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Congratulations to the Winners!
‘Decolonial Perspectives in Psychology’:
An Essay Writing Competition for Students. 

Tegan Stettaford
Graduate Winner


Tegan Stettaford is a current Doctor of Philosophy (Science - Psychology) candidate at The University of Newcastle, having completed her honours in 2020. Tegan’s doctoral research is in health psychology, seeking to build the capacity of community mental health services to provide preventive care to people with a mental health condition. She is supervised by Prof Jenny Bowman, Dr Caitlin Fehily, Dr Elizabeth Campbell and Dr Kate Bartlem. Tegan has experience in numerous psychological areas, having previously worked as a support worker for traumatised youth, volunteered as a group therapy assistant for children with ASD and completed an honours thesis on the transgenerational cycle of childhood sexual abuse. Alongside her studies Tegan is also a sessional academic, peer mentor, team leader, and tutor.

Her current PhD studies involve working with community mental health clients, with a proportion of these individuals identifying as Indigenous Australians. The process of co-development is being utilised to ensure her research is culturally sensitive and appropriate with decolonial research perspectives in mind.


Katherine Anne
Del Rosario
Undergraduate Winner



Katherine Anne M. Del Rosario was born and raised in Cavite, Philippines, and is a fourth-year student at the University of the Philippines Diliman where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Aside from essays, she has written nationally awarded stories influenced by the life and realities of Filipinos. A Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino Psychology) course during her sophomore year sparked her interest in the field and taught her the importance of a psychology rooted in the Filipino experience and cultural orientation. That same year, she volunteered to teach at a school for displaced Filipino indigenous youth, where she first encountered and learned the value of a curriculum based purely on indigenous concepts and values.

Inspired by this experience, Katherine interned at a legal rights organization working for the recognition and protection of the rights of upland rural communities and indigenous groups. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she intends to apply to law school.

Brianna Baker
Honorable Mention


Brianna A. Baker (she/her/hers) is a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Columbia University. Born and raised in North Carolina, she graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and African American Community Health and Resilience. Currently, she is a Health Equity Strategist at Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she uses her expertise to promote community engagement and diversify clinical research. Her research interests include sociopolitical determinants of mental health, positive Black youth development, and ameliorating sociohistorical racial trauma through community-focused program development. 

Brianna is the co-founder of the Black in Mental Health Initiative, which aims to bring together Black mental health researchers, practitioners, and advocates in community. This initiative gained thousands of followers and national attention from celebrities such as MC Hammer, Levelle Moton, and Dr. Joy Harden Bradford. She is also the creator of the Becoming Dr. Baker Youtube Channel, where she regularly documents mental health topics specific to BIPOC communities. Most recently, Brianna founded Girls Reaching Optimal Wellness (G.R.O.W.), a school-based mental wellness program for BIPOC young women in the Southern US that uses intersectionality and holistic identity exploration to promote healing from racial trauma. Known for her courage and outspokenness for Black mental health, Brianna's commitment to mental health equity has been featured on Spectrum News, Refinery 29, WebMD, and other prominent media outlets. 


Ashley Phillips
Honorable Mention


Ashley Phillips is a second-year student at William James College, where she is pursuing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) with an emphasis in Global Mental Health. At William James College, she is engaged in leadership and advocacy work through co-founding and leading a student group that is involved in student mental health initiatives. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Texas Woman’s University where her passion for working in the metal health field began.  

In her work as a Board-Certified Music Therapist, Ashley had the opportunity to work with a variety of diverse people within several different mental health systems, including a maximum-security prison. Recognizing the injustice at every level of the mental health system is what inspired her to continue her education and pursue a degree that is informed by social justice. She hopes to use her degree in psychology to not only heal individuals but also heal oppressive systems.

More About the 2021 Graduate Student Committee Essay Contest
‘Decolonial Perspectives in Psychology’