Research | Department of Psychology



My scholarship is informed by theoretical perspectives from critical race psychology. Specially, I examine the role that macro, socio-ecological, contextual forces play in: tokenization of faculty of color; faculty development and job satisfaction; the recognition and impact of microaggressions; the generation and maintenance of stereotypes; in-tergroup perception and relations.


My research mission is to advance understanding of the role of race/ethnicity in experiences within and across various domains, especially academia, with particular emphasis on the intersections of race/ethnicity with sex, social class, and gender identities. Additionally, I hope to advance the knowledge of effective interventions that can facil-itate workplace and personal success of Persons of Color.

I expect to admit at least one graduate per academic year to my research program.

Recent scholarship

Niemann, Y.F. (2020). The Obfuscation of the Realities of Women of Color Due to the False Dichotomy Phrasing of "Women and Minorities." For Women and Therapy -Intersectionality in Education, Train-ing, and Praxis. DOI: 10.1080/02703149.2020.1729475.
Niemann, Yolanda Flores, Gutiérrez y Muhs, Gabriela; and González, Carmen (Eds.). (in press) Pre-sumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia. University Press of Colorado and Utah State University Press (an imprint of University Press of Colorado). Publication expected Spring 2020.
Njie-Carr, V. P. S. Niemann, Y.F., & Sharps, P. W. (2020). (Eds.), Disparities in the academy: Accounting for the elephant. Allegheny County, PA: Dorrance Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-6461-0641-7
Niemann, Y.F., & Carter, C. (2017). Microaggressions in the Classroom. A film produced by Yolanda Flores Niemann and Carla Carter.;

Recent awards

2019 Jenessa Shapiro Diversity and Inclusion award; presented by Society of Personality and Social Psychologists, Division 8 of the American Psychological Association. Presented Feb. 27, 2020 at SPSP conference.
2018 Faculty GASPY (Graduate Students); Female Faculty Advocate Award
2017 Ulys and Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award recipient. Presented at Salute to Faculty Excellence Dinner and Awards ceremony on Oct. 20, 2017.
2016 Invited speaker at White House event sponsored by the White House Initiative on Educational Ex-cellence for Hispanics --Fulfilling America's Future: Latinas in the U..S., event at the White House, Octo-ber 21, 2016.
View CV


My research affords opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to learn how to conduct research while building friendships and professional networks. I expect all team members to be fully engaged in every aspect of the research process. I also include all students in conference presentations, to the extent they wish to participate. In 2018, student team members presented at nine conferences. I expect graduate students to have several journal publications to their credit when they apply for post-graduate positions. Graduate students are also be afforded the opportunity to mentor and supervisor undergraduates.

My research team meets once per week for two hours. All team members attend and fully engage in all meetings.

Qualifications for undergraduates:

  • At least a 3.5 Psychology GPA;
  • Overall GPA at least 3.2;
  • Commit to team participation for the fall and spring semesters of one academic year;
  • Strong communication and organization skills;
  • Strong creative and critical thinking skills;
  • Application to my research team begins with an email to me at I will meet with each applicant to determine goodness of fit with the team goals.


Racial Microaggressions and Responses on College Campuses.

Microaggressions are the everyday, unconscious or conscious, verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative acts to individuals of marginalized groups (Sue, 2010). My team has engaged in training and research on recognizing and responding to microaggressions. The basis for this work is my video, Microaggressions in the Classroom, The video is readily accessible on YouTube; there is no charge for use of the video.

Tokenism of Faculty of Color who work in Predominantly White Institutions

People are at risk for tokenization when their demographic group constitutes 15% or fewer of the total persons in the workplace context, which is the case in higher education institutions. Following up on my previous research in this area, as well as on advances in the literature, this research will continue to advance understanding of the consequences of tokenized contexts for the token and for the institution. I am currently working on a book reviewing the research literature on tokenism, which has been accepted for the SPSSI book series.

The Perceived Relationship Between Superheroes' Race and Gender Identity and Their Powers and Attributes

Following up on my previous research, beginning in fall 2016, our research has examined the relationship between race/ethnicity, gender, and LGBT status on the perceived powers and attributes of superheroes.

The Impact of Race-Based Courses on Students' Intergroup Attitudes, Behaviors, and Comfort with Conversations About Race

I teach an undergraduate and graduate course called Psychology of Race in the U.S. Using pre-post methodology, we will examine the impact of the course on students' self and other group perceptions and behaviors towards member of demographics groups other than their own.

Student-Centered Pedagogy

My Introduction to Social Psychology course is student-centered. I facilitate learning about the application of social psychological constructs through student-participant lectures and discussions, a Ted-like student group talk, and application of constructs to the current news, as well as to selected published narratives. While the success of my teaching approach is reflected in very high teaching evaluations, my research team is also engaged in conducting research on the outcomes of this teaching pedagogy.

