Department of Psychology

Brian Carey Sims, Ph.D., Department Chair

RANK:      Associate Professor

AREAS:    Afrikan Media Psychology, Educational Psychology

Dr. Sims received his psychology from Florida A&M University in 2001. In 2003, Dr. Sims earned a master’s degree in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology, from the University of Michigan (2006).

Brian Carey Sims has almost 15 years of faculty and administrative experience in university teaching and learning, faculty governance, research ethics, and social and instructional media. He has served as North Carolina A&T State University’s Faculty Senate President, and as a member of the North Carolina Faculty Assembly. In 2010, Dr. Sims founded the Dialogue on Progressive Enlightenment (DOPE) Conference, an interdisciplinary undergraduate research conference designed to connect faculty and students with local community stakeholders. Since then, his Structured Dialogue Method (SDM) model has informed both pedagogy and college student development on several college campuses and has been implemented by multiple community organizations and foundations.
Dr. Sims is founder and executive director at Jomoworks, an education management consulting firm specializing in University / K-12 partnership development. Jomoworks’ portfolio includes evidence-based programs from coast-to-coast, funded research and evaluation projects from public and private-sector institutions, strategic partnerships in community violence prevention and engagement and
research dissemination science. His research focuses on the psychological implications of media for individuals, families, and communities of African descent. He has published and presented his work around the world, and has authored several articles, edited book chapters, seminars and interactive workshops.
Dr. Sims is a strong advocate for international education and has led study abroad programs for undergraduates to West Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Haiti. His forthcoming book, College Thug Syndrome, offers an explosive African-centered cultural analysis of higher education in the United States. Dr. Sims is an Interdisciplinary Research Leaders fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Sims serves as our Department Chair, in addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Sims actively engages with our students in structured dialogue “FIGHT CLUB” seminars through the academic year.

Afrikan Media Psychology
Dr. Sims is not taking on thesis students for the upcoming year; however, he is willing to serve as a thesis committee member.

  • Henderson, D.X., Shepard, C. and Sims, B.C. (2019).  Modeling How the Structured Dialogue Method (SDM) Promotes Community-University Collaboration.  Paper presented at the 17th Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research in Action, Chicago, IL.
  • Sims, B.C. (2017). Decolonizing Comedy: African Media Psychology in Action. Paper accepted at the 1st Pan-African Psychology Congress, Durban, South Africa.
  • Sims, B.C. (2016). Psychological and Ethical Factors in African American Custody Litigation. Paper presented at the International Conference on Legal Psychology and Ethics, London, England.
  • Sims, B.C. (2013). Non-Traditional Addictions: Technology & Media. In S.L. Lusk (Ed.) Counseling the Addicted Family: Implications for Practitioners. Aspen. ISBN: 978-0-9721642-9-0
  • Sims, B.C., Toms, Z., Cannady, J. & Shumpert, J. (2010). Coding Cosby: Racial identity themes on television. American Journal of Media Psychology, 3, 141-155.
I’m great at Spades and parallel parking.

Curriculum Vitae

Yolanda K.H. Bogan, Ph.D.,
Associate Dean for the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

RANK:            Professor since 2013

AREA:            Clinical Psychology

Dr. Bogan received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University. She holds both a master’s and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia. Dr. Bogan completed her internship at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Yolanda K.H. Bogan is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor Supervisor in the State of Florida. She has over twenty-five years of experience working in outpatient, inpatient, faith-based, and higher education counseling settings. She is Director Emeritus of the FAMU Office of Counseling Services.

For thirty years, she has studied and provided therapy services related to women’s issues including depression, sexual assault, substance abuse and women’s health.  She has extensive training in substance abuse treatment and has written on sexual assault and parenting concerns. In Fall, 2019 she will be on sabbatical writing manuscripts on sexual abuse and parenting African-American sons.
Dr. Bogan has been the PI or Co-PI for over $5,000,000 in external funds for Florida A&M University. She currently has two National Science Foundation proposals under review and is one of the co-investigators of the NSF FAMU ADVANCE grant that addresses gender equity in tenure and promotion of women faculty from a cultural humility framework. She received Certification in Mixed Methods Research from the University of Michigan.
She is a member of the Association of Black Psychologists, the American Psychological Association (Divisions 5 and 45) and a member of the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors.
Dr. Bogan is willing to advise one thesis student that strives to conduct research in the area of sexual assault.

