Spring 2022

Welcome New Faculty Member Dr. Mitra

Dr. Deeya Mitra

Dr. Deeya Mitra is a cultural developmentalist with a background in counselling psychology. She completed her doctorate in developmental psychology at Clark (MA) University. Her research is grounded in the theory of emerging adulthood within the lifespan perspective. Emerging adulthood, typically between the ages 18 and 29 years, is characterized as a time for identity explorations, self-focus, instability, feeling in-between, and a time of possibilities and optimism (Arnett, 2000, 2015).

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Advocacy Workshop Series


In the fall 2021 semester, the Psychology Department hosted the workshop series “Mobilizing for Change: Building Your Advocacy Skills.” It provided undergraduate students and community members with training on connecting social science research to public policy. While there has been increased attention to training graduate students in advocacy (e.g., Mallinckrodt, Miles, & Levy, 2014), little attention has been given to developing advocacy skills in undergraduate students. With few exceptions (e.g., Campbell, 1996), undergraduate students are not typically taught to connect social science research to public policy. 

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SU-Pandit Deendayal Energy University Partnership


The Fulton School, and specifically the Psychology Department, at Salisbury University have begun a partnership with the School of Liberal Studies at Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU). PDEU is in Gandhinagar city in the Western state of Gujarat, India. As a part of this partnership, SU’s Dr. Maarten Pereboom, Fulton School dean; Dr. Meredith Patterson, Psychology Department chair; and psychology faculty Drs. Michèle Schlehofer and Rachel Steele have worked with Nigam Dave, director of the School of Liberal Studies at PDEU, and Dr. Ritu Sharma, dean of the School of Liberal Studies at PDEU, to create intercultural exchange opportunities for students at both universities.

Fall Special Topics Course: Caste in India and the U.S.


Psychology professors Drs. Michèle Schlehofer and Rachel Steele co-taught an innovative semester-long hybrid course, Caste in India and the U.S., with an intercultural exchange component between students from Salisbury University and Pandit Deendayal Energy University. All students engaged in intergroup dialogue through hybrid Zoom sessions and heard from an array of interdisciplinary guest speakers. The course was centered on Isabel Wilkerson’s book, Caste: Origins of our Discontents, and Schlehofer and Steele supplemented the book with research and theory on anti-Black racism and casteism. Students completed a final project on what they gained from the intercultural exchange and applied course concepts to develop an anti-racist action. This course expanded on an online course that Schlehofer and Steele taught during the winter 2021 term, which included two public events. Circumstances permitting, the goal is to plan additional intercultural exchange opportunities between SU and PDEU. This course is just one effort among many to address diversity in the Psychology Department. For updates see our website or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Dr. Nkiru Nnawulezi
Dr. Brian Smedley

September 8, 2021, guest speaker Dr. Tarun Shah of PDEU


SU-PDEU Dialogue on Liberal Arts


The Indian and American Dialogue series on liberal arts was hosted by SU’s Fulton School and the School of Liberal Studies at Pandit Deendayal Energy University. Talks were held virtually, and speakers included Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of the Fulton School; Dr. Karl Maier, psychology professor; Dr. Chrys Egan, associate dean of the Fulton School; and Dr. Brian Stiegler, associate provost for international education. The three talks covered topics such as the importance of liberal studies, climate change and professional development.

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Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Shepherd, 2021

Ashley Shepherd

What are you currently up to?

Currently, I work as the outreach and enrollment specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore. They are a non-profit organization that provides free one-to-one mentoring services for youth in the community. I am responsible for the recruitment, enrollment and case management of volunteers and children in Wicomico, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Caroline counties. The organization itself services all nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I just started this position recently, but I really enjoy getting to put my degree to use and help those in need. Looking forward, I recently was accepted into Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

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Supporting Psychology Students Financially

We need your help to provide our students the research and service opportunities that go beyond strictly textbook learning. Your gift, no matter the size, combined with others, will help the Psychology Department give our students the skills needed to succeed in various human services fields. Your investment will support valuable training experience in a range of clinical settings and scientific research. If you wish to give a financial gift please consider donating.


If you would like to be featured in a future newsletter, we would love to hear from you.

Please email Dr. Rachel Steele at rrsteele@salisbury.edu.

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SU is an Equal Opportunity/AA/Title IX university and provides reasonable accommodation given sufficient notice to the University office or staff sponsoring the event or program. For more information regarding SU’s policies and procedures, please visit www.salisbury.edu/equity.

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