April, 2003 

Descriptive Analysis of Racial and Ethnic Diversity
of
Psychology Ph.D. Recipients at Florida State University
1953 - 2002
Daniel L. Hollar
Florida State University
A report prepared by Daniel Hollar based on a Directed Individual Project
in Spring, 2002, directed by Dr. Michael Rashotte.

Introduction

            I became interested in the descriptive analysis of diversity in awarded Ph.D.s in psychology at FSU while in my senior year of its Undergraduate Psychology program. During this time I learned of a report in the textbook, "Even The Rat Was White: A Historical View of Psychology," (Guthrie, 1998), discussing historical aspects of Ph.D.s awarded to African Americans in psychology in the United States. In this book, Guthrie (1998) reported, The Committee on Equality of Opportunity in Psychology (APA) reported that the ten most prestigious departments of psychology in the United States granted only eight Ph.D.s in psychology to Black candidates between 1920 and 1966 while granting a total of 3,767 Ph.D.s during this same period; six of these leading departments had not a single Black Ph.D. (p. 164). Another event that initiated interest in identifying minority acquisition of Ph.D.s in psychology at FSU was a letter written by the first two African American graduates of FSUs doctoral psychology program, Dr. W. Rod Hammond and Dr. Aubrey Perry published in the American Psychologist (see Appendix A). In their letter, Hammond and Perry (1990) commented, "From the 1970s through [1986] . . .. There were about fourteen doctorates in psychology awarded to African Americans [at FSU] (p. 782). They particularly noted that this period coincided with the department chairmanship of Dr. Joseph Grosslight.

            I decided to research and analyze the departments empirical data about the racial and ethnic identification of its doctoral graduates, to provide both a quantitative description of all awarded Ph.D.s from the Psychology Department, and of the African American and Hispanic graduates, with an additional analysis of dissertation titles by the latter group in which race was an identified variable. To my knowledge this information has not previously been compiled.

            I addressed five specific questions to develop insight and understanding concerning overall diversity in the psychology department: (1) How are all Ph.D.s awarded by the psychology department distributed across years? (2) How many psychology Ph.D.s were awarded to minorities and foreign students during those years? (3) In what years were minorities awarded the most Ph.D.s? (4) What is the distribution of minority and foreign students among major professors? (5) How frequent was race a variable in dissertation titles by minority and foreign students?

            Based on my initial findings and after some consultation with Dr. Na'im Akbar, the only African American professor of psychology at Florida State University, I hypothesized that African Americans would be the least represented minority, the majority of minorities would be concentrated among only a few professors, and only a relatively small number of dissertations would include race as a variable in the title.

Method

Sample

            I researched the total 725 Ph.D.s awarded in the Psychology Department, from 1953 to 2002 at Florida State University, a Carnage Research One institution in Tallahassee, FL.

Materials Used

            The Graduate Office of the Psychology Department provided Microsoft Excel files (Psychology Graduate Office FSU, 2002) including (1) the names of all graduates since the department began awarding degrees in 1953, (2) the year of their Ph.D. completion, (3) the program in which they obtained their degree (Clinical, School, Cognitive & Behavioral Science [Cognitive], Experimental, Psychobiology/Neuroscience [Psychobiology/Neuroscience], Social), and (4) the names of their major professors. The Graduate Office files identified the race of minority Ph.D. graduates back to 1983.

            Cherie Dilworth, of the Graduate Office also provided printed tables consisting of the dissertation titles of minority and foreign graduates from 1983 to 2002.

Procedure

            Completion of files. In order to complete missing data on race of students in the files between 1953-1982, copies of the full list of graduates were given to several professors and staff members who were present in the department in those years (Kennedy, Megargee, Rashotte, Kistner and Warmath). They identified which students were African American and Hispanic from their recollection. The gender of those individuals was identified in a similar fashion. I also retrieved missing dissertation titles of graduates by searching the Florida State University Strozier Library catalog files using Web Luis Database. Also, I wrote to Professor Aubrey Perry of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL to obtain his reactions to an earlier draft of this papers, some of which are quoted in the Results and Discussion.

