Diversifying Clinical Psychology

Bryanna Jones ’19 was one of 25 students to participate in Diversifying Clinical Psychology Weekend at the University of North Carolina.

The program, held Oct. 26-28 at the Chapel Hill, N.C., campus, presents an opportunity for talented ethnic and racial minority undergraduate students and recent college graduates invested in pursuing doctoral-level training in clinical psychology. 

Jones, a psychology major and African American and Africana studies minor at Ursinus, was selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants to the competitive program, which includes an intensive set of seminars, panel discussions and workshops. Participants have an opportunity to meet clinical psychology doctoral students and faculty in formal and informal settings and receive an introduction to UNC’s clinical psychology program and graduate training.

A graduate of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia and a Yeadon, Pa., native, Jones is a first generation college student passionate about improving health outcomes for underserved populations.

“As a student in the Philadelphia School District, seeing a lack in care for inner city students really triggered something in me,” Jones says. “Coming from that, I want to be a part of helping to find solutions to those problems.”

At the UNC program, Jones says “making connections with a diverse group of clinical psychologists and receiving guidance from people already working in the field—people who look like me” was invaluable to her.

She says the most impactful experience was “realizing that I belonged in academia and that my intellect and work ethic were valued.”

At Ursinus, Jones is a program coordinator at Cloake House and a research consultant in the Health Experiences Across the Lifespan (HEAL) Lab, which, under the guidance of Vanessa Volpe, an assistant professor of psychology (and University of North Carolina alumna), is interested in studying health outcomes of marginalized groups.

As a Teagle Diversity Fellow, Jones’ research focuses on how African American students’ perceptions of community involvement, racial identity and safety impact their well-being and undergraduate experience. –By Ed Moorhouse