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Blacks in I/O Psychology

Spotlight Member Series

The “Spotlight” feature was created to foster a culture that recognizes outstanding work, encourages peer support and promotes Black excellence. Each month we will highlight a Black I/O professional or student on our social media platforms. During the month, current and future members will have the opportunity to engage with Spotlight Members about IO experiences and what they are currently doing.

Submit a Nomination or Self-Nominate


Dr. Melonie Boone is an author, business psychologist, and global executive leader boasting a rich tapestry of over 25 years of experience. Her unparalleled blend of expertise in international business management, strategy, human resources, and organizational development has consistently yielded exceptional results, driving high-impact growth across diverse industries. Known for her people-centric approach, Dr. Boone has garnered acclaim for her value-added leadership, spanning startups to large global enterprises. Her influence extends across a spectrum of sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and non-profit, where she has spearheaded transformative initiatives in culture transformation, change management, and mergers and acquisitions.

As a Partner at RHR International, Dr. Boone brings her wealth of knowledge to the forefront, offering strategic guidance to top-tier leadership within multinational organizations. Her dynamic career trajectory and impressive academic background underscores her dedication to advancing leadership excellence. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a Master of Jurisprudence in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Loyola University Law School, an MBA from Florida Metropolitan University, and a BBA in HR Management from Loyola University of Chicago School of Business. With her recently published book, "HEROic Leadership: The Secret to Developing Stronger High-Performing Teams Using Psychological Capital," Dr. Boone continues to drive impact and inspire change in the global business landscape.

Dr. Stephanie Murphy is an experienced people analytics leader with 15 years in internal and external organizational consulting. She has been internationally recognized for her work in employee listening, research, assessments, and analytics, and she has been featured in several publications, podcasts, and conferences. Her experience expands the public and private sector, working with organizations such as UnitedHealth Group, University of Texas at Austin, Dell Technologies, and the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Stephanie has experience teaching MBA courses such as people analytics and diversity and inclusion, and also serves on several professional boards and committees. She holds her B.S. in psychology from the University of New Orleans and her Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from Louisiana Tech University.

MJ (Maleeka Jihad) is the Founder and CEO of Emic Cultural Consultants Collective (EC3). EC3 is an agency composed of professional experts that specialize in human-centered (anti-racism) leadership building and coaching—providing support, empowerment, and prioritizing the healing of self and organizations through education, mentorship, and training in a culturally respectful way. As part of a community of diverse professional experts that practice in law, education, psychology, mental health, wellness, and conscience community building.

EC3 concentrates on evolving and cultivating a positive nurturing space to increase awareness of issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, equality, and identity.

Completing her PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership with a focus on therapeutic modalities to treat racial trauma for Black Americans, MJ specializes in providing education and support for those invested in healing from external and internal racism.

Veronica-Carol Brailsford is an experienced strategic management consultant with expertise in Human Capital Management and Workforce Development. Her experience spans several industries, including Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, tech start-ups, and the public sector. Veronica-Carol excels in advising organizational leaders in efforts to implement people and culture strategies that drive inclusion, engagement, retention, and high performance through the intentional design of meaningful connections and emphasis on creating a human-centered experience.

In her current role at Evans Consulting, Veronica-Carol leads end-to-end talent development programs for Federal clients. She supports large-scale change efforts to help organizations achieve increased employee engagement and performance through sustainable talent solutions. Her unique style of client partnership allows her to design program strategies and develop learning content that ensures DEIA practices are embedded in the agency’s leadership practices, talent management programs, and organizational culture.

Veronica-Carol attended Morgan State University and Liberty University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Communications and History. She earned a Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Adler University and holds various Human Resources Management and Talent Development certifications.

Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, Jaylynn is a trailblazer with a diverse background in industrial and organizational psychology, research methodologies, and human resources management. With a Master of Professional Studies in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Old Dominion University, Jaylynn brings a strong academic foundation to her professional endeavors. She currently serves as a Human Resource professional at ncgCARE, one of the largest behavioral health agencies on the East Coast, supporting over 1000 employees and serving over 13,000 individuals with care.

Throughout her career, she has been committed to leveraging her expertise in research, statistical analysis, and policy to drive impactful change within organizations. Some of Jaylynn’s graduate research analyzed the effects of diversity climate and DEI initiatives among minority employees’ job satisfaction and work stress. In addition, she conducted a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students’ perceptions of threat and harm to their academic success. The research further examined how students’ employment status during enrollment mediated these perceptions, aiming to inform university policies and procedures.