  • Bogan, Y.K.H. (2019). Culturally-sensitive Programming Strategies to Promote for Behavioral Health. Southern Conference on African-American Studies, Inc.
  • Bogan, Y. K.H., Jackson, A & Gavin, C. (2017). Healthy Relationships. In L. Brown (Ed.), Thriving on the Hill. Bedford/St. Martin’s: Hayden-McNeil Publishing: Macmillan Learning.
  • Bogan, Y., Hinton, T., Li, H. (August, 2017). Using mindfulness exercises to reduce anxiety among Black college students. Poster presentation at 125th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
  • Hinton, T., Onwukwe, O., Li, H. & Bogan, Y. (2017). Examining the relationship between carefulness in spending and mindfulness and anxiety and stress among African American college students.  National Association of African-American and African Studies. Dallas, TX.
  • Golden, A., Bogan, Y.K.H., Brown, L., Onwukwe, O.W.H. & Stewart, S. (2017). Faculty Mentoring: Applying Social Work/Ecological Theory to Practice.
Dr. Bogan is a fifth generation Floridian.  She married her college sweetheart and they have three grown sons, two of whom are Navy officers.  She loves reading, traveling, chocolate, and spending time with her dog, Darcie. 

Nkechinyelum A. Chioneso, Ph.D.

RANK: Assistant Professor

AREA: Community Psychology

Dr. Chioneso completed her doctoral degree at North Carolina State University, Applied Social and Community Psychology with a minor in Africana Studies. At the University of Windsor in Canada, she completed both her master’s degree, Social Psychology, and bachelor’s degree, Psychology.

In addition to providing leadership in the development and implementation of university-community engagement efforts, she has consulted with community groups and non-profit organizations seeking solutions to better address the social determinants of health.

Fall 2018, Dr. Chioneso joined the Department of Psychology.  She teaches a graduate course, Community Psychology Seminar, and core undergraduate courses: Introduction to Psychology, Human Growth and Development, and Community Psychology. She also serves on departmental and community committees.

Dr. Chioneso seeks to promote healthy individuals within healthy communities by advancing psychological sense of community, sustaining wellness, and building healthy systems. Currently, her research focuses on community healing which includes an exploration of Frantz Fanon’s practice of sociotherapy.

  • Chioneso, N. A., Yusuf, M., & Elmi, S. (Under review).  Mending a Crack in the Sky: An evolving community healing case study among Somali Canadians.
  • Chioneso, N. A., Hunter, C. D., Gobin, R. L., Smith, S., Mendenhall, R., & Neville, H. A.      (Under review).  Community Healing and Resistance Through Storytelling: A framework     to address racial trauma in Africana communities.
  • Stabler, A., Chioneso, N. A., Taffolla, M. (2019, May).  A model for prison-based peer-led trauma informed community learning. 15th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana, IL.
  • Chioneso, N. A. (2018, June). Mending a Crack in the Sky: Community healing implementation challenges among Somali Canadians. 50th Annual Conference of the Association of Black Psychologists, Oakland, CA.

Dr. Chioneso is a certified yoga instructor and she enjoys speculative fiction.

 Huberta Jackson-Lowman, Ph.D.

RANK:          Professor

AREAS:        Clinical Psychology (with Community emphasis)

Dr. Jackson-Lowman received a Master of Arts in Clinical-Experimental Psychology from Wichita State and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. After completing her Ph.D., she was awarded a post-doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.  Her postdoctoral experience with Right Start (now Center for Family Excellence) involved co-directing the implementation of a Rotating Parenting Lab in several Black neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dr. Jackson-Lowman is a past Chair (2005-2011) of the Department of Psychology. A Fulbright-Hays Scholar and editor of the anthology Afrikan American Women: Living at the Crossroads of Race, Gender, Class and Culture (2014), her post-doctoral career has consisted of roles in both the private and public sectors including serving as Director of the Mayor’s Commission on Families, an initiative focused on reducing the high Black infant mortality rate in Pittsburgh, PA; and serving as Co-Director of the Institute of the Black Family. Currently, she serves as the President of the National Association of Black Psychologists (2017-2019). She is certified through the Association of Black Psychologists as a diplomate and fellow in Afrikan-centered psychology. She has served on a variety of nonprofit Boards including most recently the Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.  For the past eight years she has led the implementation of Community Healing DaysSM in Tallahassee, a national initiative of the Community Healing Network that focuses on defying the lie of black inferiority. She has also been instrumental in the training of trainers for Emotional Emancipation CirclesSM (EECs) in the greater Tallahassee community.   She engages in consulting and training with nonprofits and schools primarily addressing  issues concerning Black women and girls, including the impact of trauma on the lives of Black women and girls; cultural strategies for socializing Black children; and the role of root shock as a trauma that has disrupted the functioning of Black neighborhoods and families.