            Analysis of completed data set. Graphs or tables showing Ph.D.s awarded in five-year bins between 1953 (the departments first Ph.D.) and 2002 were prepared. Race, sex, Ph.D. program, and major professor were used to categorize doctoral degrees awarded to graduates.

Response Measures

            The absolute totals and ratios of minority (African American, Hispanic American, Asian American and Native American) Ph.D.s were calculated for the following categories: (1) the rate and proportions of minority Ph.D.s relative to total Ph.D.s granted between 1953 and 2002, (2) the Departmental program area in which the minority students were trained, (3) major professors of the graduates, and (4) the occurrence of a race-related variable in their research as indicated by dissertation titles. The data were then divided into a period of five-year bins, beginning with 1953, to describe the rate-per-year of minority, Caucasian, and foreign Ph.D.s.

Results

Distribution of Ph.D.s Awarded Between 1953-2002: Total Number and Breakdown by Sex. Figure 1 presents an overall summary of the distribution of the departments 725 Ph.D.s in 5-year bins between 1953 and 2002 and includes a breakdown of the total data by sex. The main trends include a progressive increase in total doctoral degrees between 1953 and the early 1980s. The total number of degrees awarded showed a steep decline in the 1983-87 period, and a more gradual continuing decline through 2002. The peak in total number of degrees occurred in 1973-77 when about 110 were awarded; by the most recent bin, 1998-02, the number of degrees awarded was about half the peak value.

    Figure 1. Distribution of Ph.D.s awarded in FSU Psychology Department 1953-2002
summarized in 5-year bins, including a breakdown by sex of awardee  

With respect to the distribution of degrees earned by the two sexes, Figure 1 indicates a striking change across the 50-year period shown. Males earned the vast majority of doctoral degrees in psychology in the initial twenty years, through 1972, and in the 1973-77 bin, females were earning about half the number of doctoral degrees as earned by males. Perhaps most striking is the subsequent sustained decrease in degrees earned by males and the steady number of degrees earned by females. These trends continue to the present time and have resulted in females earning a larger number of doctoral degrees in psychology than males in 1998-02.

Distribution of Ph.D.s Awarded Between 1953-2002: Ethnic Breakdown. Table 1 shows the distribution of doctoral degrees earned by ethnic groups since 1953 Overall, minority and foreign students combined have received about 9% (64 of 725) of the total Ph.D.s awarded by the Psychology Department. The mid-1980s was the period in which the peak number of degrees occurred for African Americans (6 in 1983-87). Subsequently, the number per bin has decreased steadily, falling as low as 2/bin in 1998-02. With one notable exception (1978-82), the distribution of doctoral degrees earned by Hispanic American students has remained relatively steady at about 4/bin since the early 1970s. Degrees awarded to foreign students has been low and steady (2 or 3) since 1978-82. Overall, the bin in which the most Ph.D.s (10) were awarded to minorities was 1983-1987.

Table 1

Distribution of doctoral degrees earned by ethnic groups
in the Department of Psychology at FSU since 1953

Year
Total Ph.D.
African Americans
Hispanic
Asian Americans
Native Americans
Caucasian Americans
Foreign Students

1953-1957

20
0
0
0
0
20
0

1958-1962

50
0
0
0
0
50
0

1963-1967

62
0
1
0
0
60
1

1968-1972

94
1
4
0
0
89
0

1973-1977

112
4
4
0
0
104
0

1978-1982

110
4
1
0
0
103
2

1983-1987

76
6
4
0
0
64
2

1988-1992

83
4
3
0
0
73
3

1993-1997

62
3
4
1
0
51
3

1998-2002

56
2
4
0
1
47
2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

725
24
25
1
1
661
13

      Figure 2 shows a breakdown by sex of the Hispanic and African American data across the 50 year period. In both ethnic groups, an initial dominance by males gives way to a persistent dominance by females in the number of degrees earned. The female-male difference is strongest in the African American distribution where only 1 doctoral psychology degree has been earned by an African American male in the last 15 years, and none at all in the last 10 years. Eight African American females have earned doctoral psychology degrees in the last 15 years.