Dedicated to improving workplace dynamics, Jaylynn plans to pursue her Juris Doctor to focus on advocacy and policy work within organizations and government agencies. Through her legal education, Jaylynn aims to become a catalyst for positive change, leveraging her expertise to address complex legal issues and drive meaningful reforms.

Anita has over 10 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, HR, and leadership development, and is currently the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA); a national trade association that supports nearly 25,000 independent agencies located nationwide.

She obtained her B.S. in Psychology from Upper Iowa University and an MBA from Colorado Technical University, specializing in HR Management. Anita is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Psychology with a focus on Consulting at The Chicago School.

Anita’s mission is to make an impact by helping people and organizations meet their potential and achieve their goals by leading the development and implementation of strategies and programs that promote a culture of belonging, respect, and equity. Her passion for creating positive and inclusive environments has allowed those around her to thrive!

Janiece, a Miami native deeply rooted in faith and community, embarked on a transformative journey in 2009. Embracing the powerful message of being the answer in every room, she founded The Answer Group Consulting, LLC (TAG Consulting), setting the stage for her impactful career as an Industrial-Organizational Psychology Practitioner.

Currently serving as the Board Chair of New Canon Chamber Collective, Board Secretary of Blacks in I/O Psychology (BIOP), and HR Consultant to AIRIE, Janiece exemplifies her commitment to community engagement and positive change. In her capacity as HR Program Manager at Jazwares, LLC, she plays a crucial role in crafting impactful programs that address opportunities for improvement

Beyond her corporate endeavors, Janiece is an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University (FIU) teaching "Women & Leadership" and "Intro to I/O Psych" in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education Psychology Department. She uses this opportunity to give back the lessons learned and impart wisdom to the next generation of leaders.


Eliza Gueye! Raised in Cleveland Ohio and now based in the DMV, Eliza is a seasoned human resource professional with over eight years of experience in full-cycle recruitment, business development, and talent strategy domestically and in emerging and developing economies. Over the years, she has gained experience in talent acquisition, succession planning, talent management, training, sourcing, compliance, reporting, gender equity and social inclusion (GESI), and diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies for corporate offices and global programs funded by the USAID, Department of State and Department of Defense.

Dr. LaTasha Irelanda retired decorated military veteran with 20 years of distinguished service, is dedicated to creating JIFEs (Joint Integrated Fulfillment Environments) through her unique approach to helping others transform struggles into strategies. Originating from Fort Worth, TX, she has transitioned from her military career to a provisional licensed psychologist specializing in Human Performance and Systems.

Educational and Professional Journey:
Dr. Ireland's academic credentials are diverse. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, specializing in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Additionally, she has a Master of Arts in Political Science (Public Policy), which complements her psychological expertise by providing a broader understanding of public policy and its intersection with human behavior and organizational dynamics.
Philosophy and Approach:
Dr. Ireland approaches psychology systemically, viewing human performance through systemic interactions. She emphasizes the importance of change management and evidence-based research, transforming challenges into strategic opportunities for growth.
Specializations and Services:
A true polymath, Dr. Ireland offers diverse services, including personal and professional development, transition coaching, consulting, philanthropy, group workshops, corporate training, speaking engagements, and research collaborations. Her work is characterized by a deep understanding of human interactions and the systems we operate within.
Community Involvement:
Dr. Ireland's commitment extends beyond her professional endeavors. She is actively involved in various organizations such as J.B Dondolo, Research to Policy Collaboration, Southside Hornets Athletic Association, United Nations Association-United States, and American Association University of Women. This involvement underscores her dedication to empowering individuals, families, and communities.
Intersection of Psychology and Technology:
Dr. Ireland is at the forefront of integrating psychology with technology to pioneer innovative mental health initiatives. Her work focuses on harnessing technological advancements to enhance psychological practices, particularly in preventive coaching and human performance. By leveraging digital tools and data analytics, she seeks to develop more accessible, efficient, and personalized mental health solutions. This intersection is crucial in today's digital age, where technology shapes mental health strategies and interventions.
Mission and Impact:
Her mission is to harness and amplify the innate potential in individuals, aiding them in navigating significant life changes for growth and fulfillment.
“The Most Teachable Moments Occur After Overcoming Struggles” – Dr. LaTasha Ireland