Dr. Jackson-Lowman is a member of the graduate faculty and also teaches undergraduate courses.  Additionally, she serves on the Community Psychology Committee and other departmental committees as needed; advises students; serves on and chairs thesis committees; and is the Advisor for the Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle.

Dr. Jackson-Lowman’s research examines the effects of the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and culture on the health, mental health, and relationships of women of Afrikan ancestry and explores the use of cultural strategies in the socialization of Black youth.  An emerging area of research focuses on the use of cultural policy to reset standards and norms in troubled Black communities and foster a sense of agency and empowerment.
Dr. Jackson-Lowman is willing to advise one thesis student for the upcoming year; she is willing to serve as a thesis committee member.

  • Jackson-Lowman, H. (2018). Introduction:  Building for Eternity.  Journal of Black Psychology, 44(8), 827-833.
  • Jackson-Lowman, H. & Haile, B. (2016).  A Call for Collective Black Community Commitment to the Socialization of the Black Child.  In Being Black is Not a Risk Factor: Statistics and Strengths-Based Solutions in Florida.  The National Black Child Development Institute, 85-87.
  • Jackson-Lowman, H. (Ed.) (2014). Afrikan American Women:  Living at the Crossroads of Race, Gender, Class, and Culture. San Diego, CA: Cognella Academic Publishing, 433 pages.
  • Jackson-Lowman, H. & Haile, B. (2014).  Cultural policy:  The missing tool in the development of Black community agency & empowerment. Black Child Journal, Winter 2014, 64-75.
Numerologist; dabble in writing poetry; former soloist and dancer with the Pittsburgh Black Theatre Dance Ensemble; initiated priest in the Lukumi/Yoruba spiritual tradition; married with three adult children and five beautiful grandchildren.

Curriculum Vitae

Leona Melissa Johnson, Ph.D.

RANK:             Assistant Professor

AREA:            Educational Psychology (with a sub-specialty in Industrial/Organizational Psychology) 

After completing her undergraduate degree at Jackson State University and MBA from Strayer University, Dr. Johnson earned a Master’s degree and PhD in Educational Psychology from Howard University. Dr. Johnson also completed a dual doctoral internship as a researcher at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Inc., and the Educational Research Service (ERS) where she co-authored  a book on “What We Know About: Culture and Learning”.    

Dr. Johnson has extensive experience working with corporate companies such as IBM, Loral, and Lockheed Marin in various positions including Program Management and Small Business Mentorship. She began her teaching career as an adjunct professor at Howard University. Since then, Dr. Johnson has taught in various higher education settings. She has over 15 years of experience teaching in higher education having worked as a Psychology Professor, Department Chair, Assistant Dean, and Doctoral Dissertation Chair. Dr. Johnson is very passionate about teaching and learning. She is student-centered and genuinely focused on giving back to her students and the community.
Dr. Johnson is seeking serious and highly motivated graduate thesis students and active research assistants.

Dr. Johnson is new to the department of Psychology at FAMU as of Fall 2019. She is excited about working with the students, faculty, community stakeholders and actively serving the Department of Psychology. 

Dr. Johnson’s research interests are synergistic with her teaching pedagogy. She is actively involved in research on classroom dynamics and the classroom learning environment, primarily from the student’s voice. Her research interests include factors which influence the classroom learning environment and classroom dynamics such as:  culture and learning, online and face-to-face learning, sleep deprivation and learning, stress and learning, group dynamics, student learning preferences, innovative teaching strategies, teacher characteristics, and social media and learning.  

  • Johnson, L.M. (2019). Classroom Dynamics: The Classroom as Workplace. Paper presented at the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA.
  • Johnson, L. M. (2018). Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Teachers in Higher 
  • Education: The Students’ Voice. In N. Gallavan and L. Putnam (Eds.), ATE Yearbook XXVI Building upon Inspirations and Aspirations with Hope, Courage, and Strength (pp.7-23). Lanham, MD, Roman & Littlefield Publishers.            
  • Johnson, L. M. (2017) Teaching the Millennial Student. Workshop presented at Hampton University, Hampton University Freshman Studies Program.  
  • Johnson, L. M. (2017). Students’ Perceptions of the Behavioral Characteristics of Teacher Caring. Paper presented at the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference. Orlando, FL.  
Dr. Johnson’s hobbies are reading, shopping, and traveling (especially abroad).  

