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Multicultural Research and Training Lab and Conference Information

The Multicultural Research and Training Lab (MRTL) was organized by faculty members from the Psychology Division to provide PsyD students engaged in multicultural research a space to discuss and receive feedback on their clinical dissertations topics as well as engage in discourse on the clinical implications of their work.

In addition to offering dissertation support, MRTL provides students the opportunity to discuss their views on how effectively the PsyD program contributes to their multicultural competence, and the ways in which GSEP can offer a more welcoming experience for students from diverse backgrounds.

Lab meetings are scheduled from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Location TBA.

Faculty Advisors: Carrie Castaneda-Sound, PhD.; Natasha Thapar-Olmos, PhD.; Miguel Gallardo, PsyD; Shelly Harrell, PhD; Daryl Rowe, PhD.

Questions? Please email Dr. Carrie Castaneda-Sound at

Fifth Biennial Conference

Multicultural Perspectives on Wellness:

Thriving in Connection, Hosted by the Multicultural Research and Training Lab, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Psychology Division, Pepperdine University

The Multicultural Research and Training Lab (MRTL) invites doctoral students in clinical and counseling psychology to participate in its biennial conference designed to facilitate scholarly dialogue, collaboration, and professional networking among students committed to multicultural issues in psychology. This free one-day conference will be held on the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus of Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology and will include 2 keynote speakers:

Shelly Harrell - Pepperdine GSEPShelly Harrell, PhD. Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University whose area of expertise is the role of culture and context in the psychological well-being of diverse populations. She has had over two decades of experience teaching graduate courses on a range of topics related to culture, diversity, and the practice of professional psychology.


Thema Bryant-Davis - Pepperdine GSEPThema Bryant-Davis, PhD. Associate Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University who specializes in trauma, sexual assault, and coping behavior within a multicultural context, and is the past president of the Division 35's Society for Women in Psychology. Dr. Bryant-Davis is also a former American Psychological Association representative to the United Nations. She is author of multiple peer-reviewed articles and chapter, as well as the book Thriving in the wake of trauma: A multicultural guide


The conference will also include panel presentations, student research, a continental breakfast and lunch, and opportunities for networking.

Clinical/counseling psychology doctoral students are invited to submit proposals for panel presentations. Although scholarship on multicultural perspectives on wellness is the overarching theme of the conference, the specific panel topics will be determined by the pool of proposals submitted and accepted for presentation. Based on the proposals that are accepted, panels of two to three doctoral students from different clinical/counseling psychology programs will be organized around a topical theme, such as well-being, positive psychology, psychological/ social resilience, strengths based interventions, self-care, etc. Presentations of both traditional research (quantitative, qualitative, mixed method research) and applied scholarship (critical analysis of the literature, program or resource development, clinical application and analysis) are welcome.

Registration to attend conference:

Registration is Open. Please register here

Please note the number of attendees will be restricted to the first 100 registrants.

Conference Program Format:

The conference planning committee will organize panels of 2-3 doctoral students from different clinical/counseling psychology programs around a topical theme. Each panel will have 80 minutes for their combined presentations and must allow time for discussion. So that the presentation provides a coherent understanding of the topical theme, advance preparation is encouraged among the panelists. To facilitate pre-conference preparation, contact information for one another will be provided. Furthermore, a pre-conference orientation meeting is scheduled for September 27, 2014. The meeting will provide the panelists with an opportunity to meet one another and discuss how they wish to conduct their presentation. This meeting will be held at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus. Faculty members who are associated with the MRTL will be available for consultation.

Contact information:


  • Email designated for general questions about the conference.

Archived Documents