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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

December Fellow of the Month

All Fellows of the Month

Tania Chowdhury

December 2021 Fellow of the Month Profile Photo
Tania Chowdhury was a doctoral fellow in the 2020-2021 class of the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at the American Psychological Association (APA). She received her B.A. from Rutgers University and her M.A. in from William Paterson University of New Jersey. Tania is currently a doctoral candidate in the Counseling Psychology program at New York University (NYU) and is completing her clinical training in the Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology program in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale's School of Medicine. Tania also serves as an adjunct instructor for graduate courses in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU. Broadly, her research interests focus on immigrant and Muslim populations, with a specific interest in examining psychological outcomes at the intersection of multiple, marginalized identities.

Tania was initially drawn to the MFP because of the program’s reputation, mission, and support. She shared, “I was drawn to the MFP’s mission and reputation for supporting and nurturing future leaders who are committed to providing services to historically excluded and marginalized populations. The MFP provides a range of support, which includes but is not limited to, financial support, behavioral health services training, policy training, and networking, which was unlike any other professional development opportunity made available during my academic career. Most of all, I was eager about the prospect of creating community and lasting relationships, which MFP is incredibly intentional about.”

When reflecting on how the MFP has enriched her academic and professional career, Tania shared that it helped her gain access to exceptional training programs, networking opportunities, internships, and mentors. She explained, “Through the MFP, I was able to attend various trainings and webinars on topics relevant to serving minoritized populations. When it came to navigating the internship process, participating in MFP’s internship directory helped me gain access to exceptional training programs for which I may not have been otherwise considered. It also gave me the necessary exposure to distinguish myself from other applicants during what has been noted as one of the most competitive years to date. The mentorship component has also been an enriching experience, providing opportunities to connect and establish lasting relationships with esteemed professionals in the area of ethnic minority psychology. Through this initiative, I was able to connect with my MFP mentor, Dr. Helen Hsu, around my interests in policy and advocacy.”

Participating in the MFP has also helped Tania to build and nurture her professional network. She remarked, “Having existed in predominantly white spaces, balancing my true self and my professional self has always been an arduous task. By providing exposure to colleagues who share similar interests and lived experiences, the MFP not only granted a structure to build and nurture my professional work, but it has helped me identify potential allies in the professional arena. In addition to connecting with psychologists who are renowned for their work with ethnic minority populations, I have been given the opportunity to create community and network with students from minoritized backgrounds, who will undoubtedly become future leaders in this field. By expanding my contacts and nurturing these relationships, I am certain that I will come across professional opportunities while enriching my personal and professional lives.”

After she completes her Ph.D., Tania’s career goals include researching mental health disparities as well as continuing her work as a community organizer and psychologist. She stated, “I would like to continue my efforts in investigating mental health disparities at the intersections of minoritized identities and oppressive systems, particularly among Muslim immigrants, asylees, and refugees, with a more central goal of translating research into practice, advocacy, and policy. I hope to merge my work as a community organizer and future psychologist to create healthier spaces for ethnic and minority communities through community-level interventions and policies that are driven by the fundamental values and principles of social justice.”

Tania plans to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from the MFP to her research and professional practice as an educator and clinician and hopes to encourage others like herself. She shared, “MFP’s mentorship and training opportunities have helped refine my knowledge and skills as a future psychologist committed to working with ethnically and racially diverse populations. Additionally, by helping me build my multicultural and ethical competencies in clinical practice, my ability to bring cultural analysis to existing, hegemonic frameworks in behavioral health services have notably improved. This will be of great use when trying to understand and address mental health disparities.”

When asked if she had advice for anyone thinking about applying to the MFP, Tania provided these words of encouragement, “The MFP provides training opportunities, community, and support that make for a meaningful and transformative experience for students of color and from marginalized backgrounds. MFP nurtures your goals, enhances your skills, and by fostering a community-centered environment, is committed to seeing everyone thrive.”

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