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Meet the AIC Team!

Tabbye M. Chavous, Ph.D., AIC Lab Director

Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity

Professor of Education and Psychology, University of Michigan


As a community/developmental psychologist, I am deeply interested in the achievement and well-being of Black youth in the context of their schools and educational settings. My published scholarship and research and professional activities center around (1) social identity development among Black adolescents and young adults; (2) achievement motivation processes among ethnic minority students, including relations among individuals' racial/ethnic, gender, and academic identities; (3) educational transitions in secondary schooling and higher education; and (4) diversity and multicultural climates in secondary and higher education settings and implications for students' academic, social, and psychological adjustment. My current projects, funded by the National Science Foundation, focus on race, gender, and academic resilience among ethnic minority students in higher education settings, as well as racial socialization processes among Black adolescents in diverse community contexts. I teach courses focused on developmental, psychological, cultural, and organizational processes relevant to education and youth development more broadly. In addition, I mentor students across diverse academic and disciplinary backgrounds in education and psychology. Currently, I also serve as the Director of the University of Michigan National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), where I work on producing, promoting and catalyzing, and supporting the dissemination of diversity scholarship, as well as its application to policy and practices that enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and society.


Dr. Chavous' Full Biographical Sketch

Dr. Chavous' Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Postdoctoral Fellows

Bridget L. Richardson, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context


Bridget L. Richardson is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan (U-M). She completed her B.S. in psychology at Bowling Green State University in 2010 and her PhD in psychology at U-M in 2015. Her primary research interests include examining race-related factors that are promotive of African American adolescents’ achievement and psychological well-being (i.e., racial identity and racial socialization). Additionally, she has special interests in how cultural and racial factors can be protective for adolescents’ academic engagement and psychological health in the context of racial discrimination experiences. In the future, Bridget plans to continue research on the positive development of African American youth and teach psychology as a professor.

Project Staff

Samantha Drotar

Project Manager, College Academic and Social Identities Study

Research Team Lead, Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context

B.A., Psychology, Sociology, University of Michigan

Samantha Drotar is a research associate at the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context (CSBYC) at the University of Michigan (UofM) and is currently the project manager for the College Academic and Social Identities Study (CASIS).  Sam received her B.A. with High Honors in Psychology and Sociology and a minor in Moral and Political Philosophy from the UofM in 2009. Her research interests span a wide variety of topics, including intergroup relations and how one’s individual and group identities influence, but are also affected by, interactions and relationships; predictors of adjustment, especially in academic contexts; multiple facets of peer relations; and across her interests, always taking into account the significant role that context plays! In addition to her work on the CASIS project, Sam is currently investigating the racial achievement gap via the stories key stakeholders tell as a member of the CSBYC qualitative team. 

Graduate Students

Gloryvee Fonseca-Bolorin

Doctoral Candidate, Center for the Study of Higher & Postsecondary Education


Gloryvee Fonseca-Bolorin is a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan. Her research explores the intersection of college student persistence and racial ethnic identity. Gloryvee draws upon longitudinal survey data funded by National Science Foundation and administered by The Center for Black Youth in Context to explore the social psychological experiences of Black and Latino students’ within predominantly White institutions.  Building upon strength-based adaptation frameworks, her dissertation investigates how racial ethnic identity along with perceptions of the campus racial climate influence students’ sense of belonging and college persistence.  Specifically, Gloryvee’s project explores whether students’ beliefs and attitudes about their racial ethnic group may function as a moderator or protective factor in the face of racial ethnic discrimination and stigma within predominantly White educational contexts. In all, Gloryvee integrates her professional experiences in academic counseling and student support programs into her research interest with the hope of offering theoretical and practical contributions to student development and support services in higher education.

