The Psychology Department at UNLV is committed to enhancing knowledge and awareness of issues of diversity. We promote multiculturalism in research, teaching, and clinical training. We address issues of oppression, discrimination, and marginalization based on identity (broadly defined)[1]. We advocate for equity, inclusion, and social justice as we challenge systematic oppression within higher education and throughout the larger community.

[1] Race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and so on.

Several of our faculty and graduate students in the Department of Psychology explore issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion (e.g., ethnicity, race, age, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability status) in their research. Please visit the lab websites listed below to explore their research more!

Featured Faculty Diversity Research

Lab Website: Social Development Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Rachael Robnett

  • Graduate Student: Jennifer E. John
    Research keyword: educational equity, bias in STEM, stereotypes, allyship
  • Graduate Student: Kristin Vierra
    Research keyword: critical consciousness, critical action, intersectionality, and feminist identity development
  • Graduate Student: Carrie R. Underwood
    Research keyword: romantic relationships, gender norms, power dynamics

Lab Website: Game Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gloria Wong-Padoongpatt

  • Graduate Student: Aldo M. Barrita
    Research keyword: racial / sexual minority microaggressions, coping mechanisms for discrimination, Latinx identity, LGBTQ+, psychometrics

Lab Website: Baby and Child Rebel Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Rennels

  • Dr. Jennifer Rennels and her students study the cues individuals attend to when perceiving faces (e.g., gender, race, attractiveness), how those cues impact social decision-making, and how both individual and contextual factors influence person perception and processing. The lab investigates how these abilities emerge and change with development. As such, infants, children, adolescents, and adults participate in the research studies. Although much of the work has relied on experimental methods, a goal is to begin using more naturalistic observations to ensure the ecological validity of the data. Rennels’ lab values the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds (broadly construed) in the research and welcomes a diverse group of students to assist with the research.
  • Graduate Student: Kindy Insouvanh
    Research keyword: child development, racial stereotypes, allyship

Lab Website: Social Interaction Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Murray Millar

  • Graduate Student: Aileen Lovitt
    Research keyword:  racial stereotyping, positive stereotypes, racism
  • Graduate Student: Jenna L. McPherson
    Research keyword:  romantic relationships, sexual behaviors, LGBTQ+, lifespan 

Lab Website: CHAMPION Mental Health Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Renato (Rainier) Liboro

  • Graduate Student: Sherry Bell
    Research keyword:  mental health equity, LGBTQ+, participatory action research, community psychology

Lab Website: Hannon Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Erin Hannon, Dr. Felix Wang

  • Graduate Student: Jared W. Leslie
    Research keyword:  Diverse populations, Cross-cultural research, Music Cognition, Temporal Cognition

Lab Website: CHARISMA Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christopher Kearney

  • Graduate Student: Shadie Burke
    Research keyword:  racial/ethnic mental health disparities, race-related stress, maltreatment, discrimination
  • Graduate Student: Amanda Howard
    Research keyword:  maltreatment, childhood trauma, adolescent posttraumatic stress

Lab Website: Neuropsychology Research Program 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daniel Allen 

  • Graduate Student: Julia Maietta 
    Research keyword:  culture & accurate diagnosis of severe mental illness, concussion assessment in neurodiverse athletes

Lab Website: STREAM Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shane Kraus & Dr. Kristen Culbert

  • Graduate Student: Kimberly Stevens
    Research keyword:  Eating Disorder Pathology and risk factors

Lab Website: CANE Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Samantha John

  • Graduate Student: Stacey Moeller 
    Research keyword:  neuropsychological equity; racial disparities in cognitive aging

Lab Website: TOPPS Lab
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bradley Donohue

  • Graduate Student: Dr. Bradley Donohue
    Research keyword:  culturally-competent treatment programs, marginalized groups, mental health disparities

UNLV is home to a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. In the department of psychology, faculty and instructors are committed to supporting diversity in the wide range of teaching and learning contexts across the university. At the undergraduate level, courses on African-American Psychology (PSY 264) and Multicultural Psychology (PSY 431) are offered and can be viewed here, while diversity issues are integrated across the curriculum. At the graduate level, diversity issues are continually emphasized as they relate to the development of research and clinical competence [History and Foundations of Clinical Psychology (PSY 714); Ethics and Professional Issues (PSY 755); Group Psychotherapy: Principles and Practices (PSY 752); Diversity in Professional Psychology (PSY 750)] and can be viewed here.

