I feel lucky to work in a profession that allows me to bear witness as human beings strive to achieve their fullest potential. I rely on my training as a psychologist to ground my efforts in an ethic of empathic engagement and social justice. My values are reaffirmed as an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences, in my practice of inclusive and high-impact strategies in the classroom, and as I help advance the department’s goal to developing a psychological science program.
One of the ways I actualize these values is as the Director of the Summer Intensive Research program in the Department of Social Sciences. SIRP was created in the summer of 2017 to give students an opportunity to learn basic research skills, and to increase their academic performance and persistence in the social sciences. SIRP has been supported through my partnerships with outside educational agencies, Southern Regional Education Board, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and College Board. All of whom provide grant funding or direct support through mentorship or advisement. In addition to SIRP, I also co-advise the Psychology Club for over five years; in both roles, I have encouraged and supported many talented students in their efforts to develop careers in psychology. It is a pride and pleasure to see the culmination of these long-term efforts as measured by the increase of the number of students in the social sciences who are participating in undergraduate research, the growth in student-centered programming, and the formation of relationships, including community-based collaborations that give our students tangible opportunities.
Much of my published work, presentations, and educational innovations are centered on ethnically and racially diverse cohorts, the experiences of women, health disparities, and examining pedagogical interventions in the classroom. My most recent accepted publication, Analyzed Selfie: Stereotype Enactment, Projection, and Identification Among Digitally Native Black Girls in a special issue focused on Black Women and Girls in the Journal of Women and Therapy focuses on the impact of social media on girls of color. This contribution compliments an earlier article, Educational Technology as a Disruption: New Opportunities for Increasing and Supporting Academic Resilience, where I explored usage patterns of social media use in academic settings with a keen eye on socioeconomic status and educational experiences. These articles are typical examples of how intersectionality drives my work and informs my teaching pedagogy.
My early research focused on health disparities, specifically HIV/AIDS and sickle cell anemia. As a research associate at the Mount Sinai Brain Bank, I published several articles examining the caregiving relationships of people living with end-stage HIV/AIDS. My published research serves as a seminal article in the HIV caregiving literature, and I continue to support this work as a Research Mentor at the Mt. Sinai Brain Bank and as a reviewer for the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services. Also, I continue to engage in the area of health disparities area as a health contributor to BlackDoc.com and Ebony.com.
As I have been active in various university committees, I have found my role on the IRB, as an expedited reviewer and liaison, to be particularly valuable to understanding the ways larger institutional goals impact the daily lives of students, as well as communities in which they’re engaged. This work triggered collaborative relationships with the College Counseling Center and the Office of Title IX in developing activities that support marginalized students in responding to interpersonal violence and managing emotional distress.
At the end of the day, I acknowledge the privilege of being in this esteemed role and am honored to have the opportunity to pour into others, to make space for transformation, healing, and wholeness.