Dr. Marcus Bolton, Ph.D. has nearly two decades of success designing, deploying, and supporting employee research initiatives for small and medium-sized enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, locally and abroad. His background includes a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Minor: Research Methodology and Statistics), complemented by proven success in consulting, employee assessment, and leadership development. A natural scientist-practitioner, he is particularly strong in research (Voice of Employee), analysis, and leveraging insights to inform organizational strategy. Marcus is also the Principal of Ambivista, a Black-owned survey and assessment technology organization that offers tailored research technology solutions for consultants and coaches. In his free time, you can find Marcus working out, reading, or exploring more of his current city of São Paulo, Brazil.

Hi. I'm La Toya Glenn. I serve current roles as an Industrial Organizational Psychology Doctoral Candidate and Educational Consultant. I have extensive work experience in post-secondary and secondary education, public health, private practices, and corporate settings.  

Regarding educational endeavors, I've completed a Master of Science degree in Assistive Technology and Human Services at California State University. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services degree from Clayton State University and an Associate of Science degree from Georgia State University.

Currently, I'm in the last stages of my dissertation study in a PhD program at Walden University. My dissertation is titled “Experience of Well-Being in Educators Who Transitioned from In-person to Online Teaching.” It’s a qualitative study geared towards understanding well-being and social support initiatives. Recently, I received the Don Ackerman’s Grant to further my research initiatives. The research constructs that interest me are well-being, workplace transitions, and employee burnout. I have plans to conduct research and work with a variety of organizations before fulfilling the tenure faculty goal.  

During my free time, I spend as much time as possible with my fiance’ and three kids. I love to travel and explore different beaches with a good book. 

A Maryland native, Shelby Davis M.S., has a profound commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across various domains. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in IO Psychology at Colorado State University (CSU) with a focus on occupational health psychology, delving into the impacts of psychologically unsafe environments for marginalized groups under the mentorship of Dr. Danielle Gardner in the Researching Identity & Stigma in Employment (RISE) Lab.

Her academic journey began at Tennessee State University where she earned a B.S. in Biology and Psychology, and continued at Western Kentucky University (WKU), where she earned her M.S. in Psychology in 2022. At WKU, Shelby worked in the Discrimination and Work-Life (DAWL) Lab under Dr. Katrina Burch and gained experience examining incivility and microaggressions against Black individuals in academia.

Her thesis "An investigation of perceived authenticity of diversity and Black Lives Matter statements and their influence on applicant attractiveness" showcased her dedication to understanding diversity and inclusion and exemplifies her dedication to making meaningful change and afforded her the opportunity to present at the 2023 SIOP conference. Her current research aims to address how Black employees manage their non-Black colleagues' perceptions of them (avoiding stereotypes and stigmas) through racial code-switching.

Her contributions to psychology extend beyond academia. Engaging actively with the community, she enjoys mentoring and educating future researchers through the Blacks and African American Cultural Center at CSU and as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Shelby’s profound dedication to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and her exceptional academic achievements undoubtedly are preparing her to be a leader in the field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She looks forward to connecting with and learning from all of you!”

A California native, Danielle R. Baines, M.S. is an Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach with over 12 years in training and organizational development. She is a trusted
consultant known for her leadership in organizational design, strategy, and effective training implementation in diverse work environments. Most recently, she was appointed to the Advisory Board for the Customer Experience Program at the University of California Santa Barbara and, in the past, served as the Director of Chapter Meetings and Board Member of the Association for Talent Development- Los Angeles (ATD-LA). ATD-LA is where she earned the President’s Award during her tenure. She was inducted into the National Society of Leadership & Success Honor Society for her hard work, dedication to leadership, and exemplary status as a doctoral student in the Industrial/ Organizational Psychology field.

Danielle is passionate about helping people gain insight into personal leadership styles and approaches. She thrives in environments where she can develop leadership skills that translate organizational strategies to business results. What excites Danielle the most is developing emotionally intelligent leaders to manage the human aspects of change. She encourages leaders to step outside their comfort zone by challenging the status quo. Her career goals are to continue to motivate people in their leadership journey, explore their authenticity and assist organizations in maintaining a competitive advantage through the development of their people through her company DB2 Consulting, LLC. Danielle holds three degrees in Merchandise Marketing (’04), Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing (’09), and Leadership in Management with an emphasis on Organizational Development (’15). She is a doctoral student at National University, studying toward a DBA in Industrial Organizational Psychology (’24). Danielle also holds Change Management and Project Management certifications for Learning Professionals from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and E-
Learning Design and Development from San Francisco State University.