Figure 2. Distribution of Ph.D.s awarded to male and female Hispanic American and
African American students in the FSU Psychology Department 1953-2002 summarized in 5-year bins.

Distribution of Ph.D.s Awarded Between 1953-2002: Breakdown by Departmental Training Area for Minority and Foreign Students. Table 2 shows the total number of doctoral psychology degrees awarded in 50 years broken down by departmental training area and classification of graduates in ethnic and foreign groups. The only area that spans the entire 50 year period without a name change is the Clinical area. School psychology was discontinued as a departmental area about 1990. In that process there was one student who was jointly trained in the School and Clinical areas (see Table). The Experimental area split into subareas, including Psychobiology/Neuroscience and Cognitive and Behavioral Science(Cognitive). The Social area was active for a few years and then combined into the Cognitive area. Although the fluidity of these area designations makes for an interpretive problem, it is noteworthy that about 75% (38/51) of all minority graduates were trained in the Clinical Psychology program. The majority of foreign students, 46% (6/13) also participated in the Clinical Psychology program. Of all minority students who participated in the Clinical Psychology program, 42% (16/38) were African American and 55% (21/38) were Hispanic American.

Table 2

Total number of doctoral psychology degrees awarded in 50 years broken down by
departmental training area and classification of graduates in ethnic and foreign groups.

Program

African American
Hispanic
Asian Americans
Native Americans
Foreign Students

Clinical

17
21
1
1
5

School

4
1
0
0
0

Experimental & Psychobiology/Neuroscience

1
2
0
0
4

Cognitive & Behavioral Science

1
1
0
0
2

School/Clinical

1
0
0
0
0

Social

0
0
0
0
2

TOTAL

24
25
1
1
13

 

Distribution of African Americans and Hispanic Americans Students by Major Professor. Examination of records of African and Hispanic American students with respect to their major professors revealed that Professor Jack Hokanson the mentored the most African American graduates, 21% (5/24), and Professor Edwin Megargee advised the most Hispanic American, 16% (4/25). Professors with the most foreign students each had 15% (2/13), Professors Mark Licht and Professor Janet Kistner.

Race as a variable in minority or foreign dissertation titles. Table 3 summarizes for individual students in each ethic classification, and for foreign students, the title of their doctoral dissertation. Of the total minority dissertation titles, 14% (7/51) included race as a variable. About 17% (4/ 24) of African American titles and 8% (2/25) of Hispanic American titles included race as a variable. Race was not a variable in dissertation titles of foreign students.

Table 3

Title of doctoral dissertation by individual students in each
ethic classification, and for foreign students.

Ph.D. Year
Program
Last Name
First Name
Dissertation Title
AFRICAN AMERICAN
1972
Clinical

Perry

Aubrey

Youthful Offenders' Aggressive and Autonomic Reactions to Stress as a Function of Race of Examiner and Race of Subject.

1974
School

Hammond

William R.

A Behavioral Approach Toward Maintaining Criterion Approval Rates of Elementary Teachers Using Fixed and Variable Schedules of Principal Feedback

1975
Clinical

Dawkins

Marva

An Analogue Study of Psychotherapy: Youthful Offenders' Autonomic and Behavioral Reactions to Stress as a Function of Race of Subject and a Brief Exposure to One of Four Different Therapeutic Orientations

1975
School

Noble

Alma G.

A Behavioral Approach to Improved Reading Performance of Primary Minority Pupils

1976
Experimental

Wesley

Andrea L.

Exogenous Modulation of Drinking Rhythms in Three Strains of Rats

1978
Clinical

Elion

Victor

An Empirical Analysis of Racial Effects as Manifested in Sentences Served by Black and White Inmates

1981
Clinical

Breckenridge

Lorraine

The Effects of Thermal Biofeedback and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Treatment on Dysmenorrhea

1981
Clinical

Brown

James G.