The clinical psychology training program at UNLV emphasizes the importance of cultural competence to clinical practice. As a designated Minority Serving Institution (Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander, and Hispanic students) within a culturally diverse city, UNLV and Las Vegas practicum training sites prepare students to work effectively with diverse clients in assessment, treatment, and consultation.

During the first year of clinical practicum, students are placed at The PRACTICE: A UNLV Community Mental Health Clinic. The PRACTICE provides low-cost individual, couples, and group therapy to the UNLV and greater Las Vegas communities. Clients who seek services at The PRACTICE reflect the ethnic, socioeconomic, sexual orientation and gender diversity of the Las Vegas area, and facilities are fully accessible. During the 2014-2015 academic year, 55% of clients seen at The PRACTICE identified as Anglo-American/Caucasian, 15% as Hispanic-American/Latino, 8% as African-American/Black, 6% as Asian-American/Pacific Islander, and 6% as multiethnic. Consistent with our mandate to provide affordable services, fees are determined based on a sliding scale according to household income, and services are open to individuals of any financial status. In the 2013-2014 academic year, approximately 70% of sessions were provided at a fee of $5 (for annual incomes of under $10,000) or $10 (for annual incomes of under $20,000).

Featured Diversity Training Practica Sites

Family and Child Treatment (FACT) of Southern Nevada is one of numerous practicum sites available for clinical psychology doctoral students. FACT is dedicated to addressing the needs of underserved and diverse populations of Las Vegas metropolitan area. FACT provides sliding scale and free services in areas of abuse, neglect, domestic violence and trauma. All services are offered in English and Spanish and include education and prevention programs, as well as individual, couples’, family and group therapy for victims and perpetrators of violence. In addition, FACT collaborates with other community organizations that offer supervised visitation, therapy for victims of human trafficking, and psychoeducation groups for parents of child abuse victims. Practicum students have the opportunity to work with children and adults from a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Another opportunity for clinical psychology doctoral student clinical practica is with the Mobile Crisis Response Team, a service developed and implemented by the Clark County Children’s Mental Health Consortium, Nevada PEP (a non-profit that provides information, services, and training to families of children with disabilities), and the State of Nevada Division of Child and Family Services. The Team consists of psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals. Without easy access to crisis intervention and psychiatric stabilization services, families often utilize local emergency departments to obtain behavioral health crisis services for their children. Treatment of behavioral health crisis concerns in the emergency department is a national and local problem. The number of children admitted to local emergency departments for a mental health crisis has continued to increase in past years in Las Vegas. The Mobile Crisis Response Team aims to solve this problem by responding immediately to children and families during times of crisis. Services provided follow a Systems of Care philosophy which states that services must be family-driven, youth-guided, culturally and linguistically competent, and community based. The Team serves anyone needing services, with longer-term services available to youths who are uninsured, under-insured, or have Medicaid Fee For Services. The Team assures safety and continuity of care through individualized strategies implemented through a wrap-around and team-based approach. The Team provides phone crisis triage, mobile dispatch for crisis intervention, linkages to long-term services and supports, and facilitation of hospitalization when necessary (about 15% of crisis calls). Additionally, the mobile crisis team can provide up to 30 days of intensive in-home crisis stabilization services. Practicum students have the opportunity to work on a multidisciplinary team, conduct risk assessments in a variety of home and community-based settings, and provide services to youth and families from diverse ethnic, religious, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Advising & Student Support

  • The Academic Success Center offers research-based programs and services geared toward helping you succeed at UNLV. Be sure to utilize academic success coaching, tutoring, supplemental instruction, academic advising, First-Year Seminars for Exploring Majors (COLA 100E), and other offerings.

  • The CARE Center is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all genders through programming, services, and advocacy for the UNLV community.

  • The DRC is committed to supporting students with disabilities at UNLV through the appropriate use of advocacy, accommodations, and supportive services to ensure access to campus courses, services, and activities.