A common theme throughout Lenz Bayas' career is the desire to help others be the best version of themselves. He has worked in numerous industries, including but not limited to: international development, K-12, and financial crime. As owner and founder of LKB Consulting, LLC, he’s on a mission to transform the way organizations approach people-related performance in the workplace. 

Lenz is passionate about partnering with senior leaders to bring about meaningful business results. He draws from a variety of disciplines and evidence-based approaches when addressing challenges or pursuing opportunities in today’s business environment. He believes that organizations and the people within them can dream, design, and achieve a just, sustainable future together. 

Lenz holds a B.A in psychology and philosophy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a certificate in instructional technology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and an M.S. in Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He is also a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. 

Beyond his professional life, Lenz is a bilingual (Haitian Creole/English) & bicultural citizen of the world who strongly values culture and community. During his free time you’ll most often find him cooking with his wife Rachel, playing piano, playing capoeira, or tapping out traditional Haitian rhythms on his hand drum.

Lawrence Cole, a visionary tech and BizDev General Manager with over 12 years of experience in the dynamic tech industry, is a true force of transformation and innovation. With a remarkable track record of leading global business and organizational changes, Lawrence has consistently demonstrated his ability to drive growth and impact on a massive scale. As a thought leader and entrepreneurial builder, he has excelled in diverse industries such as advertising, ad-tech, retail, logistics, and software, while mastering various functions including sales, operations, marketing, and strategy. Lawrence's passion lies in accelerating and scaling opportunities, fixing and reforming existing systems, and reimagining the future. His strategic approach is underpinned by a keen awareness of the triple bottom line, encompassing people, profits, and society. Lawrence Cole is the catalyst for success and a true pioneer in shaping the future of tech and business.

Courtney Bryant Shelby, Ph.D. is a science practitioner that believes everyone deserves a workplace where they can be themselves. She engages in work as a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professional, organizational consultant, and active researcher. In her current role as a Senior Specialist of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Ford Motor Company, she focuses on creating DEI learning and development strategies for the enterprise to continuously build a diverse and inclusive culture of belonging.

In April 2023 Courtney is launching Simply You Solutions, LLC., a firm that supports organizations to achieve a workplace where “you can simply be you!” She helps companies identify and eliminate barriers to equity and facilitates experiences that build DEI knowledge and skills. Her previous consulting focused on topics such as intersectionality and authenticity in the workplace.

Courtney earned her PhD in Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University in 2021 and is currently working with a team to expand the work in her dissertation, which was awarded the Michigan Psychological Association Foundation Dissertation Award and The Benjamin Schneider Scholarship from SIOP. It focused on the relationship between code switching, well-being and burnout for Black employees. Her work has been published in both peer-reviewed academic journals and practice focused publications such as the Harvard Business Review Online. 

Courtney is the 2022-2024 Chair for the SIOP Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) and is always interested in supporting racial and ethnic minorities. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® where she serves the community as the Chair of the HBCU Committee. As a newlywed of 7 months, Courtney likes to binge watch tv with her husband and French bulldog puppy. She also loves to discover new places both in her metro area and with travel. 

Marla J. Albertie has lived on board a United States carrier therefore, she feels she is unstoppable. As a native of Jacksonville, Florida she loves to read, travel, and shop. Many of her travels have been on cruises as she has taken 16 thus far. Marla believes life is a journey and we all can create the life we want so why not; you only live this life once. She has a passion to see growth in people’s lives and wants others to pay it forward. 

As an energetic visionary, she is the owner and founder of the TruthSpeaksGroup LLC , a multimedia company that creates strategies and solutions for work-life integration/harmony (WLI/H). She is also the founder of I/O for Teens Inc., (a skill, confidence, and career building organization teaching teens how to achieve their dreams based on the science of human behavior.)MJA Notary Services LLC., MJA Publishing LLC., and JEMA Holdings LLC. 

Marla doesn’t believe in work-life balance as she believes all areas of our lives can be integrated and we can create harmony in our lives by means of I/O Psychology and Positive Psychology methodologies. 

Marla’s mantra is to #TeachTrainEducate working women who desire to understand their truth and live a life of success defined on their own terms. 

