Psychology Summer Institute: Minority Fellowship Program

Psychology Summer Institute: Minority Fellowship Program

The Psychology Summer Institute
truly is a family that just continues to grow every year. The MFP fellowship program. It’s just amazing overall. It’s just been an amazing and an
exceptional time to be able to just take in everything related to research and how I can improve my methodology. And just being on Capitol Hill it’s just always amazing to be in DC. I love the culture. I love the energy. You know, I really
came in with an open mind. I wasn’t sure what I would encounter when I came here and I’ve been incredibly impressed. It’s really great to see such a broad
range of people in this field in psychology. Who are people of color like myself are
interested in working with marginalized communities. People that come from backgrounds
similar to mine and who are doing so many amazing things in their communities who
are so passionate about their work and just seeing their stories, hearing their
stories and getting them to share those. It’s just so empowering and so inspiring. I come from a counseling
psychology program, but I’m also specializing in pediatric neuropsychology. PSI has by far exceeded my expectations
and being able to figure out how can I lessen the gap in terms of health
disparities in my own specialty. One of the presentations that have
been very impactful to me is just giving a different perspective on how to balance
work and life because self-care is very important to me. It almost feels interdisciplinary to be able to work with people who are clinicians and people who are working in developmental psychology and to really be able to experience
psychology in a new way. Oftentimes in academia we’re in bubbles, we work with our advisors and with our lab mates and being here at MFP has allowed me to actually get input and feedback about my research. Being a part of Summer PSI as an
early career mentee definitely gave me connections to some people that maybe I’d only read their research or their work. And getting to meet them and get some
advisement was so important and on a purely practical end over the years I really had very solid opportunities that materialized only because of
the connections I made here. My mentor is Michael Gho and I have
really appreciated working with him. He has been really specific and detailed
about supporting me in my research and particularly in this project. You could tell that he spent a lot of
time with my concept paper and really deconstructed things, asked me some really
relevant questions, challenged me where I needed to be challenged. Even working with Angela Cole
Dixon who is my assigned mentor, just on a personal level and on a
professional level I just feel free. I feel at peace knowing that the various
stages and phases that are up ahead are definitely feasible and I didn’t have that
perspective until I got here. Seeing them do such exceptional work and hearing
about their work and actually feeling just motivated knowing that hopefully one day
when I grow up I can be just like them! I myself was an MFP fellow and I can’t thank my mentors enough that really supported me and pulled me through. So when I was asked to participate I did so gladly and I was honored to and I continue to come back every year because
it’s always a wonderful experience and I get a lot of it myself, too. And I can say so do the other mentors. Yeah. I really believe in this program. I think it’s really important for
psychologists of color or of different marginalized identities to
be represented in the field. And I think the MFP program is really
central in making that happen for, for psychologists who otherwise may not
encounter this level of training and mentorship and camaraderie. Overall being here for
this past week has been amazing. Like my mind is blown, basically. So I think being able to be part of the
different seminars to networking with other faculty members. I can see it just being a very
comprehensive program and I highly recommend it to anyone that’s interested
in serving communities of color, advocating for them and being
able to just help the world be a better place.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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