Doctor of psychology student Kimberly Smith was appointed to the American Psychological Association's (APA) Graduate Student Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA), a subcommittee for the APA of Graduate Students. Acting as regional diversity coordinator for the western region, Smith helps advocate for ethnic minority graduate students in the field of psychology. CEMA promotes cultural competency and sensitivity, and encourages the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority students in psychology by developing student resources, providing grants for regional student-organized multicultural training events, and engaging in other activities to increase awareness of multicultural issues.
Formerly, Smith was a behavioral health specialist and educational case manager, which strengthened her ability to work with populations based on ethnicity and socioeconomic, mental health, and physical disability status. Smith currently serves underrepresented groups by participating in professional conferences and writing. "In this way, I am able to share my ideas with the professional mental health community and spark needed discourse surrounding clinical issues affecting these special populations," Smith explained.
Smith says that she aims to empower these groups nationally and internationally, and to inform clinical practice. Her goal is to pursue neuropsychology, an area in dire need of clinicians who possess the unique blend of cultural awareness and therapeutic skills to help clients reach their potential. "I am honored to serve on this influential subcommittee in support of students of color," said Smith. "My objectives include promoting culturally responsive neuropsychological services to all people, conducting research inclusive of underserved populations, and encouraging students from diverse backgrounds to enter into the field."