Marla is a certified professional career, executive, and life coach, trainer APTD (Associate Professional in Training and Development), Certified Chief Happiness Officer, Certified Positive Psychology Practitioner, Director of HR, Instructor, of Psychology, Amazon Best Selling author, and has over 25 years of business, coaching, and training experience. Marla holds a Master of Education in Adult Education, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, and an Associate of Science in Financial Services. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Ms. Zainab A. Aderinwale is an impact-driven, goal-oriented, visionary & and innovative young leader with great enthusiasm. She also believes in helping other young leaders thrive. The world needs young people who see themselves not as a victim of a failed nation but as a solution to the problems they face; I am one of them. She's a Nigerian who is currently an international student in the USA. She had her bachelor's degree in Psychology and she's an aspirant in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology field with a research interest in Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership Development, Organizational Culture, Recruitment and Selection Processes, and Gender Equality in the workplace. She's one of the world's leading champions of personal development. She published an inspirational book titled "BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE." The book is full of uplifting and inspirational messages intended to assist youth in rising to their full potential. It can be found on Amazon. ( She is a founder of Eartco Counseling and Consulting Limited (Eartco) a Nigeria-based company that focuses on the process of connecting with, assessing, and selecting a diversity of individuals when hiring for companies. The company aimed to build exclusivity and diversity in companies through recruitment and selection.

She will be submitting a proposal to present at the next SIOP Conference 2024 on Gender equality in terms of equal pay and looking forward to an I/O psychology graduate student who may be interested in the research. She looks forward to connecting and discussing the proposal at the SIOP conference in 2023 in Boston.

Nchopia Nwokoma is an I-O Psychology practitioner who uses assessments to help individuals and organizations understand who they currently are, clarify who they’d like to be in the future to achieve business goals/fulfill purpose, and what they’ll need to do to get there. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work, a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in I-O Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is currently a Principal Assessment & Succession Consultant at Korn Ferry.

Having a broad curiosity, Nchopia enjoys a breadth of I-O related experience. Prior to joining Korn Ferry, Nchopia worked for boutique consulting firms focused on talent development and assessment while also serving as an adjunct psychology instructor at Salt Lake Community College. She facilitated leadership development programs, managed hi-potential programs, partnered with C-Suite leaders on annual strategic planning initiatives and goal cascade, defined leadership competencies, designed performance and recognition programs, designed and debriefed 360 assessments, designed and debriefed employee surveys, coached leaders on engaging employees, and helped students define career paths. 

Her research interests include exploring the intersection of personality and race on workplace authenticity, engagement, and performance. She co-authored “Investigating the Implications of Code-Switching and Assimilating at Work for African-American Professionals” published in the Journal of Business Diversity.

Today, Nchopia’s work is focused on assessing and developing executive leaders in the oil & gas, financial services, tech, and luxury goods space. She plays an active role in Korn Ferry leadership, serving as co-chair of the firm’s D.C Office Steering Committee. She is also chair of the Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology Early Career Practitioner Forum.


Vanessa Blake has focused much of her career in consulting and coaching roles as an internal and external consultant. Vanessa sees herself as a part of the dream team for individuals, teams, and organizations to help identify success and help them achieve it. She ultimately views the work she does as one of the ways she derives a sense of purpose and fulfillment in her life.

As an IO practitioner, Vanessa has a positive psychology approach to business, human resources, change management, organizational development, leadership development, executive coaching, people analytics, and talent management in government, private sector, and nonprofits. She is also a certified personal stylist and ICF coach who helps individuals work on their work style, brand, image, and reputation. In her spare time, she supports research by directly engaging in efforts to replicate psychological studies in top journals.

Previously, Vanessa served as a military All-Source Intelligence Analyst for nearly five years in the United States Army.


 She holds an MS in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Walden University, an MBA from Nova Southeastern University, a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University, a Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a BA from Georgia Southern University. Her certifications include, being a certified ICF executive coach, Prosci Certified Change Practitioner, and Hogan Personality Assessments.

