UM Student Wins Fellowship to Reduce Minority Health Disparities

Photo of Amy Violante

Photo: Amy Violante, a second-year doctoral student in UM’s school psychology program, won a prestigious fellowship from the American Psychological Association.

MISSOULA – A University of Montana graduate student has won a $23,000 fellowship from the American Psychological Association aimed at students who are committed to improving the quality of care provided to ethnic and racial minorities who have mental and substance use disorders.

Amy Violante, a second-year doctoral student in school psychology, will use her fellowship to continue her work on a community-based research project supporting the social-emotional development of Flathead Nation students.

“I am passionate about integrating social justice and education and supporting students and families in culturally responsive ways,” Violante said. “My master’s thesis project is an example of this work – specifically exploring the role of spirituality in culturally responsive, social-emotional support for students in this community.”

Violante is conducting her research through UM’s CRESP (Culturally Responsive Evidence-based practices in School Psychology) Lab, which seeks to develop the skills of school psychologists to better understand and meet the needs of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Anisa Goforth, UM associate professor of psychology and director of the CRESP Lab, said winning an American Psychological Association Interdisciplinary Minority Fellowship is extremely prestigious and reflects the promise and commitment shown by Violante to improve the learning experience of disadvantaged students.

“Amy’s dedication to providing high-quality psychological services using cultural humility and culturally responsive practices aligns with the fellowship’s goal to reduce health disparities among ethnic minorities in the U.S.,” Goforth said. “There is so much that needs to be done in the area of mental health for these communities, and I am excited to see what Amy will accomplish.”

Violante, whose hometown is Easton, Pennsylvania, earned her undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College in 2017. She chose UM specifically to work with Goforth and the CRESP Lab. She credits Goforth for supporting her studies and research even before she committed to UM – support she said was instrumental for receiving the APA Fellowship.

“I am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been provided during my first year and a half at UM, especially for the wonderful people I get to work with on the research team, including faculty, research assistants and community members,” Violante said. “I’ve learned and done so much more in this time than I would have thought possible.”


Contact: Anisa Goforth, associate professor of psychology, UM Department of Psychology, 406-243-2917,