Diversity Fellowship
Graduate Education/Training
Practicum Opportunity

Diversity Fellowship

The Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD). WIHD has received supplemental funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) to implement a Diversity Fellowship program for two to three fellows from a diverse background as defined by AIDD. Fellows are selected to participate for eight months, 12/1/15-7/31/16.

Under this National Training Initiative Grant, fellows will increase their knowledge, skills and values related to individual and institutional cultural and linguistic competency, fellow/workforce diversity, and community collaborations. In doing so, fellows will participate in the following activities:

  • self-study on issues relevant to diversity and disparity and cultural and linguistic competency
  • complete a written paper
  • collaborate on a community project
  • complete performance evaluations
  • contribute to WIHD
  • share results and presentations


To support fellows from diverse backgrounds (as defined by AIDD) to increase their knowledge, skills and values related to individual and institutional cultural and linguistic competency, fellow/workforce diversity, and community collaborations.

Program Description

The program is offered as eight, four-week topical modules. Fellows will be expected to devote seven to ten hours per week to the Fellowship training, including:

  • one in-person session at WIHD per module; one monthly individual face-to-face mentoring/supervision
  • one conference call/webinar per module
  • design and implementation of the community-based project
  • assignments, including: progress notes on the community-based project
  • reading related to module topics and community projects; written reflections, self-assessments

To learn more about the Diversity Fellowship program at WIHD, as well as the 13 other programs around the country and read bios for each diversity fellow, please visit: http://www.implementdiversity.tools/about_fellowships.


Education and training of future professionals is an important aspect of the WIHD mission. We offer formal training programs for graduate-level and post-graduate training in the following disciplines:

The Speech and Hearing Center is a clinical placement site for fourth year audiology students enrolled in doctoral programs at various universities. Under the supervision of WIHD’s staff audiologists, the students provide the gamut of diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology services to children and adults. In addition, they participate in the LEND Program.

For more information, please contact:
Mindy Schmelzer, AuD
Supervisor of Audiology
(914) 493-8186

WIHD has several post-doctoral psychology training positions that are filled through a competitive process each year. Psychology post-doctoral fellows are trained in a twelve-month supervised experience during which they gain competence (clinical, assessment, consultation, and research) in the child welfare and pediatric disabilities fields. In addition, all psychology trainees participate in the LEND Program.

WIHD provides a rich educational experience for undergraduate and graduate level social work interns. Social work interns are placed within the Child Welfare Department and are offered a range of clinical, administrative, and research opportunities selected to meet their individual interests and career goals. Students participate in a weekly student seminar that enhances their learning experiences by providing a forum to discuss topics related to the child welfare system, trauma, abuse and neglect as well as other topics. Some of the graduate students participate in the LEND Program.


For more information, please contact:
Linda Fettmann, LCSW
Program Manager, WRAP & Enhanced Foster Care Program
Office: (914) 493-1086

The student teaching internship of the Learning Evaluation and Achievement Program (LEAP) provides interns pursuing a Masters degree in childhood special education with field experience in teaching children with a range of educational disabilities. Interns collaborate with the LEAP supervisor to focus on utilizing multiple methods of instruction to accommodate a broad range of learners. Formal and informal feedback is provided regularly to assist interns in reflecting on their performance, and developing goals and strategies to support the foundation from which they can begin to develop their professional practice.

For more information, please contact:
Teresa Speranza, M.A.
Educational Coordinator, Child Welfare Services
Office: (914) 493-2629

The Speech and Hearing Center is the clinic for the graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology, the School of Health Science and Practices, New York Medical College. Summer clinical placements are available for advanced Master’s students from other area universities. Some of the graduate students also participate in the LEND Program.


For more information, please contact:
Marilyn Klein, CCC, SLP
Director of Speech and Hearing
Office: (914) 493-8189

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Practicum Opportunity with NYMC SHSP MPH Program

Westchester Institute for Human Development offers practicum opportunities for Masters in Public Health (MPH) students at New York Medical College (NYMC) School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP). The practicum provides students with a structured public health practice experience focused on issues of importance to children and adults with disabilities and their families.

For more information about the practicum opportunities available at WIHD, please contact Katie Borras at kborras@WIHD.org or by phone 914-493-1235.