Brittney Brinkley is an I-O Psychology practitioner with a focus on promoting DEI in the workplace. Brittney received her Master of Science degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from St. Mary’s University and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

Brittney has worked in several industries including government, education, tech, and professional services. She has a wide range of experience completing projects in the areas of organizational development, assessment and selection, strategic/educational planning, employee relations, and D&I. Given we spend a third of our lives at work, feeling productive, valued, respected, and welcome at work is crucial, especially for people of color (POC) who experience less in their day-to-day lives. Given this fact, Brittney has investigated how various workplace attributes (e.g., supervisor-subordinate similarity, organizational diversity climate, perceptions of supervisor support) effect employee job satisfaction and worker outcomes (e.g., turnover intentions, absenteeism, organizational commitment). She believes this work will not only enhance the quality of life for POC in the workforce but also optimize organizations’ return on investment. Brittney is also interested in the unique experiences of employees with concealable stigmatized identities. 

Brittney spent her early career assessing the fairness and validity of gamified assessments and advising on the potential legal risks and overall fairness of new products and machine learning instruments. Her current work has a more regulatory focus as she aids clients in their EEO compliance through federal reporting, AAP development, and strategic consulting. Brittney is experienced in conducting adverse impact studies, predictive validity studies, job analyses, return on investment analysis (e.g., recruiting dollars saved, diversity gains), and providing compliance guidance. She has also worked as an internal consultant, assisting with employee engagement surveys, setting D&I goals and policies, setting up ERGs, and leading the internal cultural committee as president.

Kayla describes her journey to people operations and I/O psychology as a long winding road. At a crossroads in college, she was feeling conflicted about her major and a mentor of hers helped her realize she had a passion for psychology. Once she got into her major classes and started exploring the science it all clicked. She realized her mentor was right! As a chronically ill child, she made it her mission to help others like her get through this very rough journey that is living with diabetes. This experience led her down a path of clinical psychology. She was enamored with the thought of walking people through their health journey and being the resource that she needed in her youth for others. Her experience after college, like most other Psychology majors, was a mixed bag as working as a mental health worker, a case manager, behavior therapist, special education teacher for a mental health system, you name it , she has probably worked the mental health related job. As a teacher during the pandemic, Kayla started to feel burnt out and questioned if she still wanted to take the clinical path. Her heart and mind were not aligned in that direction anymore. Although she has a love for psychology and processing the human mind, she no longer wanted to follow the career path in a clinical capacity. Kayla started to explore other subject areas in psychology and found Industrial/ Organizational psychology and it was love at first read. The more she dug into the specialty, the more useful and important she found it, especially in her experience as an educator and how that experience related to organizational culture. During the pandemic, Kayla had the opportunity to work in a human resources position and recognized the relevance of change management and its correlation to employee retention, specifically educators. She is an extrovert who loves nothing more than connecting with people, helping where and if she can, a stimulating conversation, a good book, a concert, a new eatery in town, or just simply being surrounded by laughter and good people.  Kayla has been able to tie her job experiences and her passions together and make it all make sense, and she is excited to continue to explore the world of I/O psychology! 

Dawn Gates is a 2nd-year student in an I-O Psychology master’s program with a focus on and devotion to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) issues. She hopes to use her I-O education to help shape and lead organizations that want to honor the needs of its most vital asset, their employees. She is a retired veteran of the Virginia Army National Guard where she served as the senior diversity leader for her unit and has trained and led military personnel through 3 overseas deployments. She also has a background in communications and recently began her coaching business focusing on transformational leadership. 

Dawn is the chair for BIOP’s DEI Task Force and a member of SIOP’s External Relations committee. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and watching the world through her tiny giant son’s eyes. She hails from Fort Knox, KY, but presently resides in Maryland with her husband and son.

Kenyatta is extremely motivated and organized with first-hand experience in training and development. She is a passionate team player and loves to meet new people. She's creative and takes great pride in her work and prides herself in taking a vision and making it a reality through sound strategy development. Kenyatta intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, brings them together into a coherent whole, helps others extend their thinking, and drives material business advantage. Her truest aspiration is to become an inspirational leader and IO professional. Respected as a credible voice in decision-making, Kenyatta tends to earn a seat at the table wherever she serves.

Dr. NaTasha Jordan, or Dr. J for short,  is an IO Psychologist who stands at the center of Marketing, Psychology, and Org Design.As an IO Psychologist, she is a budding expert on how organizations can grow during uncertain times through building the right team, providing the right direction, and embodying shared and lived values. She has been recognized as the first black woman to be awarded the Consulting Psychology Presidential Citation. Chosen by James Orsini, President of The Sasha Group to work alongside Gary Vaynerchuk's handpicked leaders, Dr. J advises SMB leaders on designing their organization for the now helping her clients operationalize their strategies and turning their visions into reality through strategic organizational transformation.

