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Cherese Waight


I am a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Division. Before starting the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Illinois, I graduated from University of Illinois with a B.S. in psychology and African American Studies. As in undergraduate student I worked with the Policing in a Multiracial Society Project, a program with the Police Training Institute to study the Color-blind Racial Ideology of the police recruits through a pre and post survey. I am working under the direction of Dr. Helen Neville in her Liberation Lab. My research interest is broadly focused on understanding the psychological effects of racism in the Black community, which is inclusive to understanding racial ideology, well-being, radical healing, radical hope, intergenerational trauma & coping, mental health resources for underrepresented communities and community interventions. My current research is focused on understanding the experiences of Black police officers. I am passionate about social justice and advocacy in my training.

I work as a Graduate Assistant and Mentor for the McNair Scholars program in the Office of Minority Student Affairs, provided support for students in underrepresented and low-income communities that want to pursue a PhD degree. I am also a Teaching Assistant for EPSY 202: Exploring Cultural Diversity, a course focusing looking at topics through a social justice lens.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my daughter, family, binge watching shows, cooking, being outdoors and spending times with friends.


EPSY 202: Exploring Cultural Diversity (EPSY 202) Introduction to cultural diversity and social justice issues through interdisciplinary readings, discussion, and experiential activities. The course involves a 1-hour lecture and 2-hour lab/discussion section each week. The lecture focus is on raising awareness of key issues, concerns and concepts, providing accurate information on diverse groups, and relating theories and models to critical incidents of social oppression in everyday life. The lab/discussion sections follow a group dialogue and experiential activity format, and focus on relating the readings and lecture material to personal experiences and active learning activities.

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