Improving Academic Performance Through Systematic Mnemonic Training

1983
Clinical

Gayles

Joyce

The Operations of Gender Schema in the Categorization of Female and Male Characteristics

1983
Clinical

Norville

Milton

Hostility and Depression: The Effects of a Negative Impression on Depressives' Social Behaviors

1983
Clinical

Powell

Rudy

A Laboratory Validational Study of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

1983
School

Briscoe

Richard

Behavioral Community Psychology: A Behavioral-based Program for Teaching Employment Interviewing Skills to Vocationally Handicapped Persons

1987
Clinical

Dennard

Dana

A Comparison of Two Theories of Depression Maintenance Via a Therapy Analog

1987
Clinical

Kelly

Jennifer

The Effectiveness of Relaxation and Pulse Wave Velocity Biofeedback as Methods of Reducing Cardiovascular Responsiveness to Stressful Stimuli

1990
Clinical

Ames-Dennard

Sharon

Referral Bias In Teacher's Nomination of Black and White Elementary School Children for Gifted Evaluation

1991
S/C

Morgan

Sharon

The Effects of Two Types of Phonological Awareness Training on Word Learning in Kindergarten Children

1992
Clinical

Langley

Merlin

Effects of Cultural/Racial Identity, Cultural Commitment and Counseling Approach on African American Males' Perceptions of Therapist Credibility and Utility

1993
School

Davis

Charlotte

The Determinants of Response to Phonological Awareness Training

1995
Cognitive

Nance

Carriella

The Effects of High Versus Low Context Congruity on Accuracy in Detecting Deception

1996
Clinical

Hume

Marie

Assessment of the Adolescent Sex Offender: Implications for the Use of a Measure to Determine Seriousness of Offending Behavior

1999
Clinical

Hawkins

Antonia

Cognitive Determinants of Children's Illusions of Academic Incompetence

2002
Clinical

Walker

Rheeda

An Investigation of Acculturative Stress and Ethnic Identification as Risk Factors for Suicidal Ideation in African-American vs. Anglo-American Men and Women: The Moderating Effects of Religiosity and Social Support

ASIAN AMERICAN
1997
Clinical

Bacho

Roderick

Effects of Acculturation, Ethnic Identity Commitment, and Family Coping on Filipino-American Family Matrons' Severity of Psychological Symptoms and Attitudes Toward Mental Health Services

FOREIGN
1965
Experimental

Dinc

Ifet

The Role of the Olfactory System in the Detection of Ionizing Radiation by the Rat

1982
Social

Farooqui

Mumtaz

Marital and Family Power in the Mirror of Decision Making: An Experimental Test of Blood and Wolfes Resource Theory

1982
Social

Maas

Anne

Internalization and Compliance: Differential Processes Underlying Minority influence and Conformity

1985
Clinical

Meltzer

Sari

Depression and Marital Roles

1987
Clinical

Johnston

Charlotte

Maternal Characteristics, Parenting Behavior, and Deviant Child Behavior

1988
Clinical

Ozkaragoz

Tulin

The Effect of Positive Mood on an Academic Task

1991
Psychobiology/Neuroscience

Ho

Alan

Motion Processing in the Human Visual System: A Psychophysical Analysis of the Aperture Motion Problem

1992
Clinical

Klimes-Dougan

Bonnie

The Emergence of Negotiation: Developmental Trends and Caregivers' Contributions

1994
Clinical

Yi

Imgap

Stress Ulcers in Rats: Circadian Rhythms, Adiposity, and Substrate Utilization

1994
Psychobiology/Neuroscience

Hubscher

Charles

Sensory Input from Pelvic Reproductive Organs to the Gracile and Solitary Nuclei in the Female Rat

1996
Clinical

Tay

May Ping

How Children's Agency and Means-Ends Beliefs Predict Their Control Beliefs, Task Engagement and Achievement in Math

1999
Cognitive

Mahadevan

Srinivasan

Measurement of the Basic Capacity of Immediate Memory

2002
Cognitive

Sahakyan

Lilli

A Contextual Account of the Directed Forgetting Effect

HISPANIC AMERICAN  
1963
School

Vega

Manuel

The performance of Negro children on an oddity discrimination task as a function of the race of the examiner and the type of verbal incentive used by the examiner

1970
Clinical

Bauermeister

Jose J.