Alicia Kumar is currently a 2nd-year student in the I-O Psychology M.S program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Her background in healthcare and I-O psychology helped shape her initial interest in the field of I-O. During her time at UTC, she has worked on projects that include organizing a food pantry for students and mentoring minority students as they prepared for higher education. Alicia also assisted with the development of inclusive teaching practices and facilitated discussions on student diversity within her department. She is currently working as a Manpower and Events intern for a manufacturing organization in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In her role, Alicia works on both the recruitment and DEI side to attract a diverse pool of talent and support employees during their time at the manufacturing organization. She is also a member of the PRIDE Employee Resource Group and the African-Americans Building Leadership Excellence (ABLE) Employee Resource Group, where she works to foster an inclusive work environment for employees from different backgrounds.

Her work and research interests include racial and gender equity initiatives, occupational health and safety, and mitigating organizational burnout.

Post-graduation, Alicia aims to work in the consulting field and guide various organizations in their efforts to implement DEI initiatives.

In her free time, Alicia likes to read, hike with friends, travel internationally, and spend time with her family.

Alexis Graham is an HR & Talent Operations manager for an Education Technology company. She is from the DMV area and has resided locally for all her life. She has a master’s degree in Psychology and is currently an I/O Psychology Ph.D. student with a concentration in Coaching. Working with corporations to assist in mitigating burnout and hiring biases is Alexis’ passion. Not only is she focusing her research on these topics, but she puts them in practice daily, volunteering for a Diversity Inclusion steering committee to ensure that interdepartmental policies remain equitable and fair for all. As a certified coach, Alexis recently started a growth coaching business and enjoys continuing to move the needle in the IO Psych space forward by helping clients see their full potential in the workspace.

In her free time, Alexis enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants. Whether throwing the ball with her pup Marley or enjoying an espresso martini on an international beach, Alexis truly takes pride in embodying work/life balance in everything she does.

Teresa "Terri" White is a lifelong resident of Central California with a small stint of time spent in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana. She is a mother of three awesome children Isaiah, Ambiance, and Daniel. Teresa started her journey into I/O Psychology in my Master's program where she learned that psychology could do more than help better understand the mind but also help relationships in our everyday lives. She is passionate about helping professionals from all walks of life find and thrive in their God-given gifts and talents. Currently, Teresa is pursuing a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from Northcentral University. Her goal is to offer I/O services to organizations such as non-profits and faith-based organizations and congregations that would not normally have access to these services.

Shaneeta Dickens  began her career in the Public Health field working as a Nutritionist for the state of Georgia and evolving into a Private Practitioner offering Wellness Coaching for individuals striving for an improved quality of life. She has worked in private mental health settings, community health, hospitals and corporate organizations as a hands-on facilitator, public speaker and business development consultant. She works with adolescent and adult clients focusing on stress management, wellness recovery plans, work-life balance and executive functioning.

She understands how important it is to identify all aspects of an individual’s life that impact their well-being including support systems, work/school environment, spirituality and life purpose. Under her consulting firm “Black Magenta Consulting” Shaneeta compassionately works with each of her clients by meeting them where they are and empowering them with new life skills during their journey.

Shaneeta enjoys gardening, traveling, music, and poetry. She loves meeting new people and spending quality time with her family and friends. She is also a dedicated breeder of English and French Bulldogs.

Shaneeta Dickens  began her career in the Public Health field working as a Nutritionist for the state of Georgia and evolving into a Private Practitioner offering Wellness Coaching for individuals striving for an improved quality of life. She has worked in private mental health settings, community health, hospitals and corporate organizations as a hands-on facilitator, public speaker and business development consultant. She works with adolescent and adult clients focusing on stress management, wellness recovery plans, work-life balance and executive functioning.

She understands how important it is to identify all aspects of an individual’s life that impact their well-being including support systems, work/school environment, spirituality and life purpose. Under her consulting firm “Black Magenta Consulting” Shaneeta compassionately works with each of her clients by meeting them where they are and empowering them with new life skills during their journey.

Shaneeta enjoys gardening, traveling, music, and poetry. She loves meeting new people and spending quality time with her family and friends. She is also a dedicated breeder of English and French Bulldogs.