We recently asked our previous interns about the ways in which our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) was reflected in their experiences with our internship program. Here is a sampling of their responses.
The faculty themselves were from diverse backgrounds -- much more so than was true at my graduate program. The faculty also had research interests specific to helping underserved populations, like interests in mental health in Latino/a/x youth, and supporting African-American families. That diversity probably was related to the capacity to do that kind of work in a city as multicultural as Chicago (I'd gone to graduate school in Pittsburgh) but it was notable that the teaching (and administrative support) community at UIC reflected the broader community around it more than other academic spaces I'd inhabited.
-Intern, Class of 2011-2012
Diversity, equity, and inclusion felt central to everything we did. I worked with diverse patients in diverse settings (including in schools and at community field stations). My internship year changed how I think about partnering with families and communities. During internship, I developed a deeper understanding of barriers to dissemination and the importance of involving communities at various stages of research. I left feeling excited and empowered to move my science into the world
- Intern, Class of 2012-2013
One thing I appreciated most about the UIC internship program was their commitment to diversity, not just in didactics, but also in the clinical opportunities available to provide services to those from the diverse communities surrounding UIC. I valued the opportunity to work with patients coming from different racial/ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious backgrounds and how cultural competence was emphasized as a part of clinical supervision.
- Intern, Class of 2013-2014
As an intern, you have the opportunity to work with clients/patients from a lot of different backgrounds, with a lot of diversity represented across their intersecting identity characteristics, AND to work with clinical and research supervisors who think a lot about what high quality services can look like for people from all these different backgrounds and holding all these different identities.
- Intern, Class of 2017-2018
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all its forms (e.g., racial/ancestral background, cultural, socioeconomic status, etc.) are cornerstones of UIC’s internship program and the department’s commitment to community mental health. Training in DEI topics are woven throughout nearly all aspects of the program, making it an integral part of clinical psychology rather than something that’s been tacked on to satisfy training requirements. For example, the family medicine clinics in the Behavioral Medicine rotation serve the community at-large and allowed me more opportunities to develop competency serving more diverse populations than during my entire graduate training.
- Intern, Class of 2019-2020