Professor Gloria Valencia-Weber delivered the keynote presentation during a 35-year anniversary celebration of the Psychology Diversified Students Program at Oklahoma State University, a program she established, which has increased the number of minority students who have earned graduate degrees in psychology.
Following her Oct. 22 presentation titled, "Diversity in the U.S.: Conflicts and Benefits", Valencia-Weber was presented with an award for her ground-breaking contribution to the program, which remains the only one of its kind in the United States.
"We are extremely proud to have Gloria Valencia-Weber return to be the keynote speaker at our homecoming celebration," said Larry Mullins, professor and head of the OSU Department of Psychology. "As a result of her efforts in starting OSU's student program, it now is considered a model for academic departments who want to promote diversity in education. Thanks to her hard work the program has attained national prominence."
Valencia-Weber earned both a bachelor's and master's degree at OSU, after which she founded the Psychology Diversified Students Program to increase the number of minorities and disabled in the field of psychology. From the beginning, the recruitment, retention and graduation of Native Americans was a priority of the program, which has gone on to produce the greatest number of Native American Ph.D.s among all universities nationwide. Valencia-Weber left in 1983 to attend Harvard Law School.
In 1992, Valencia-Weber brought her program-building talent to the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she created the Indian Law Certificate Program. Much like the OSU psychology program, the Indian Law Certificate Program was designed to increase nationwide the number of lawyers trained in Indian law. The program prepares students to work with tribes, Indian clients and the federal government.
November 2, 2010