Lauren Berger

Ph.D. / Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology and Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellow

Maxey Hall 342
(509) 527-5216

B.A., Psychology & Pre-Professional Studies, University of Notre Dame (2005)
M.A., Psychology, University of California, Davis (2009)
Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of California, Davis (2017)

Growing up in Northern California, I became interested in how community diversity (or the lack thereof) affects the lived experiences of ethnic and racial minorities. I headed to the Midwest, where as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, I found myself drawn to cross-cultural psychology and the exploration of how one’s cultural background can influence an individual’s thoughts, motivations, and behavior. After earning my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Pre-Professional Studies (pre-med), I returned to the Golden State to work at Stanford Medical School where I was first introduced to research aimed at training culturally competent health providers. My desire to apply the concept of cultural competency to mental health brought me to the University of California, Davis, where I earned my Ph.D. in social psychology. I remained in Davis as a post-doctoral scholar and as associate director of the Asian American Center on Disparities Research (AACDR) before joining the psychology department at Whitman in 2018.

My research interests focus on using theory-driven, community-based approaches to reduce mental health disparities among ethnic minority populations. Within the broader context of disparities research, I am particularly interested in the ethnic identity and well-being of biracial populations. My work in this area examines internal and external factors that affect the ethnic identification of biracials, and how ethnic identification may, in turn, influence well-being. In addition, I am interested in investigating how ethnocultural factors influence the implementation and effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for ethnic minority clients. My interests have led to productive interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues in psychology, medicine, nursing, public health, theater and dance, correctional institutions, and community agencies.

I teach courses in social psychology, psychology of culture and diversity, as well as introductory psychology. I am also committed to working with underserved communities/populations and mentoring underrepresented students in research. Outside of the classroom, I am a frequent traveler (both domestic and international) and relish the opportunity to explore new places, immerse myself into diverse cultures, and build relationships with people all over the world. As an avid baseball fan, I also regularly jump at the chance to catch games at major and minor league baseball stadiums throughout the U.S. and Canada.