Postdoctoral Experience Study

In partnership with Dr. Jack Dovidio of Yale, we are examining the postdoctoral experience to provide insight that will maximize the success of postdoctoral fellows as they advance to faculty positions. Specifically, we are examining moderators of the experience, including their relationship with advisors. We expect to extend this research to include graduate students.

Team Members

My team includes 16 members for academic year 2018-19. The team includes four doctorate students, four McNair students (two of whom are also working on their Honors Thesis), plus eight undergraduates from ranks of sophomore - senior. In addition to participating in the team research, students are encouraged to conduct independent research. Following is a description of team members' independent research, in their own words.

Graduate Students

Kyjeila Latimer: My current research project involves utilizing a combination of free response survey data with group and individual inter-views in order to explore how individuals perceive difficult dialogues involving race, particularly focusing on how race talk dynamics and perspectives can change based on criti-cal intersections of identity.
I also actively engage in research examining microaggres-sions and how individuals and institutions can best combat them, multicultural competence in clinical work, couples-based interventions in mental health settings, and the explo-rations of implicit biases in the modern age.

Everrett Moore: I have several broad interests in terms of research, including difficult dialogues involving variables of identity, the exploration of race and racism including discrimination amongst traditionally marginalized groups, multicultural competence in clinical work, explorations of implicit biases in the modern age, and couples-based intervention in clinical work.

Alvin Akibar: My primary area of interest is the intersection of media psychology and race psychology. Specifically, I am interested in how fictional rep-resentations of historically marginalized groups, particularly People of Color, influence people's attitudes and behaviors in real life towards those groups. Additionally, I have an interest in pedagogical research concerning the student learning experience, such as what discussion formats students learn most from, or the benefits of student self-care on education.

Audon Archibald: With a great interest in how media consumption, especially games, shapes attitudes and behaviors as well as how it can be used as a tool for parents and educators, my primary focus within the lab is researching how media representations of marginalized populations affect attitudes towards these populations.

Undergraduate Students Currently Conducting Independent Research

Samuel VanVleet: I am interested in the way people view media and analyzing this through a critical race theory perspective. Specifically, I am interested in the impact of race and ethnicity imaging in comic book superheroes.

Jonathan Cajas: My research interests include microaggressions and their effect on traditionally marginalized groups, cross-cultural psychology, and intersectionality. I plan to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology.

Lauren Cunningham: After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school to get my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I hope to work with adolescents with-in and outside of the juvenile system.

Fre'Dasia Daniels: I am interested in examining the effects of racial and socioeconomic barri-ers in terms of how students learn and how educators teach. I am also interested in examining the role that technology, specifically social media, plays regarding students' learning and behavioral patterns.

Kay Freeman: My research interests include microaggressions and their effect on tradi-tionally marginalized groups, cross-cultural psychology, and intersectionality. I plan to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology.

Edgar Gonzalez: I am still developing my research interests, but I am interested in clini-cal psychology.

Samantha Gonzalez: I recently graduated and am taking a year off to work before I apply to clinical psychology doctorate programs next fall. I am currently a QMHP working for Met-rocare Services, which aligns with some of my research interests such as minority groups, family structures, positive psychology, and resilience.

Lylian He: My research interests include microaggressions, stereotyping and preju-dice, as well as individuals' physiological responses to racial trauma. After graduating from TAMS, I plan to obtain a degree in either finance or eco-nomics, eventually working towards an MBA.

Seanne O'Hara: My future goals involve attending graduate school for clinical psy-chology with a focus on stress, coping, and historically underrepre-sented populations.

Morgan Pierson: I'm interested in researching autism and other invisible disabilities. After I grad-uate, I plan on taking a gap year to get experience, then going into grad school for either educational or clinical psychology.

Rafael Romero: My main research interests are personality disorders, psychopathy, the psychology of race, and the psychology of sexual minorities. I plan to take a gap year after graduation to focus on research and plan to apply for clinical psychology programs in the fall of 2020.

Evan Ross: I am interested in the field of industrial-organizational psychology. I plan on ap-plying to graduate schools to continue this interest.

Adrianna Schrader: My passion and ambition for psychology stem from my desire to analyze, help, and advocate for people who are neurodivergent. I hope to redefine conventional ideas and current understanding about neurodivergence with research and then apply it in a clinical setting.

Michelle Serrano: My research interests include migrant and refugee populations, under-served populations, and PTSD. After graduation, I plan to pursue higher edu-cation and use those skills to influence policy change and provide culturally competent therapy options

D'Lexis Strickland: I have a wide range of research interests when it comes to the topics of rac-ism and sexism amongst marginalized groups. However, I have come to have a great interest in people who identify as Biracial and how racism af-fects them in social encounters.

Mara Swoboda: I'm interested in researching minority health disparities in ado-lescents of historically underrepresented cultures, as well as in PTSD that results in suicide or suicidal behaviors among minori-ties. I intend to go to graduate school and research and treat those suffering from mental health issues associated with these disparities.

Daniel Vega: My research interests include cognitive psychology and addiction, in-cluding the study of addiction in marginalized groups. After I graduate, I plan to pursue a doctoral degree.