Asya Harrison

Doctoral Student, Combined Program in Education & Psychology


Asya Harrison is a fourth year doctoral student and National Science Foundation Fellow in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at University of Michigan. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development with a minor in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. Her research interests involve understanding the influence of social class on African American adolescent identity development. Specifically, she studies the influence of social class on parental racial socialization for middle and high school African American students across school district, grade, and gender.

Natasha Johnson

Doctoral Candidate, Joint Program in Social Work & Psychology


Natasha Johnson is a fourth year doctoral student and Ph.D. Candidate in the joint Social Work & Psychology program. She graduated in 2012 from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Overall she is interested in examining protective factors associated with socially and economically disadvantaged populations in an agenda to promote improvement of mental health, academic success, civic engagement, and self-efficacy. Currently, her research examines contextual factors associated with racial identity shifts and stability among Black adolescents from demographically diverse community settings.  Upon completing her doctoral program Natasha hope to find an academic space where she can engage in interdisciplinary research and collaborate with stakeholders in the community.  Moreover, one of her career goals is to help mentor and develop future researchers while promoting the growth of ethnic minorities in professional academia settings.


Omari Keeles

Doctoral Candidate, Combined Program in Education & Psychology


Omari W. Keeles is a Ph.D. candidate in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology. His research examines the intersection of race and social class identities of Black students who attend predominately White elite independent schools. Specifically, he is interested in how race and class processes relate to within group differences in students’ psychosocial and educational outcomes. Originally from Oakland, CA, Omari earned a BS in Psychology from Howard University and MPH from George Washington University. Following, Omari was a public health analyst at the American Public Health Association and research and health policy analyst at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. He continued his education, and earned a MA and EdM in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College Columbia University. Omari also holds a certificate in French Language and Culture from the Université du Bourgogne and participated in the Summer School on Black Europe in Amsterdam. Upon completing his PhD, Omari plans to continue his research program and develop/open a Black-centered prep school.

Seanna Leath

Doctoral Candidate, Combined Program in Education & Psychology


Seanna Leath is a Ph.D. candidate in the Combined Program for Education and Psychology. Seanna's research interests center around (1) racial and gender identity development among African American girls and women and its relationship with their psychosocial development; (2) the effect of racial discrimination on African American adolescent and young adults’ academic and psychological well-being; and (3) the ways in which family, school, and community contexts influence African American girls’ racial and gender identity beliefs. She also is a research assistant for the university’s Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context. Seanna received her B.A. from Pomona College in Psychology and Africana Studies, and is a Ford Foundation Fellowship recipient, as well as a McNair Scholar. Her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her daughter, Cayde, and soon-to-be son, Sr. Unnamed. If you’re wondering about how to balance parenting and graduate school, she is more than happy to talk with you!

Channing Mathews

Doctoral Candidate, Combined Program in Education & Psychology


Channing Mathews is a Ph.D. candidate in the Combined Program of Education and Psychology (CPEP). Her research interests center around the relationship between school context, racial identity, and academic achievement for African-American students.  She is also interested in racial identity measurement; specifically, how well current measures of racial identity are capturing the construct over time. Channing received a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University in 2009. Upon graduating from Duke, she taught abroad for five years in the Dominican Republic and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was during this time that Channing discovered her passion for teaching and learning in different contexts, and subsequently chose to pursue higher education at the University of Michigan. In addition to her graduate work, Channing serves as a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context and served as 2015-2016 President of Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR).

Undergraduate Students

Donald Lyons

Research Assistant, College & Social Identities Study, Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context


I am a current University of Michigan undergraduate in my senior year expecting a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Intergroup Relations. Afterwards, I hope to pursue an advanced degree somewhere in the fields of social psychology, education, and women’s studies. My research interests include highlighting the intersectional experiences of those who fall outside the hegemony, especially in relation to institutional climates and identifying areas for change. In addition to working as a research assistant for the AIC lab, I also serve as a research assistant to Denise Sekaquaptewa as well as working as a coordinator of the University of Michigan Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center’s Bystander Intervention & Community Engagement program.

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