Curriculum Vitae

Huijun Li, Ph.D.,
Assistant Director of Center for Ethnic Psychological Research and Application

RANK:            Associate Professor

AREA:            School Psychology

Dr. Li received her undergraduate degree in English and graduate degree in Applied Linguistics in China. She got her Ph.D. degree in School Psychology from University of Arizona in 2003.

Dr. Li is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Nationally Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer. She was the Director of Multicultural Research of the Commonwealth Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Li is as a key faculty in the Department, teaching Core undergraduate (Research Design and Methods, Introduction to Psychology) and graduate courses (Psychoeducational Assessment and Individual Personality Assessment), serving as graduate student thesis advisor. She now serves as the Assistant Director of Center for Ethnic Psychological Research and Application to conduct training and service within the Department of Psychology and the local communities. Dr. Li has been an undergraduate and graduate program committee member, working with her valuable colleagues on important issues related to program development. On behalf of the Department of Psychology, she has been a member of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Grievance Committee since 2012, the College Tenure and Promotion Committee member since 2018, and the Florida A&M University Institutional Review Board member since 2016. She will serve as a member of the Faculty Senate for two years from 2019 to 2021.

Dr. Li has received federal and foundation grants to conduct research on psychosocial factors related to mental health, such as culture specific beliefs about causes of mental illness, stigma, and barriers to services, among individuals from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Li has been also receiving federal funding to study risk factors and symptoms of youth at clinical high risk for psychotic disorders. She was on sabbatical at Harvard Medical School Fall 2017, furthering her study and research on the clinical high risk population.  Dr. Li serves on the Editorial Board of Asian Journal of Psychiatry and Editorial Advisory Board of Psychology in the Schools. She has also served as Research Committee Chair of Florida Association of School Psychologists and a program reviewer of National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Li actively conducts psychoeducational trainings on youth mental health in local communities. She served as expert on youth mental health on the local ABC TV news after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting incident. Dr. Li is the author or co- author of peer-reviewed journal articles, book, book chapters, translated books, and conference presentations.
This academic year, Dr. LI is willing to accept one to two thesis students; She is willing to serve on theses committees as a departmental or as an outside member.

  • Li, H., Shapiro, D.I., & Seidman, L.J. (Edited. 2019). Handbook of Attenuated Psychosis Syndromes Across Cultures: International Perspectives on Early Identification and Intervention. Springer Publishing Company.
  • Zhang, T.H., Tang, X.C., Li, H., Woodberry, K., Kline, E…Wang, J. (2019). Clinical subtypes That predict conversion to psychosis: A canonical correlation analysis study from the ShangHai At Risk for Psychosis (SHARP) Program. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.
  • Rowe, M., Robinson, J.C., Singleton, G. L., & Li, H (contact author). (2018).  Risk factors of attenuated psychosis syndrome in African American young adults: Ethnic identity and adverse childhood experiences. International Journal of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, 4:022. DOI: 10.23937/2572-4037.1510022
  • Li, H., Zhang, T.H., Xu, L., Tang, Y., Cui, L., Wei, Y., Woodberry, K…Seidman, L., Wang, J. (2017). Clinical profile and predictors of outcomes in outpatients at clinical high risk for psychosis: An examination of conversion rate change. Schizophrenia Research. pii: S0920-9964(17)30727-2. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.11.029.
  • Li, C., & Li, H. (2017).  Acculturative stress and resilience perceived by Chinese immigrant children and parents: Implication for multicultural consultation.  Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, DOI: 10.1080/10474412.2016.1275648.
Dr. Li loves suspense novels and movies. Table tennis and badminton are her favorite sports.

Curriculum Vitae

 Novell E. Tani, Ph.D.

RANK:          Assistant Professor

AREAS:        Developmental Psychology (with Social/Education emphasis)

Novell Tani received his bachelor’s in psychology from Florida A&M University. Novell also earned a master’s degree in Applied Social Sciences from FAMU (emphasis in History); simultaneously, Novell Tani earned his Master’s Degree in Developmental psychology from Florida State University (FSU). Novell holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from FSU.

