students sitting on campus

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our Mission Statement

Diversity refers to individual differences that include ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University welcomes the richness that diversity brings to our community. We hope to model and enhance the appreciation of diversity by:

  • Attracting faculty, students, and staff of diverse backgrounds to our Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Psychology Programs
  • Fostering an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion in which all individuals are supported and integrated within our academic and social communities
  • Welcoming honest and open discussion regarding diversity issues
  • Incorporating diversity as a central issue in our academic curriculum to facilitate student research and clinical work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Enhancing awareness of diversity issues through ongoing research

Diversity Science

What is Diversity Science?

Diversity Science is not a separate area of graduate study in the Department, but provides an opportunity to apply work in all areas of psychological science to understanding the causes of bias and disparities and eventually to eliminate them. Diversity Science is the scientific study of the causes of racism, socioeconomic and health disparities, and bias.  Research in Psychological & Brain Sciences includes research on early adversity, the development and expression of bias across the lifespan, intergroup relationships and conflict, and the mechanisms of disparities in health and well-being across the lifespan, as well as in access to health care and education.


Diversity Talk Vidoes

Research in Diversity Science

Calvin Lai

Calvin Lai

Calvin Lai studies how people create, interpret, and maintain social group distinctions. Lai is particularly interested in implicit biases: automatic or unconscious mental processes that create a gap between what people value (e.g., racial equality) and what people do (e.g., racial discrimination). His research focuses on (1) learning how implicit biases change, (2) understanding the consequences of implicit bias for behavior, and (3) developing interventions to reduce the impact of implicit biases on behavior.

Meet our Faculty Conducting Research in Diversity Science
Lori Markson

Lori Markson

Lori Markson studies social cognitive development. Research in her lab investigates children’s thinking about race with the goal of attaining more equitable societal outcomes for all children. Current research projects in her lab investigate the effects of exposure to diversity on children’s racial attitudes and preferences, children and adults’ perceptions of multiracial individuals, the effects of integrated and segregated environments on children’s learning and trust, particularly in school contexts, and the role of representation in the development of stereotypes.

Meet our Faculty Conducting Research in Diversity Science

PBS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee 


This department-level committee is dedicated to continually improving the department’s environment with regard to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is an action-oriented committee that is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at various levels within the department, including its culture, practices, and systems. The committee’s members span a wide range of positions in the department, representing all groups other than undergraduate students (e.g., graduate students, staff, faculty). The committee is tasked with working on department-level policy and procedures related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as overseeing the development and organization of activities and initiatives related to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (e.g., inviting speakers, hosting workshops). The PBS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee works closely with the department chair and the Diversity Committee of the Psychology Graduate Student Association.






PBS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Members

  • Tammy English (co-chair)
  • Renee Thompson (co-chair)
  • Mark McDaniel (faculty rep)
  • Kristin Van Engen (faculty rep)

Student Members

  • Jaisal Merchant (grad rep)

  • Jin Shin (grad rep)

  • Genevieve Davison (grad rep)

  • Hawa Adaweh (grad rep)

Postdoc & Staff Members

  • Katie Lewis (post-doc rep)

Staff Members

  • Shelley Kohlman (staff rep)


As a community committed to the relentless pursuit of excellence, we must be a diverse community. We must also be a community where all people feel represented, valued and included as equal members.

―Andrew D. MartinChancellor