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Our Research Team

Director

Rheeda Walker, Ph.D.

Dr. Walker

Dr. Rheeda Walker is an Associate Professor of Psychology and licensed clinical psychologist whose program of research emphasizes two understudied areas—suicide science and African-American adult mental health. This work began at Florida State University where Dr. Walker earned a Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) in 2002. At the time, the suicide death rates were escalating for young, Black adults. Communities throughout the United States are chronically underserved in part due to social and cultural barriers. All of Dr. Walker’s scholarly work has focused on suicide and related emotional health challenges toward the primary goal of developing culturally-relevant models of well-being. This research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the University of Georgia Research Foundation, the Southern Illinois University Foundation, and the South Carolina Research Foundation.


Pre-Doctoral Graduate Students

Soumia Cheref, M.A.

Soumia Cheref

Soumia Cheref is a fifth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. She is interested in researching the role of cultural, cognitive, and emotional factors in self-injurious thoughts and behaviors with a specific focus on the interplay between exposure to trauma and suicidality. Soumia obtained a B.A. in Psychology with departmental honors from Hunter College of The City University of New York.


Mary Odafe, M.A.

Mary Odafe

Mary Odafe is a fifth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her primary interests lie in exploring the unique patterns of psychological risk and resilience among racial and ethnic minority populations, including African Americans, Black immigrants, and older adults. She aims to merge empirical evidence and cultural sensitivity in methods of research, assessment, and intervention for marginalized groups. Mary graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2014, earning high honors and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.


Judy Hong, M.A.

Judy Hong

Judy Hong is a fourth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her populations of interest are racial/ethnic minority groups and incarcerated individuals. Her research interests include risk and protective factors related to suicide, mental health, and offending. Judy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her B.A. in Psychology.


Ijeoma Madubata, M.A.

Ijeoma Madubata

Ijeoma Madubata is a second year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her primary interests include examination of race-related stressors (particularly racial discrimination and microaggressions) as risk factors for internalizing disorders and suicidality in Black populations. Ijeoma also aims to examine intersecting identities as they relate to the mental health of Black individuals. Ijeoma received an A.B. in Psychology from Princeton University in 2015 and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Towson University in 2017.


Jasmin Brooks, B.A.

Jasmine Brooks

Jasmin Brooks is a first year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her primary research interests lie in investigating how race-related stress and trauma influence risk and resilience in African Americans and Black immigrants. In particular, she is interested in exploring how culture, racial identity and racial discrimination are related to suicidality and mental health in these populations. She aims to use this research to develop culturally-mindful treatments and interventions. Jasmin earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018.