Positive reinforcement: Further Tests of the Premack Theory

1970
Clinical

Velez-Diaz

Angel G.

The Holtzman Inkblot Technique and the Assessment of Organic Brain Damage

1972
Clinical

Gonzalez

Fernando

The Anxiety-arousing Effect of Taboo Words in Bilinguals

1972
Clinical

Martinez-Urruttia

Angel C.

Pain and Anxiety in Surgical Patients

1974
Clinical

Sosa-Soto

Juan N.

Vascular Effects of Frustration and Aggression-anxiety on Members of a Clinical Population

1975
Clinical

Rios-Garcia

Luis R.

Self-esteem, Defense Styles and Conformity

1976
Clinical

Gonzalez

Jorge L.

A Psychotherapy Analogue Study: Changes in Autonomic and Behavioral Functioning of Incarcerated Young Offenders as a Function of Predominant Response to Interpersonal Stress and a Brief Exposure to One of Four Therapy Tapes and a Conditioning Procedure

1977
Experimental

Nunez

Antonio

Neural Control of Circadian Rhythms and their Entrainment to the Light-dark Cycle

1979
Clinical

Sanchez

Yolanda

The Role of Cognitive and Physiological Processes in Emotion

1986
Clinical

Reyes

Elena

Short Term Effects on Children in a Residential Treatment Facility of Exposure to Marital Violence

1986
Clinical

Tozzo

Carmen

The Effect of Sensorimotor Rhythm Biofeedback on Intractable Epilepsy

1987
Clinical

Corvea

Martha

A Clinical Comparison of Senile Dementia: Alzheimers Type and Multi-Infarct Type

1987
Experimental

Comperatore

Carlos

Gastrointestinal Physiology and Circadian Regulation of Food Intake

1990
Clinical

Gay

Jose

A Comparison on In Vivo Exposure and Cognitive Restructuring in the Treatment of a Specific Kind of Social Phobia: Psychogenic Urinary Retention Among Federally Incarcerated Prison Inmates"

1990
Clinical

Somoza

Maria

Social Intelligence and Likeability

1991
Clinical

Munoz

Marsisol

Illusion of Control: Stability of the Phenomenon and its Relationship to Dispositional Variables

1994
Clinical

Correa Kaiser

Judy

Blame and Stigmatization of Victims of Sexual and Nonsexual Harassment as a Function of Severity of Harassment, of Filing a Grievance, and of Consequences to the Perpetrator

1995
Clinical

Meadows

William

The Role of Individual Difference Variables in Accounting for As Socialiations Between Alcohol Consumption and Sexual Risk Taking

1996
Clinical

Castro

Rafael

Challenge Preference in Young Children: Relationship to Other Motivational Variables and Maternal Behaviors

1997
Clinical

Alfonso

Isabel

The Effects of Weight on Employment Decisions in a Variety of Job Settings

1998
Cognitive

Mireles

David

Assembling Long-term Working Memory: Retrieval Structures and Integrative Encoding as Critical Components of a Simple Memory Skill

1999
Clinical

Rivera

Patricia

Effectiveness of a Psycho educational Intervention for the Reduction of Distress in Mexican American Caregivers of Dementia Patients

2001
Clinical

Pena Morgens

Liana

The As Socialiation of MMPI-A Scales With Measures of Adjustment Among Institutionalized Male Juvenile Delinquents

2001
Clinical

Verona

Edelyn

A Direct Assessment of the Role of State and Trait Negative Emotion in Aggressive Behavior

NATIVE AMERICAN  
2002
Clinical

Hooe

Eric

Negative and Positive Affectivity: Toward a Hierarchical Structure of Temperament in School-Age Children

