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Adler students receive APA Interdisciplinary Minority Fellowship Program

University News | 08.25.22

Two Adler University students are among the recipients of this year’s American Psychological Association Interdisciplinary Minority Fellowship Program, which seeks to reduce mental health disparities among ethnic minorities in the U.S.

Photo of Jalesa Boyd

Jalesa Boyd

Shinhae Oh and Jalesa Boyd — both students in the Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy program — were selected for the fellowship program, a newly awarded, grant funded program from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The fellowship provides financial support, professional development activities, and opportunities for professional and personal guidance, according to the APA. Its goal is to increase the number of ethnic minority professionals in the field and advance understanding of the life experiences of ethnic minority communities.

The fellowship came as a huge, but pleasant, surprise for Oh, who plans to provide mental health services to underserved, low-income communities after her time at Adler. The fellowship provides some financial support, which lessens her student loan burdens.

“For many in graduate programs, there’s a lot of pressure to pay off our student loans quickly after graduation,” Oh said. “But for me, the reason I applied at Adler was its focus on social justice. There are many in minority communities struggling with mental health who want to see therapists but can’t afford it. I want to be able to serve those communities first.”

For Boyd, the fellowship also provides more opportunities to network and explore research interests. Prior to Adler, Boyd worked with children on the autism spectrum and saw the need for family therapy.

“The fellowship allows me to grow as a future clinician while in school,” said Boyd, who wants to improve access to care for minority children on the autism spectrum. “I’m just excited to meet and find new mentors and collaborate with other fellows.”

“We are incredibly proud of our students like Shinhae and Jalesa who pursue additional opportunities to not only support their graduate studies, but to also further their development as socially responsible and culturally competent Couple and Family Therapists,” said Kristina S. Brown, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Couple and Family Therapy Department.

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