Melissa E. Muñoz
My research interests include Latina/o immigrant well-being, coping, immigration experience, and multicultural competencies and social justice. My passion for advocacy, social justice, and equality are pillars that sustain my research agenda. I am very interested in redefining mental health concepts that are culturally appropriate and fitting for the Latina/o community. Further, I currently teach Experiencing Cultural Diversity in the United States for undergraduates. The main focus of the course is to increase self-awareness related to worldviews and beliefs about diversity issues, and to increase understanding of the intersections of multiple group identities.
Year in program: Third year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology.
As an instructor for ESCP 2000, I encourage active student engagement in their learning and community building within and outside of the classroom. From “ village” building, open-dialogue, large and small group discussions, to creative and relevant projects and assignments, students begin to see themselves as participants within a global community responsible for each others well-being. Ideally, students finish the course with an awareness and understanding of individual and structural oppressions against a range of marginalized groups, in addition to developing enhanced skills at challenging these oppressions. My research interest are in the personal development, education, and motivation of Black male youth and student-athletes.
The purpose of this course is twofold: a) to examine cultural diversity in U.S. society and b) to increase self-awareness related to worldviews and beliefs about diversity issues. The course will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing from theory and research from various fields. This course is designed as a discussion/seminar and will not involve lecturing. Students are expected to come prepared every class and to engage in a focused exchange of ideas related to the course material. We expect to create a learning environment that is conducive for students to express their informed opinions on the range of topics we will explore in the.
Course goals include the following:
- To develop/expand knowledge and think critically about diverse cultural groups with a focus on oppressed groups in the U.S.
- To understand the role of prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination, and privilege on diverse cultural groups in the U.S.
- To gain skills in recognizing diverse viewpoints and worldviews.
- To facilitate personal growth by:
- increasing awareness of one’s own cultural biases and exploring personal perspectives/attitudes related to diverse groups
- increasing understanding of your own worldview and how that has shaped your view of culture and society
- developing multicultural sensitivity and an appreciation for diversity