Jessika Bottiani is a research grantee who has mentored six graduate-level researchers in the clinical psychology program and two undergraduate interns in the Youth and Social Innovation major at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. While in her professional work she has addressed issues of bias, disparities, and cultural insensitivity, she recognizes that her social position as a White woman has facilitated her success in academia and she wants to use this grant to learn how to initiate and sustain difficult dialogues about how race and racism affect her students. She also wants to enhance her ability to recognize and respond to racial and gender-based microaggressions in academia, and, with the support of her own mentors, to contribute to broader institutional equity for faculty of color. Finally, she wants to improve her skills in group-based mentoring, co-mentoring, and brokering additional mentoring relationships. This award will support her mentee, Lora Henderson, an African American postdoctoral fellow at the Curry School of Education. Henderson’s research interests include reducing inequality in mental health access and outcomes for marginalized youth and increasing agency and practitioner capacity to use research evidence in daily service delivery.
Bottiani will use this award to improve her ability to initiate and sustain difficult dialogues about how race and racism affect her students.