I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development, and the director of the Purpose and Identity Processes Laboratory. I received my B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and my Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from Florida International University. I recevied my postdoctoral training within the Multicultural Research Institute at the University of Notre Dame.
I am also a co-director of PRYDE (the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement). The aim of PRYDE is to link science and service in innovative ways by involving 4-H communities in basic and applied research to promote positive youth development.
My program of research can be viewed as following two paths. The first involves why having a sense of self-direction – or purpose in life – serves as a psychological resource for those who cultivate it. Specifically, my research tests the utility of purpose as a (a) contributor to positive adjustment and (b) source of protection in the face of stress and challenge. A second path examines how notions of race are incorporated into one’s sense of self (i.e., racial identification) and potentially shape perceptions of everyday encounters. My work in this area has primarily focused on the psychological adjustment of ethnic minorities and examines (a) how race-related experiences are related to adjustment and (b) whether racial identity might either amplify or lessen the impact of these experiences. I believe the importance of this work lies in the potential to identify sources of resilience capable of improving the well-being of vulnerable and often marginalized populations.
- HD 6530 - Transitions to Adulthood
- HD 1170 - Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
- HD 3510 - Racial and Ethnic Identity Development
- HD 4510 - Seminar on Emerging Adulthood
- B.A., psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Ph.D., developmental psychology, Florida International University.