Steering Committee

Mia Smith Bynum


Mia A. Smith Bynum, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Family Science in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland-College Park.  A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. Smith Bynum is an expert in African American mental health, family interaction and communication in ethnic minority families, parenting, and racial identity.  She also has expertise in adolescent mental health, adolescent sexual behavior, and parent-adolescent communication about difficult topics.  Dr. Smith Bynum earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia.  She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in child and family development at the University of Georgia before joining the faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University in 2001.  In 2008, Dr. Smith Bynum was promoted to Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences.  She joined the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland in 2010 where she is currently Director of the Black Families Research Group. Her research has been supported by external grants from several entities, including the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.  Her work is published in several professional research journals in psychology and family studies.  In addition to her faculty duties, Dr. Smith Bynum also performs consulting work on research with ethnically diverse populations and academic career coaching for students and faculty that are members of underrepresented groups.

Meeta Banerjee


Dr. Meeta Banerjee is currently an assistant professor in Psychology at California State University, Northridge. She received her Ph.D. in Ecological-Community Psychology with a specialization in Applied Developmental Science from Michigan State University in 2012.  Prior to her Ph.D., she received her M.S.W. and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2003 and 2001, respectively. Her research employs both integrative and ecological frameworks to understand the influence of contextual factors on early and late adolescent developmental trajectories in ethnic minority youth and families. Currently her research is focusing on exploring the interaction between ecological contexts (e.g., neighborhoods, SES, discrimination) and ethnic-racial socialization on African American youth’s psychosocial and academic outcomes. Specifically, her research examines the effects of racial discrimination and neighborhoods on African American youth. She has been a member of SRCD since 2003 and a member of the Black Caucus since 2005.

Joanna Williams

Member At-Large

Joanna Williams is an associate professor in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, and a faculty affiliate with Youth-Nex: The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University in 2008. Her scholarship takes a multi-faceted approach to understanding race and ethnicity as contexts for youth development, including investigations of ethnic-racial identity development and considerations of cultural assets in a broader positive youth development framework. A large portion of these inquiries have focused on the experiences of Black boys and young men. With support from the William T. Grant Foundation, Williams is examining multiple levels of early adolescents’ experiences with race and ethnicity—intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural—to investigate issues of segregation and equity in diverse schools and classrooms. One of these projects focuses on peer friendship networks in middle schools while the other examines middle school classroom networks. Williams’ other research strand examines ethnic identity as a form of positive youth development in the face of discrimination and other stressors, and ethnic identity in relation to youths’ beliefs and behaviors. She has applied interests in understanding diversity, peer relations, and positive outcomes in youth development programs and serves as the Associate Director of Research for the Young Women Leaders Program, a mentoring program for middle school girls. Williams has been a member of SRCD since 2005.

Lionel Howard 

Member At-Large

Lionel C. Howard, Ed.D, is an Associate Professor of Educational Research at The George Washington University, in Washington DC. Dr. Howard’s research interest include, broadly, gender identity development and socialization, motivation and academic achievement, and quantitative and qualitative research methodology.  He has worked on several local and national research projects focused on improving the educational trajectory and schooling experiences of African American and Latino students. He has also served as a consultant on education policy and evaluation studies. Dr. Howard has published in the Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Journal of Boyhood, International Journal of Inclusive Education, and Harvard Educational Review, and is co-editor of Facing Racism in Education (3rd Ed), published by Harvard University Press.  He received his Ed.D. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, and completed an National Institute of Child Health and Development postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Psychology and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Dr. Howard also has a M.A. in Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation from the University of Maryland, College Park, and B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from William Paterson University of New Jersey. 

Fantasy Lozada

Member At-Large

Fantasy T. Lozada is an assistant professor of Developmental Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She graduated with her Ph.D. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from North Carolina State University as an Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Scholar and a Center for Developmental Science Predoctoral Fellow. Dr. Lozada completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context. Her work explores the interplay of culture, race, and emotions and predictors of the social and emotional development of Black and Brown children in the context of families, schools, and online spaces. Some of her current research projects include (1) the examination of cultural beliefs about emotions among African Americans, (2) the comparison of African American parents’ emotion and racial socialization practices, and (3) the contribution of African American parents’ emotion- and race-related beliefs and socialization practices to children’s socioemotional competence. Her work is published in Child Development, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Infant and Child Development, Emotion Review, and Journal of Black Psychology. She has been a member of SRCD and the Black Caucus since 2008. During this time, the relationships she has developed through membership in the Black Caucus have led to a number of collaborations that have helped to support and advance her career and expand her body of research.

Shawn Jones

Early Career Representative

Shawn Jones is a National Science Foundation SBE Postdoctoral Fellow in the Applied Psychology and Human Development (APHD) Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Currently, Shawn works with Dr. Howard Stevenson in the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), which centers on applied research to promote racial literacy and empower families as a means of reducing the deleterious impact of race-related stress. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Children and Families from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Child Clinical Psychology Pre-doctoral intern at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Jones endeavors to impact the psychosocial wellbeing of Black youth and their families by: a) exploring mechanisms undergirding culturally-relevant protective and promotive factors; b) translating basic research into interventions that harness the unique strengths of the Black experience; and c) disseminating this research to be consumed, critiqued and enhanced by the communities the work intends to serve. Clinically, Dr. Jones is committed to the provision of culturally-informed child, couple and family therapy and assessment. Finally, Dr. Jones is passionate about eliminating racial health disparities, particularly those related to mental health services, which he sees as obtainable through stigma-reduction and mental health literacy interventions.

Chauncey Smith 

Member At-Large


Chauncey D. Smith is currently an Assistant Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Smith’s research is centered on Black adolescents’ sociopolitical development in school and after-school program contexts; his work examines the ways in which Black adolescents recognize, analyze, and respond to oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, classism) in their environment. Additionally, his work employs an intersectional approach to explore Black adolescent school experiences across racial, class, and gender identities. For example, his current work examines the ways in which Black boys from middle class backgrounds make meaning of their school environment, their experiences of racial discrimination in school, and their relationships with peers.