Brianna Downey is a second-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University. She is the Vice President and Secretary for the Black Student Association (BSA). Brianna graduated from North Carolina Central University, earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology. During her graduate tenure, Brianna’s research interests included contextual factors and learning for African American students and the psychosocial impact of pain in adults living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). She has used these interests and others to gain vast research experience by presenting at psychological and educational conferences across the country, writing and editing manuscripts for publication, and publishing Chapter 24 on African American Health in the Handbook of Health Psychology. Brianna has spoken on many student panels on topics including graduate school readiness and the importance of scientific research. Brianna also had the pleasure of serving as a distinguished panelist on the student research panel for the 2019 Global Health Disparities Symposium at NCCU in which she discussed SCD from the global health perspective and the importance of integrated care models. Most recently, Brianna plans to continue her research efforts by investigating the intersection of psychology, health and learning by examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of learning and motivation in students who attend institutions of higher learning.
In over six years of experience, Brianna has provided one-to-one developmental services to children and adolescents with developmental and behavioral barriers, such as Autism, Conduct Disorder, and ADHD/ADD. In addition, she has provided supplemental instruction as well as social and academic support to students across elementary, secondary, and collegiate age groups. Upon the completion of her doctoral degree, Brianna’s immediate career goals include administering cognitive and behavioral assessments and implementing therapeutic interventions for school-aged children as a clinical psychologist. Long term, her hopes are to charter her school for children, as well as homeschooling and educational consulting based on the micro-communal model found from her master’s thesis: Social State Congruence and its Differential Effects on Learning in African American Students. Additionally, Brianna wishes to create and implement individualized learning plans for students, especially African American students who often have limited resources in their schools and communities.
Currently, Brianna is a full time student as well as stay at home wife and mother. She also work part-time facilitating online seminars for an agencies in North Carolina that provide training and workplace solutions for mental health professionals in the Research Triangle Park area. Her most recent seminars topics were how to avoid personal biases in clinical practice, coping with change, and creating strategies for career progression. Lastly, Brianna’s hobbies include strength training, thrifting, and cooking for family.