Diversity Conference

OCTOBER 3, 2013
CONTACT: Jeff Pitchford, vice president for university and government relations, at jeffp@uca.edu or (501) 450-3185.
Fredricka Sharkey, associate director for media relations, at fsharkey@uca.edu or (501) 450 -5114.

 Diversity Conference 

CONWAY—The University of Central Arkansas hosts a two-day conference in partnership with the Arkansas Psychological Association on Thursday and Friday, October 10 and 11 focused on issues of diversity and cultural competence in providing mental and behavioral health services in Arkansas.

Featured speakers are Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniel and Dr. Paul Wachtel, as well as a panel of local experts.

Registration information can be found at www.arpapsych.org.

Dr. Daniel will present a half-day workshop on Thursday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. entitled, “The Danger of a Single Story – Expanding Perceptions and Knowledge About Groups of Persons”. This presentation will examine heterogeneity in the Black community and how that may contrast with media portrayals.

On Thursday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. local experts Marcela Johnston, Ph.D., Lisa Linson, Ph.D., Nick Rios, Psy.D., and Ana Bridges, Ph.D. will discuss cultural competence in providing mental health services to the Hispanic community.

Dr. Wachtel will present a full-day workshop on Friday entitled, “Ethnicity, Theoretical Orientation, Scientist or Practitioner: Transcending Our Divisions and Incorporating Our Separate Strengths and Contributions” which provides an opportunity to reframe the conceptualization of diversity.

In addition to the conference training, Dr. Wachtel will work with a small group of students during an hour-long session, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom facilitating a conversation about the current status of race relations on the UCA campus. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend and ask questions following this process.

“The U.S. continues to grow in diversity in both rural and urban communities. To provide competent care, health care providers are challenged to understand and address the mental and behavioral health needs of a culturally diverse clientele. Culturally competent health and mental health care contributes to better health outcomes, more satisfied patients, and greater cost efficiency,” said Lisa McNeir, visiting assistant professor and chair of the Professional Development Committee for the Arkansas Psychological Association.

Dr. Daniel is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Harvard Medical School. She has received numerous awards for research that has focused on issues related to ethnic minorities, women, adolescents, and the role of mentoring in the field of psychology. In addition to her extensive efforts in national professional organizations to promote awareness and training in matters of diversity, she has developed innovative programs in her own community.

Dr. Wachtel, currently a Distinguished Professor at City University of New York, writes and conducts workshops about the interactive processes of culture with effective psychotherapy practices.