Student Profile

Alexandria C. Onuoha, M.S.

Ph.D. Student in Applied Developmental Psychology at Suffolk University, Boston, MA

What are you most passionate about in your work life right now?

Currently, I’m most passionate about the papers and projects that I’m collaborating with other Black women in psychology on. These projects are centered on addressing Black women’s’ and girls’ experiences with family socialization, their experiences in digital spaces, and what programming can look like for Black girls in schools that bolsters their thriving.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I’m extremely passionate about creative art spaces for children and adolescents. I facilitate Afro-Caribbean and Modern dance workshops when I can for my community in Malden, MA. These are more geared to girls of color, and it’s such a beautiful experience. I was raised by my mother who is Jamaican, and in our family, dance is so integral to our culture. So, I love to share it with others!

What piece of advice would you give to undergraduate students interested in going to graduate school?

Talk to as many people as you can about their experiences! Talk to folks who majored in psychology but chose to work outside of academia and talk with folks who decided graduate school was the best decision for them. Both perspectives are important. The goal isn’t for you to do what society deems the right next step, it’s truly up to you. There are many different types of programs where your psychology degree will be valued. Next, have grace upon yourself! Graduate school doesn’t need to happen right away, you can work in a research lab, work with children and youth, or do something that would help you strengthen your skillset. Lastly, find a mentor who has a degree that you may be interested in pursuing, and develop a good relationship with them. They will be able to tell you the strengthens and weakness of graduate school, what to look for in a mentor/advisor, and any financial support for these programs.

What drew you to Division 1?

The emphasis on encouraging students and early career scholars to be more active in the division stood out to me. I think it’s important for students both undergraduate and graduate to be involved in APA divisions because it allows us to connect with folks who have been helping grow the division and for us to be a part of a legacy. I also appreciated the inclusivity of multiple perspectives in psychology. Psychology is truly expansive and depending on one’s social positioning and interests, insights will vary which broadens our understanding of psychology.

Member Profile

Stacey L. Williams, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology, East Tennessee State University

What are you most passionate about in your work life right now?  

Recently I discovered that my two decades of work on stigma could apply to understanding PCOS – an understudied health condition among women and gender diverse folks. I have just published a book that encourages psychologists of various subdisciplines to apply their work to PCOS and provides a roadmap for moving forward the field. PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome – an endocrine condition with significant psychosocial impacts. 

What are you passionate about outside of work? 

I live in East Tennessee which is located in South Central Appalachia – at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I feel a connection to the mountains and am passionate about hiking the nearby trails in Tennessee and North Carolina. Walking and hiking allow me to connect with nature, decompress from stress, and gain perspective to plan my research and writing! 

What piece of advice would you give to graduate students and/or early career psychologists? 

It is OK to rest. It is OK to give yourself permission to prioritize your health and personal goals. As a white, cis, lesbian who is now a full professor, I know that I have a lot of privilege in my life to take a step back to rest and ask myself what I want out of life. However, caring for oneself and one another is essential for everyone and a way to resist oppression.  

What drew you to Division 1? 

My desire to bring together subdisciplines of psychology to study PCOS, which impacts all aspects of life. Psychologists with expertise in developmental, social, biological, and clinical areas could contribute to understanding PCOS and ultimately improve the lives of those with the condition. As the division unifies subdisciplines of psychology, I saw membership as an excellent fit for my career. 


Early Career Member Profile

Richard La Fleur, PhD

Early Career Representative, Division 1

What are you most passionate about in your work life right now?

I am most passionate about teaching and research. For me, teaching has become an interesting collaboration between knowledge, rigor and performance. Understanding the way knowledge is shared with my students, is an important part of their learning process and finding interesting yet communicative ways to engage my students, is important to me. Additionally, my research is continuing to grow and take on new meaning. Moral Injury and Therapeutic Enactment has been at the forefront of my research, working with Veterans and other marginalized populations, helping them find ways to reset their moral compass.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Outside of work, I am passionate about health, fitness and nature! I enjoy running, biking and walking to enjoy the outdoors. I recently started building raised flower beds and planting different flowers, taking in their beauty, color and presence. While I seem to work constantly, finding time to self-care and enjoy nature is a much better for my health.

What piece of advice would you give to graduate students?

One of the things I find most graduate students struggling with, is taking time to care for self. Grad school is very rigorous and requires time and energy to be successful. It is a major decision to participate in a grad program and everyone wants to be successful. I support hard work, but making time for self-care is an important part of one’s success.

What drew you to Division 1?

Division 1 has been accepting and open to new and innovative ideas, research and a wonderful community. Being a part of Division 1 has been extremely rewarding for me and I look forward to its growth, voice and continued presence in the APA.