Mentoring students from groups traditionally under-represented in academia

My participation in Yale University’s Edward A. Bouchet/Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers has inspired me to focus on mentoring students, especially those that are traditionally underrepresented in academia. One approach I’ve taken is serving as a guest speaker to programs that address representation in academia, including the Mellon Mays program at Yale University and at the University of Texas at Austin. In these presentations, I not only discuss my academic journey but also some of the challenges in the field often faced by groups underrepresented in academia (e.g., lack of familiarity with social mores related to academia due to lack of familiarity within the social networks of these individuals). I also regularly establish professional developmental seminars for students interested in academia to help them navigate the highly competitive field of clinical psychology. Lastly, I actively engage in mentorship of undergraduates interested in graduate school, whether in clinical psychology or otherwise. As a mentor, I try to teach mentees not only how to approach psychological science (i.e., drawing upon modern psychological theories to generate hypotheses and testing them empirically) but also how to cultivate a career that supports their academic goals, regardless of setting. This mentor has been both informal (e.g., mentorship of undergraduate and post-baccaluareate students in the labs I have beena part of) and formal (e.g., serving as a mentor for UT-Austin’s mentorship initiative for underrepresented students in the Liberal Arts)

Mental Health Education/Stigma Reduction Workshops

I regularly volunteer to present on the topics of wellness and stigma reduction in communities that are typically under-represented and underserved in mental health services. These efforts began in graduate school presenting to Asian American high school students at a peer counseling/leadership camp. After the closure of this camp, I took advantage of opportunities to present to college students at Pitzer College and Stanford University on similar topics. Most recently, I served as a guest presenter to high school students at the Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families. My hope is that, through such efforts and the messages I convey, participants will feel empowered to discuss issues surrounding wellness and mental health in their community and, through these conversations, significantly reduce the impact of stigma on service underutilization and wellness. Though these issues appear across in all cultural groups, research highlights their elevated impact in minority groups broadly defined.

If you would be interested in having me present a mental health education/stigma reduction workshop in your community, please reach out and we can discuss further details!

General Academic Service

I am a regular reviewer for conference submissions to the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as well as for the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong. I also serve on the associate editorial board of Behaviour Research and Therapy. Lastly, I am a member of the Education and Training Committee for the Asian American Psychological Association. This committee seeks to reduce mental health stigma and empower Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities by promoting greater awareness of social, cultural, political, and oppressive forces that have historically impacted Asian American and Pacific Islander mental health. This committee is dedicated to improving education and training on issues related to AAPI mental health.