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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Heidi Vuletich, 2016

PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Heidi Vuletich is an immigrant from Mexico

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Psychology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Heidi is investigating the psychological mechanisms by which socioeconomic status, stereotypes, causal attributions, and ethnic identity influence youth's academic motivation and achievement. She is particularly interested in these issues as they pertain to racial/ethnic minority or disadvantaged youth, who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

Heidi was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and moved to the United States at the age of five. Due to her family's economic instability, however, she continued to move back and forth between the two countries until she started high school. By that time, Heidi had attended 16 different schools across two cultures and languages. Nevertheless, she dreamed of going to college in the US.

Applying to colleges was an eye-opening process for Heidi. Even though she was graduating at the top of her class, she felt insecure about her ability to succeed at Regis University, as did many of her Hispanic peers. As she successfully progressed through college, Heidi realized how powerful psychological barriers can be, especially for youth who lack the support of mentors. She had come so close to not pursuing dreams she was capable of accomplishing.

Now, as a dual graduate student in the developmental and social psychology programs at the University of North Carolina, Heidi dedicates her research to understanding the psychological factors that stand in the way of youth. Her ultimate goal is to produce research findings that can inform effective educational policies and interventions. 

  • PhD Psychology | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2019
  • BS Neuroscience, Psychology | Regis University 2011
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
  • The A.W. Forstall, S.J. Award for Natural Science, Regis University
  • The Dr. Eugene R. Delay Award for Excellence in Neuroscience, Regis University
  • Psi Chi Student Research Award, Rocky Mountain Psychological Association
  • Doctoral Merit Assistantship, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Carolina Research in Social Psychology Grant
  • Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Honorable Mention
  • Vuletich, H. A. (2011). Priming for achievement worsens performance (Honor’s thesis). Available from Advisors: Dr. Rona McCall and Dr. Rebecca Betjemann.
  • Robinaugh, D. J., LeBlanc, N. J., Vuletich, H. A., McNally, R. J. (2014). Network analysis of persistent complex bereavement disorder in conjugally bereaved adults. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123, 510-522.
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