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Congratulations to SPSSI's 2023 Michele Alexander recipient:

Yara Mekawi (University of Louisville)

Dr. Yara Mekawi is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville. She is the director of the Challenging Ongoing Legacies Of Racism (COLOR) lab and her research focuses on examining racism at the intersection of affect and cognition. Using interdisciplinary and multi-method approaches, she pursues three main lines of inquiry: (a) What are the cognitive and affective mechanisms through which race-related stress is associated with psychopathology in racially marginalized groups? (b) What are the cognitive and affective factors that maintain racially-prejudiced behavior and attitudes among White individuals? and (c) What are the most effective strategies to reduce racial prejudice and ameliorate its effects on the mental health of individuals from racially marginalized groups?

Dr. Mekawi is also a licensed clinical psychologist and her approach to clinical work is consistent with an empirically-driven, functional-contextualist orientation that emphasizes culturally-informed assessment, contextually-driven hypothesis generation, collaborative goal setting, and implementation of evidence-based, culturally-informed intervention (e.g., DBT, STAIR, ACT). Dr. Mekawi is interested in the assessment and integration of meaningful DEI practices within organizations and the implementation of interventions designed to increase access for historically excluded racial groups. She is also a co-founder of the Dialectical Engagement in Anti-Racism (DEAR) project which provides anti-racism trainings and resources to White allies. In her spare time, she dabbles in portrait and macro photography, graphic design, laser engraving, and painting.


Congratulations to SPSSI's 2022 Michele Alexander recipient:

Simon Howard (University of Miami)

Dr. Simon Howard is the Director of the Psychology of Racism, Identity, Diversity, and Equity (PRIDE) research lab and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Miami. Using experimental methods drawn from cognitive, perceptual, and social investigations research in the PRIDE lab primarily aims to understand and address contemporary racism. To this end, the PRIDE lab conducts research that often falls under two broad themes: (1) Investigating interpersonal and contextual factors that influence historically advantaged (e.g., White people) and disadvantaged group members’ (e.g., Black people) perception, attitudes, judgments, and behavior and an emerging line of research (2) Exploring the relationship between vicarious experiences of racism and mental and physical health for members of racially stigmatized groups. He has been a member of SPSSI since 2015 and served on the Early Career Scholars Committee from 2016 to 2019; he is currently a member of SPSSI council. Outside of academia Simon's writes, records, and releases music under his artist name SiHow The Doctor. Find him on all streaming platforms. 

Congratulations to SPSSI's 2021 Michele Alexander recipient:

Tiffany N. Brannon (University of California, Los Angeles)

Tiffany N. Brannon received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and her B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kellogg School of Management, Dispute Resolution Research Center, Northwestern University. Her research examines socio-cultural identities in negatively stereotyped groups such as Latino/a/x and African Americans; and she investigates the potential for these identities to serve as psychological resources—strengths that can facilitate a variety of individual and intergroup benefits. She is currently a faculty member in the UCLA Department of Psychology.

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Click here to view previous Michele Alexander Early Career Award Program Winners