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Delia Saenz


Delia is a social psychologist who engages basic and applied research on the theme of ‘difference’ within the social context.  Using experimental and survey methodology, for example, she has investigated the impact on cognitive performance of numerical distinctiveness (e.g., token status) in groups, as well as the relation between perceived economic distress and attitudes towards Mexican immigrants in the southwestern United States.  She has worked to translate the findings of her basic research into programmatic interventions that can be applied in disparate settings such as broadening the participation of women, people of color and persons with disabilities in STEM environments domestically and internationally.  She currently serves as director of diversity and inclusion on two multi-university engineering research centers, Quantum Energy & Sustainable Solar Technologies, and Center for Biomediated and Bioinspired Geotechnics. Over the course of her career, her research has been supported by the NSF, NIMH, the Ford Foundation, and US AID.  She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and spent a large portion of her career as a professor in the Department of Psychology and as an administrator in various capacities at Arizona State University.  Currently, she is vice president for Institutional Inclusion, Equity, & Leadership Development at Bennington College.  In this role, and akin to her research, she utilizes evidence-based psychological principles in the service of community-building and education around understanding and working across difference.