  • Our staff is committed to providing accurate, courteous, and timely service to parents and students. The office disbursed approximately $240 million in financial aid to students during the last school year.

  • MSSP is dedicated to keeping minority students informed of application procedures, curriculum, and other information regarding admission to professional schools. Also, we provide opportunities for students to become involved in community activities, attend guest lectures by community health-care professionals, interact with faculty, and attend social functions.

  • The mission of the Office of Diversity Initiatives is to provide leadership and support for UNLV’s diversity mission: to nurture equity, diversity, and inclusiveness that promotes respect, support, and empowerment.

  • The International Student and Scholar Services assists incoming and current international students and scholars (F-1, J-1, H-1B, TN, B-1, and PR pending status), and their families, to make smooth transitions at UNLV into successful academic, professional, and social experiences.

  • UNLV continually strives to establish a spirit of community in accordance with the highest standards of academic excellence and freedom, institutional integrity, and constitutional protections. The UNLV Student Conduct Code is designed to provide basic standards to ensure a means to fulfill this purpose, and is available to assist students struggling on campus.

  • The department has an outreach program to mentor undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in psychology. The main goals of this program are to provide students who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of psychology with information regarding class work, research, and other areas required for eligibility and entrance into graduate programs

  • The Academic Success Center (ASC) offers free tutoring for a variety of UNLV courses throughout the school year. The mission of the tutoring program is to supplement in-class instruction and enhance your overall academic experience by providing a respectful, safe educational environment for learning.

  • Our mission is to help UNLV's student veterans and active duty military members successfully navigate the academic and administrative pathways of a college education. One of the primary outcomes of this initiative is the partnering of several units on campus to provide simple, predictable administrative processes for student veterans and military family members.

  • Whether you are already pursuing a degree in the College of Liberal Arts or are still deciding on a field of study, we are here to support and guide you as you work toward your goal of graduation.

  • Psychological Counseling

  • College is challenging! Our clinicians are trained to help you work through problems commonly experienced by students of all ages and backgrounds.

  • The Jean Nidetch Women’s Center is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all genders through programming, services, and advocacy for the UNLV community.

  • One of The UNLV PRACTICE Clinic’s key missions it to provide low cost, quality behavioral, cognitive and mental health assessment and therapy services to UNLV and greater Las Vegas communities.

  • The Center serves as a premier training facility for the UNLV Marriage and Family Therapy Program and provides quality, low-cost therapy to residents of the Las Vegas community.

  • Scholarship Opportunities for Undergraduates

  • The APA offers a variety of travel grants, training grants, scholarship for research awards, and general awards. Please visit us to learn more about our many funding opportunities for undergraduate members.

  • Psi Chi offers a variety of awards and grants to undergraduate members. We encourage you to apply for multiple grants and awards throughout your college career.

  • In all, CSUN offers nine different scholarships and four grants with varying criteria. However, for your convenience, there is only one application for scholarships and one for grants. You will be considered for all scholarships for which you qualify. You must select one grant.

  • Participating in a study abroad program is a significant and exciting part of completing a university degree. Past participants often tell us that their time abroad was the best part of their education. The Office of International Programs is dedicated to helping you plan and participate in your program.

  • The Calvert Award recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate sophistication and originality in research projects. Up to five prizes will be awarded in three categories: Emerging Scholars with a $750 prize, Advanced Undergraduate and Creative Works with a $1000 prize.

  • The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Scholars Institute at UNLV is committed to diversifying the ranks of American faculty and research institutions by encouraging and preparing undergraduate students who are members of underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral studies.

  • UNLV has been designated a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) by the U.S. Department of Education and is now competing for grants under Title III & Title V of the Higher Education Act.

  • The mission of The Center is to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

  • The Western Psychological Foundation distributes the funding for the student scholarship awards, research grants, and program development.

  • The Institute helps ensure fully-informed debate, policies, and practices that help create more equitable opportunities for women and girls. Among the issues the Institute has most recently addressed include globalization, leadership training, programs that expand science and technology participation for women and girls, and teen pregnancy prevention programs.