Novell has taught in various higher educational settings. As such, he strives to utilize atypical instruction approaches to spark intrinsic learning drives within students. He believes that education is a directed, collaborative, individual, and continual process. Novell emphasizes the importance of lecture preparation via prior reading and comprehension of course related materials, in-depth critical analysis via discussion, cross-disciplinary inquiry and debate of content materials. He also encourages student driven discourse, prompted with apprentice research, student teaching and cooperative analysis of materials related to psychology and minority populations. He has served as a research assistant at the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR), and currently does consulting with educators in primary and tertiary educational institutions.  Novell enjoys aiding the development of undergraduate and graduate students research. He is seeking diligent graduate/thesis students and active research assistants.

Novell serves the department in several capacities; his responsibilities range from teaching, serving on academic committees, advising, chairing master’s theses, conducting research, managing the departmental website, and overseeing the department’s Psychology Club.

A product of a single mother in a low socio-economic household, Novell has dedicated his research efforts to examine how African-American males face adversities from social and cultural influences. His studies examine teachers’ perceptions of students from varying demographic backgrounds and the possible effects of perception on students’ academic development.
Novell Tani is currently accepting thesis students and is willing to serve as a thesis committee member.
Additional research interests include: Self-Efficacy/Self-Motivation and impact on academic achievement, Predictors of Academic Self-Esteem variants, Cultural and experiential components that impact the sexuality development of LGBTQ individuals, & Racial Identity and Conscious, Capital Identity Projection, and Scholastic Identity Development.
This academic year, Dr. Tani is willing to accept one to two thesis students; he is willing to serve on theses committees as a departmental or as an outside member.

  • Davis, C.H., & Tani, N.E., (2019, under review revise and re-submit).  Gains in Black emergent readers’ phonemic awareness, fluency, word recognition and spelling abilities: The implementation of letterbox tutoring and culturally relevant textual interventions. Florida Educational Research Association Journal.
  • Tani, N., & Connor, C.M. (2019, under review). The association of teachers’ perceptions with second graders’ behavior and academic achievement: examining race and gender differences.  Teaching and Teacher Education.
  • Gatlin, B., Hwang, J.K., Powell, K.B., Tani, N.E., Wood, T.S., Yang, D., Zargar, E., Connor, C.M. (2019, under review – revise and re-submit). Using Assessment to Improve the Precision of Teachers’ Perception of Students’ Academic Competence. Educational Researcher. *All authors contributed equally; listing is alphabetical
  • Davis, C.H., Tani, N. E., & Christon, A. (2020). Using a Cross-Disciplinary Teaching Approach to Attenuate the Void: Building Educators and Researchers at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). (Ed.: Brooks, E. & Hilton, A). The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor. Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Tani, N. E. (2020). Still Making It on Broken Promises? Faculty at a historically Black college/university (HBCU) integrating teaching, service, and student development in the scope of Performance-Funding Driven Culture. (Ed.: Brooks, E. & Hilton, A). The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor. Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Tani, N. E., Burrows, D., Ferguson, C., Parrish, R., Reed, A., Brown, H., Theodore, I., & Williams, S.C. II (2020). “I am because we are…” Not just mentoring, but a collaborative approach to faculty and student development. (Ed.: Brooks, E. & Hilton, A). The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor. Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Tani, N. E., & Ray, A. (2018).  An Examination of Academic Self-Esteem in Historically Black College/University (HBCU) Students: Considering Academic Performance and Task Difficulty. Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education, 3, 97-116.
  • Tani, N.E., & Greir, S. (2018). Afrocentric Worldview, Hetero-Normative Ethos and Black LGBTQ Intellectuals Matriculating through Afrocentric-Driven Fields at Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs). (Ed.: Hilton, A, Outten, D., & Davis, C.). Underserved Populations at HBCUs: The Pathway to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Emerald Publishing Limited.
Novell enjoys music, Sci-Fi, jogging, Chinese food, and circular, intellectual conversations surrounding existentialism.

Curriculum Vitae

Mrs. Annette Jackson-Austin
Office Manager


Mrs. Jocelyn Hayden, MSW

Psychology Undergraduate Academic Advisor


Mrs. Hayden has both a Bachelor and Master Degrees in Social Work from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

My life’s purpose is to Love God, Love People, and Love Life; I am a Foodie at Heart.


Office Location: The Dyson Building, Room 124
Office Phone: 850-561-2311

Contact Info

501 Orr Dr.
203 B Gore Education Complex (GEC)
Tallahassee, Forida 32307

P: (850)599-3014/3468
F: (850)412-7667