Principal Investigator

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Dr. Cheryl Talley examines factors that lead to lasting behavioral change, specifically those related to high academic achievement. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Talley and her colleagues have sought to reveal the role that affective factors such as academic identity and emotional regulation play in student success. With her training in affective neuroscience, Dr. Talley utilizes various strategies, including mindfulness training to help students develop strong academic identities and associated behaviors. The successful intervention that was developed at Virginia State University is called Project Knowledge, and was based on a theoretical model created by Dr. Margaret Beale Spencer, the Phenomenological Variant of the Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST). Findings from Project Knowledge are now being used to inform interventions in other disciplines through collaboration with colleagues in the departments of Biology, Math and Computer Science at Virginia State. In addition, Dr. Talley serves as a lead researcher in a HBCU STEM collaboration led by a group at Morehouse College.  Future plans include adopting Project Knowledge for grades K-12 by using technology to augment social emotional learning.

Cheryl P. Talley, Ph.D.

 

Graduate Researchers

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Victoria Davis serves as the Administrative Manager for Project Knowledge and is currently a Ph.D. student at Virginia State University in the Clinical Psychology Program. Victoria is a California native who earned her M.S in Psychology at Virginia State University and her B.S in Psychology at Tuskegee University. Victoria firmly believes that everyone has the capacity to learn. Her research includes understanding personal affective factors that impact academic achievement across all ages. Her dissertation will be focused on creating an integrative assessment battery that identifies protective factors and risk factors for incoming students at HBCUs. Upon graduation she hopes to use her research to be a voice for students in under resourced neighborhoods and tell the story from the Black perspective.

Victoria Davis, PhD

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Kara Morrison serves as the Clinical Advisor for Project Knowledge. Dr. Morrison is currently a graduate student at Virginia State University (VSU), in the Clinical Health Psychology PhD program. She received her M.S in Clinical Psychology from VSU and her B.A. in Psychology from Winston-Salem State University. Dr. Morrison is a former Post-Baccalaureate Research Education (PREP) scholar from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.  Her educational background and academic achievements have awarded her a foundation and understanding in research, clinical assessment, community engagement, and psychological/ neurocognitive testing.  Kara’s future goals consist of running a private practice focused on mental health & wellness for minority community members.

Kara Morrison, PhD

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Jordan Windley serves as the Program Manager for Project Knowledge and is currently a Ph.D. student at Virginia State University in the Behavioral and Community Health Psychology Program. Jordan is a Maryland native who earned her B.S. in Psychology at Virginia State University.  Jordan believes that community work and empathy has the capacity to foster civic mindedness in everyone. Her research includes understanding personal affective factors, emotional regulation, and self-identity formation in mentors. Upon graduation she hopes to use her research to be a advocate for health equity in African American adolescents and helping their voices be heard.

Jordan Windley, M.S.

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Meya Mongkuo (she/her/hers) serves as the Wellness Coordinator & Research Analyst for Project Knowledge. She is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Health Psychology at Virginia State University after earning a B.A. in Psychology from East Carolina University.  Her goal is to assist in decreasing stress and maladaptive mental health outcomes of BIPOC students through cultural practices such as mindfulness meditation and yoga.

Meya Mongkuo, M. S.

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Talia Blunt is currently a graduate student at Virginia State University (VSU) in the Clinical Psychology Masters Program. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Hampton University. Ms. Blunt's research interests include looking at the effects of environmental and academic stressors on minorities and adolescents. Talia's future goals consist of continuing her education to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology and working in the community with minority youth.

Talia Blunt, B.A.

 

Mentors

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Richmond, VA

Mass Communications Major

Timothy Banks 

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Northern VA
Psychology Major
"Only you have the power to make yourself truly happy so choose happiness"

Angel Gaither

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Bronx, NY

Psychology Major

"Nothing is impossible; the word itself spells 'I'm possible'"

Cierra C. Heflin

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Richmond, VA
Psychology Major
“Note to Self: I'm Going to Make You Proud”

Diamond Hicks

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Peekskill, NY
Psychology Major, Political Science Major
"Look to the hills from which cometh your help"

NeTonia Holliman

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Richmond, VA
Psychology Major 
"I will never apologize for being myself"

Lyric Knighten

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PG County, MD

Psychology Major

"I am optimistic because today is a new day"

Kania Mayo

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Newport News, VA
Social Work Major
"Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education." - MLK

A'Leah Robinson