Correspondence with Dr. Aubrey Perry: The Acceptance of African Americans in Psychology, Areas of Concern Regarding African Americans and Psychology in General, and Reaction to Figures 1 and 2. Dr. Perry thinks the increases in acceptance, nationally, of African Americans is because most doctoral graduates have distinguished themselves and brought greater distinction to the department by their success in the professional field of psychology, however, there still remains much to be done (personal communication, March 26, 2002). Dr. Perry stated, "psychologists need to be more active in their roles in addressing social illnesses, which primarily affect minorities and develop strategies for preventing these illness from overwhelming our communities and generations (personal communication, March 26, 2002)." Dr. Perry expressed concern over the rate at which African American Ph.D.s have been steadily decreasing since 1988, which is attributable entirely to the reduction in the number of degrees earned by African American males (personal communication, March 26, 2002).

Discussion

            This investigation showed since 1953 the number of minorities awarded doctoral degrees in psychology at FSU progressed over the years, increasing and decreasing according to the trend of the overall total Ph.D.s awarded by the department. Concerning minorities overall, Hispanic Americans had the greatest accumulation of awarded Ph.D.s in the department (25 Ph.D.s). Within the different gender groups of minorities the distribution of awarded doctoral degrees is unbalanced. The data show African American males are the least represented minority. They total only 9 Ph.D.s since the first, Aubrey Perry, was awarded the doctoral degree in 1972. The last African American male to receive a doctoral degree, Merlin Langley, was over a decade ago in 1972. Hispanic Americans were closely balanced, males had 14 Ph.D.s and females had 11 Ph.D.s Overall, minorities averaged about six (6) Ph.D.s every five (5) years. Over the same period of time, 1963-2002, Caucasian Americans averaged seventy-three (73) Ph.D.s every five (5) years.

            Minority dissertation titles that included race as a named variable occurred about 15% of the time. Most dealt with mainstream studies in psychology. If this study is indicative of minority trends in Research One institutions throughout the United States, the data might suggest some cause for concern in the minority community with regard to finding solutions to mental illness and Social pathology. The scarcity and neglect of African American and Hispanic American graduates who were active in tackling issues of mental illness in minority communities, "which will probably only be addressed by African American [and Hispanic American] psychologists (A. Perry, personal communication, March 26, 2002), indicates a potential epidemic of unidentified and untreated Social illnesses in minority communities.

            From this data I draw some general assumptions as to the recruitment of minority students by the department. For the most part, Ph.D.s awarded to African Americans increased relative to increases in the overall Ph.D.s awarded, and decreased whenever there were periods of overall decrease. The trend shown by the data indicates inactivity because logically it should follow that if the overall department acceptance rates increased (reflected in the amount of Ph.D.s awarded) one would find similar increases or decreases for African Americans or other minorities. The data show minority Ph.D. acquisition has been disproportionately smaller than that of Caucasians leading to decreases in the department size having had a profound effect on minorities, specifically for African American males who have had zero (0) Ph.D.s for the last eleven (11) years. Therefore, it is my assertion that this trend does not reveal any visible indication of active internal recruitment efforts nor the presence of long lasting external manipulations, such as through Affirmative Action policies and the like, to substantially increase African American and Hispanic diversity in the Psychology Ph.D. program of FSU; noting the Chairmanship of Joseph Grosslight as the only visible indication of active and successful minority recruitment on the part of the department. This should cause concern and further investigation as to what factors may have been in play that inhibited proportional growth among the minority population relative to the overall size of the department and what can be done to improve these numbers.

            Since the department had not kept accurate records on minority acquisition of Ph.D.s it has neglected its responsibility as a public institution concerned with ensuring equal opportunity among minority groups. This is of special importance today with the apparent attack and end to all Affirmative Action based education programs that ensured equal opportunity. Although efforts have been made to improve the quality of diversity in the department, it is equally important to increase the quantity of those diverse minority group members, especially in a university that promotes diversity. This is why census data and other departmental records on race are necessary. They allow measurement of racial inequalities in higher education which effects employment, income and other standards of living. Thus such data are important tools in the fight against discrimination, despite their many imperfections (Farley, 2000). It has been my goal that this data be viewed as a call to action for students to become more active in investigating psychological and Social issues affecting minorities and for the faculty to once again become active in its promotion of diversity, ensuring not only quality but also quantity.

