Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement

The Psychology Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is based on the University’s diversity and inclusion principles:

●      Respect the dignity of every person.

●      Build a Notre Dame community in which all can flourish.

●      Live in solidarity with all, particularly the most vulnerable.

Diversity and inclusion in the Psychology Department can enhance the educational experience for everyone. Support for diversity and inclusion promotes a climate of intellectual curiosity, the open exchange of ideas, acquisition of knowledge and understanding about people and issues within and outside of the academic setting. Therefore, the Department of Psychology is committed to promoting a broad-based, collective understanding of diversity and inclusion, thereby establishing and maintaining a climate for our faculty, students, and staff that supports their goals and the mission of the Department and the University. The commitment to creating and maintaining a climate supportive of diversity and inclusion enhances the education and training of students to pursue careers in diverse work settings and enhances the environment in which faculty teach and conduct research.


The department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee has compiled a shared Google Drive with helpful resources relating to the promotion of inclusive excellence in our classrooms, labs, and in the department culture at large. This drive is continually being updated with relevant research and resources for faculty (especially as regards teaching and evaluation), so please visit it often.

The members of the current Diversity and Inclusion Committee are always available as resources. The 2019-2020 members are as follows:

Faculty: Thomas Merluzzi, Darcia Narvaez, Ke-Hai Yuan, Jessica Payne

Graduate Students:  Brandy Martinez, Dianna Tran, Maxwell Hong, Morgan Widhalm

Additionally, below are listed some current graduate students and faculty in the Psychology Department that have volunteered to make themselves available to answer questions from prospective graduate students and who are committed to upholding a diverse and inclusive climate. If you have questions about applying to graduate school or would like to know more about the Department, please feel free to contact them!

Graduate Students:

  • Bethany Wentz (bwentz@nd.edu)
  • Julaine Zenk (Julaine.D.Zenk.4@nd.edu)
  • Adam Vilanova-Goldstein  (agoldst2@nd.edu)
  • Raquael Joiner (rjoiner@nd.edu)
  • Katie Kelley (kkelley5@nd.edu)
  • Patrick Kirkland (pkirklan@nd.edu)
  • Amanda Nowak (Amanda.L.Nowak.38@nd.edu)
  • Molly O’Neill (Molly.O'Neill.103@nd.edu)
  • Alainna Wen (awen@nd.edu)
  • Dani Rebouças (drebouca@nd.edu)


  • Joshua Koen (jkoen@nd.edu)
  • Lee Anna Clark (lclark6@nd.edu)
  • Brooke Ammerman (bammerm1@nd.edu)
  • Laura Carlson (lcarlson@nd.edu)
  • Nicole McNeil (nmcneil@nd.edu)
  • Nathan Rose (nrose1@nd.edu)
  • Johnny Zhang (zzhang4@nd.edu)
  • Kathy Eberhard (keberhar@nd.edu)
  • Lira Yoon (lyoon@nd.edu)
  • Laura Miller-Graff (lmiller8@nd.edu)

Department Climate

The goal in the Psychology Department is to have an atmosphere that is challenging intellectually and supportive of every individual. We expect the norm in our Department to be engagement with different points of view, inclusion of people from different backgrounds, and open discussion of ideas. These processes are a collective responsibility. However, incidents may arise that cause discomfort or that may be considered offensive. There also may be more egregious situations that create an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or demeaning environment for any reasonable person. These incidents and situations can include sexual or non-sexual harassment, racism, sexism, intolerance of differences, and many other situations. If someone in the Psychology Department has such an experience, there are a number of courses of actions that one might take.

Procedures for Handling Serious Concerns and Transgressions

Given the department's commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, we have herein outlined the appropriate steps to address transgressions that do not support our mission. The first step might be to determine whether the issue can be settled with the transgressor, that is, speaking directly with the person, telling him or her what behavior was experienced as offensive (hostile, etc.) and, ideally, having a conversation about the issue that resolves the situation. This could be done one-on-one, or as a group (i.e., if multiple individuals found a situation offensive) or with an ally (e.g., one of the people named below). That is, some situations may be the result of lack of knowledge or insensitivity that can be resolved with discussion.  However, this may not be an option that a person would choose, or the conversation might not resolve the issue. The second step might be to consult an academic advisor, Tom Merluzzi, Kathy Eberhard, and/ or the Chair. But those approaches also may not be an option that one might choose, in which case the issue may be taken to an appropriate person listed on the University’s Diversity Resources and Reporting website. Thus, there are University-level options as well as options in the Psychology Department. The University’s complete list of resources and reporting guidelines can be found here.

This process would also be applicable to situations in which one witnesses transgressions of any magnitude. Rather than remain silent, for example, one might speak up to indicate one's own discomfort with a sexist comment. Another first step might be to talk to the person who appears to be the recipient of the transgression. Perhaps that discussion can clarify the context and a plan can be developed that might include a discussion with the transgressor by the witness, the recipient of the transgression or both. However, as described above, that approach may not be an option that the witness might choose and, as such, the witness can choose to follow the remaining steps listed above. 

In the Psychology Department, Kathy Eberhard (Director of Graduate Studies) and Tom Merluzzi (Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee) are available, particularly to graduate students, for consultation on any of these issues. For anyone in the department, Lee Anna Clark (Department Chair) also is available. Thus, Kathy Eberhard, Tom Merluzzi, and/or Lee Anna Clark are available individually or collectively for consultation at any point in the process of dealing with transgressions. Please contact one or all of them.