African American Youth Wellness Lab

Graduate Research Scholars

Donte Bernard, MA
Donte Bernard is a fourth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Kansas State University and his M.A. in Psychology at UNC-CH. Donte’s research interests investigate the unique race-related factors that may influence the development of the impostor phenomenon—feelings of intellectual incompetence—among racial minority youth and emerging adults. Additionally, he is also interested in identifying risk and protective factors that may influence the positive psychological development of ethnic and racial minority in the context of racial injustice. His Masters project examined the association between racial identity, racial discrimination, and the imposter phenomenon. His previous research has explored factors that contribute to the justification and suppression of prejudice toward racial minorities. In 2013, Donte was awarded a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.
Effua Erica Sosoo, BA
Effua Erica Sosoo is a second year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Williams College. Her research interests include examining the physiological and psychological mechanisms that mediate the link between stereotype threat and academic performance among black students. She hopes that her program of research will ultimately equip AA students to succeed in academic settings and seeks to become one of the leading scholars in stereotype threat research.
Henry A. Willis, MA
Henry A. Willis is a second year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program. He received his B.S. in psychology from Howard University and his M.A. in clinical psychology from Columbia University. As an undergraduate, Henry examined how social networking use affected the self-esteem of African American college students. For his graduate degree, Henry explored how culture and racial identity might shape the presentation of obsessive-compulsive disorder in African Americans and how current treatments could be adapted to be sensitive to race and culture. His current interests include exploring the relationship between social networking use and mental health outcomes, understanding sociocultural risk and protective factors that impact psychopathology for African Americans, creating cultural adaptations of evidence-based treatments, and utilizing mobile-health technology to increase access to mental health treatments for underserved populations. In 2016, Henry was awarded with the Health Policy Research Scholars grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and plans to use his clinical psychology training to influence health policy and build a culture of health.

Post-Baccalaureate and Undergraduate Research Assistants

Jiwoon Bae, BA
Jiwoon Bae is a post-baccalaureate research assistant. He received his B.A. in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jiwoon plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to study how race-related stress affects mental health of ethnic and racial minorities. Specifically, Jiwoon’s research interests include how race-related stress and trauma affect ethnic and racial minorities’ psychophysiological outcomes. Furthermore, Jiwoon is interested in developing interventions to provide the resources and the tools to cope with and to protect ethnic and racial minorities from racial discrimination.
Jasmin Brooks
Jasmin Brooks is a junior Psychology and Sociology double major from Atlanta, Georgia. She is interested in African-American Psychology and, in particular, how stereotypes and racial discrimination affect the mental health of African-American students. After graduation she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology.
Macaela Campbell
Macaela is a recent graduate of Harrisburg Area Community College with an Associates of Arts in Psychology. Currently, Macaela is a senior Psychology major with a minor in African American Diaspora studies. After the completion of her undergraduate education, her goal is to attain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is interested in the intersectionality of race, gender, mental health, and stigma. Additionally, she is interested in researching the impact of America’s prison system on minority communities and the disproportionate number of African American males with mental illness sentenced to prison.
Veronica Edmonds
Veronica Edmonds is a senior Psychology major from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. She is interested in criminology and the implications behind the mental health factors that contribute to criminal activity. She is also interested in the role racial discrimination plays on the mental health of African Americans. After graduation she plans to attend medical school to become a forensic psychiatrist.
Mahogany Monette
Mahogany Monette is a junior Psychology and African, African American, and Diaspora Studies double major.  Her interests in psychology include culturally competent therapy, mood disorders, and stigma of mental health in Black communities.  After completing her undergraduate degree, she would like to get her doctorate in Clinical Psychology and culturally competent research therapy techniques aimed at Black women with mood disorders.
Katie Reiter-Lavery
Katie Reiter-Lavery is a senior psychology major from Durham, North Carolina. She is interested in using a strengths-based perspective to understand well-being and how people overcome stressors, particularly those connected to mental health. One specific area of interest is how social influences might serve as protective factors against negative outcomes of racial discrimination. After graduation Katie plans on working in research related to well-being and ultimately attend graduate school in psychology with a similar focus.


Lab Alumni

Ashly Gaskin-Wasson, PhD
Ashly Gaskin-Wasson completed her B.A. in psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and her M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology at UNC (2015). Ashly’s research interests include the impact of race-related stress on African American youth well-being, and her dissertation examined how racial socialization – a family process by which parents teach their children about race – plays a role in the association between skin tone and youth psychological adjustment. She is passionate about equipping ethnic minority youth and families with the tools necessary to navigate and succeed in a racialized society and has served in various leadership roles focusing on evaluating and developing organizational processes that impact training on as well as research and awareness of issues relevant to communities of color. In 2012, Ashly was recognized as an alternate in the Ford Fellowship Predoctoral Competition, and in 2013 she was selected as a recipient of the Carolina Consortium on Human Development Predoctoral Fellowship.
Lori Hoggard, PhD
Lori Hoggard is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research and at the UNC Institute for African American Research. She completed her tenure as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow (2013 – 2015) in the UNC Department of Psychology and was a member of the lab during this time. Lori received her B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College City University of New York and her Ph.D. in the Personality & Social Contexts Psychology program at the University of Michigan. Her research examines the impact of racial discrimination on the psychological adjustment, physiological functioning, and health of African Americans. Lori is passionate about understanding the processes that explicate the link between racial discrimination and its consequences and identifying effective strategies that African Americans can use to successfully cope with racial discrimination. Finally, Lori hopes her program of research can help eliminate racial health disparities, particularly those related to cardiovascular disease and other stress-related illnesses.
Shawn Jones, PhD, MHS
Shawn Jones is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Racial Empowerment Collective at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his B.S. in Psychology at Duke University, his M.H.S. in Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology at UNC (2016).  Shawn’s research interests have focused on ethnic minority youth development, with an emphasis on risk and protective factors across a variety of contexts. His previous research has examined ethnic identity and parenting practices in the context of externalizing behaviors and substance use, and his masters project examined links between racial identity and affective responses to vicarious racism. In 2015, Shawn was awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. He is passionate about eliminating racial health disparities, particularly those related to mental health services.
 Daniel Lee, PhD
Daniel Lee received his B.A. in psychology at the University of Michigan and his M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology at UNC (2016). During his undergraduate career, Daniel examined cross-cultural differences between East Asians and Western Europeans, gender- and race-specific coping behavior, and positive psychology. His current interests include the protective nature of spiritual coping in the relationship between various forms of racial discrimination and African American youth development and mental health.  In 2013, Daniel was selected as a recipient of a teaching award by the Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Awards Committee for outstanding undergraduate instruction, teaching excellence, and success in positively impacting students in and outside the classroom. In 2016, Daniel successfully completed an internship at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami, ahd he is currently a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan.
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