Acknowledgment

      I would like to thank Dr. Michael Rashotte, FSU Psychology professor, for technical support and using the Sigma Plot program to create graphs. Dr. Na'im Akbar, FSU Psychology professor, for helping direct my hypothesis. Professor Aubrey Perry of Florida A&M University and Dr. Rod Hammond of the Center for Disease Control for the correspondence regarding their personal experiences in FSUs Graduate Psychology Program. Cherie Dilworth, secretary in the Graduate Office of the Psychology Department, for providing Excel files and locating minority and foreign dissertation titles back to 1983. Dr. Wallace Kennedy, Dr. Edwin Megargee, Dr. Janet Kistner and Stan Warmath of the FSU Psychology Department for identifying graduate students by race prior to 1983.

References
Farley, J.E. (200). Majority-Minority Relations (4th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Guthrie, R.V. (1998). Even the Rat Was White: A Historical View of Psychology (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Hammond, W.R., & Perry, A.M. (1990). Joseph H. Grosslight as Social change agent. American Psychologist, 45, 782.
Psychology Graduate Office FSU (2002). Summary of doctoral degrees awarded: 1953-2002. Tallahassee, FL: Cherie Dilworth.
Appendix A

Letter retyped from American Psychologist, (1990) 45, p. 782.

Joseph H. Grosslight as Social Change Agent
W. Rodney Hammond
Wright State University
Aubrey M. Perry
Florida A&M University

      The obituary of Joseph H. Grosslight was a fitting tribute to a impressive individual whose distinctions in psychology were so genuinely deserved (Anker, June 1989). We however would like to elaborate from personal experience on another dimension of his leadership as chair of psychology at Florida State University during the crucial years accompanying racial change in higher education in the southeastern United States.

       In 1968, we entered Florida State University as the first two African-American trainees in the doctoral program of which Joseph Grosslight was chair. At that time the racial climate was strained because of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, rebellion in the urban ghettos, student unrest, and the arguably slow pace of attempts to integrate many institutions of higher learning.

       At a time when the remnants of de jure segregation were still apparent, Joe Grosslight contributed strength and substance to the department's commitment to desegregation. Many programs seemed to stand by and passively await change, but he made vigorous efforts to include minority students in his. For example, he paid travel expenses for recruitment activities and he made funds available for culturally sensitive department publications designed to attract minorities to the various training programs.

       He was equally concerned about the retention of minority students through graduation. This was reflected in his continuous concern for a supportive atmosphere in the department as well as his efforts to foster similar attitudes among faculty and staff. We are not suggesting that the faculty and staff were antagonistic - in fact some were activists for civil rights. However, it made a difference that Joe Grosslight himself was genuinely interested.

        As in his other endeavors Joe Grosslight was typically tough-minded when he was confronted by minority students. He often would challenge us to share the initiative, to come up with our own ideas. If we had a proposal that required resources - that is money - he would not back away. He would simply go through with it.

         Although these methods of minority recruitment and retention might seem unremarkable today, they were extraordinary at that time and place. In those days such commitment was rare and infrequently matched with either resources or know-how. From the 1970s through the remainder of his term as chair, there were about 14 doctorates in psychology awarded to African Americans.

         He seemed to be genuinely interested in the minority graduates, and he maintained contact with many of us. He was a dependable source of career advice and helped many of us through his far-reaching collegial networks.

         Besides his accomplishments as an eminent behavioral scientist, leader in the American Psychological Association, and department chair, Joseph Grosslight was for us a social-change agent. Because of his cooperation and support, significant numbers of minority students matriculated and ultimately attained doctorates in a department in which no such precedent existed. This too is an important legacy.

References

Anker, J. M. (1989). Joseph H. Grosslight (1921-1988) American Psychologist, 44, 958.