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Psychology INSPIRE Information

Seeding for the PSYCHOLOGY INSPIRE initiative began during the Summer of 2001 when Dr. Theresa Montgomery Okwumabua was asked to serve as a preceptor for a single minority student who was interested in a career in psychology.  The student had recently graduated from Central High School and was on her way to Washington University where she planned to major in Psychology.  However, she lacked a clear understanding of the field as well as the full requirements for a career in her area of interest. She completed another summer internship with Dr. Okwumabua in 2002, then graduated from Washington University in 2003, with a BA in Psychology.  Upon graduation, this student returned to the University of Memphis in 2004 to work on her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She has completed Masters and is on course to begin work on her dissertation.

Our experiences with this student helped to shape the PSYCHOLOGY INSPIRE Summer Internship Program. The program targets individuals from populations that are underrepresented in the field of psychology, including racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, first generation college students, as well as individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The goals of the initiative are to:

  1. Increase interns’ knowledge about and interest in pursuing careers in psychology;
  2. Provide rising juniors and seniors with opportunities to learn about the field of psychology and the range of research and scholarship opportunities in the field of psychology;
  3. Provide a laboratory experience that enhances basic research knowledge and skills;
  4. Provide lectures, workshops, didactic exchanges, etc., to enhance students' knowledge (a) of the application process for undergraduate/graduate studies, (b) for negotiating the academic rigors as well as the professional and personal challenges encountered in undergraduate and/or graduate school, and (c) for developing career paths in social and behavioral science at various levels (e.g., the undergraduate and graduate levels, beyond graduate studies);
  5. Provide mentoring and networking opportunities for students to advance their training in psychology.
  6. Promote engaged scholarship activities that connect the Psychology Departments’ students and faculty with the broader community within which the university operates.
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Last Updated: 1/23/12