

Leadership Committee: Office of Institutional Research and they are responding shortly. As Gender & Womens’ Department has 6 faculty, it may be beneficial to reach out to Department of Sociology

Transparency Committee: Some sections are outlined (Shannon). Some time this summer will be to flesh out some missing information. Google sheets may be updated to describe what classes are offered & when.

Admissions Committee: Jessica Burris put together the exit interview survey, but it will  be tabled for February 2023 for the next application 

Diversify the Pipeline: Jake from the HIVE has finished the video! The goal is for


Minute Taker: Baylee Jenkins

Leadership Update: Shannon

Departmental transparency handbook

Adding links to grad school

Including go-to people/ resources for questions (e.g., ombud for advisor-mentee challenge questions)

Designing for less-frequent updates

Having point-people for particular resources/ questions

Chain of command for particular issues

Annual/ bi-annual lookovers to make sure the handbook is up-to-date

DEI Events

Including a possible link on the website to an updating document, accessible by everyone, of events that are happening

Possibly having a 399 student involved in doing this

Hannah has great resources


Minute Taker: Emily Lapidus

Leadership update:  Presenter- Shannon 

Updates that can be done in 2022—website update

Collect baseline data this year to utilize in future years

Racial/ethnic identity data (DEW, enrollment into 395 etc.) regarding undergraduates

Qualitative data about who is “thriving”

Possibly find a collaborative department as to not have identifying information

What departments should we reach out to and what information do we ask? 

Include rationale as to why data is being collected. This can be done in faculty committees & possibly BB for graduate students

Pros and cons of splitting data into graduate students/faculty

Should we collect data as to who is leaving


Minute Taker: Emily

Group photo (for the web)

Review of Reading/Continuing Education (Shannon: 15 minutes)

Should all mentors have this as background information before mentorship?

Beyond typical mentorship-- context provided before semesters to better outcomes amongst marginalized identities (e.g., 1st gen, BIPOC)

Possibly disclose identities to students at the beginning of the semester to emphasize scientists hold multiple identities

Theory to Action

PSY Scholars exposed to research opportunities (PSY 395), but who are we missing by not making information accessible?

PSY Lab showcase: New faculty members may already have pre existing videos explaining their research interests/lab tasks



Minute taker: Baylee

Review of Reading/Continuing Education (Krystal: 15 minutes)


Are we doing something that actually matters?

Future readings: Mentorship link — 3 Mentoring Underrepresented Students in STEMM: Why Do Identities Matter? | The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM 

What do we do to hold ourselves accountable:

Subcommittee Check-ins during the larger group meetings

Transparency — minutes; departmental leadership accountability (seeing change put to action); holding a space to listen to stakeholders - are we representing what really matters to those who we are trying to help?; time in faculty meetings for updates - spreading word of initiatives and


Discussion of How to Keep up with best practices in DEI (Krystal: 5-10 minutes)

Continuing Education through the department/larger sphere

Accountable for posting/sharing scholarly work?

How have DEI Committees been harmful to Black students at other institutions and how can we avoid their mistakes?

Krystal shared last summer--DEI members can read this before the next meeting to discuss.

What are events that other departmental DEI committees hosting? 

We can add this to regularly sent emails by Meagan. This collection of events and communication with Meagan can be a task handled by a subcommittee.

Subcommittee check-in (Baylee: ~40 minutes)

Formation of Departmental Transparency subcommittee


September Meeting Minutes

Welcome and introductions

Review of our policies, procedures, and initiatives developed over the past 8 months

Identifying the leadership subcommittee

Shannon Sauer-Zavala (Faculty), Krystal Cashen (post-doc), and Emily Lapidus and Baylee Jenkins (graduate students) self-nominated and the larger group approved. We are pleased to have stakeholders at all levels represented in leadership. 


Decolonizing Syllabi: The goal is to create a list of recommendations for readings and class activities that highlight work from scholars from diverse backgrounds, as well as make recommendations for the articles students read as part of the alternative assignments (in lieu of research participation)

Chair: Steven Arthur

July Meeting Minutes Summary Dr. Christia Brown (in her role as Associate Chair) joined us to discuss Departmental support for the DEI commitee (e.g., a protected meeting time, web edit access, financial support, effort support). She also suggested several ideas to add to our list of potential initatives (support related to immigration status issues amongst our students, affinity groups for students, reading lists/syllabi edits to help faculty decolonize their syllabi, teaching workshops for grad students/faculty, self study [do we have acheviement gaps based on student backgroud - # of students in research labs, placement of our students after graduation rates, retention rates in the major, acceptance rates of grad students.
  Adoption of Department-wide Diversity Statement on Sylllubi/Canvas (an update): Dr. Jessica Burris is the