Principal Investigators

PI: Dr. Kimberley Freeman (Howard University)

Faculty Profile:

Dr. Kimberley Edelin Freeman is Chairperson of the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies and Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at Howard University. Dr. Freeman’s research focuses on the academic motivation and achievement of African American students; the production of African American science and mathematics teachers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and culturally relevant pedagogy.

Dr. Freeman joined the School of Education faculty at Howard University in August 2005, and in 2009 she received the Emerging Scholar Award by the Howard University Faculty Senate. Dr. Freeman has served as Department Chair since 2013. In addition, Dr. Freeman sits on several of Howard University’s policy committees, in addition to her being a highly regarded member of the American Educational Research Association, Spencer Foundation Fellows, and other advisory boards and professional braintrusts. Dr. Freeman is also Principal Investigator on several research and education grants. She has received more than $4.5 million in extramural funding in support of her work, including the National Science Foundation funded HBCU-UP Broadening Participation Research Center for the Development of Identity and Motivation of African American Students in STEM.

Previously, Dr. Freeman served as the second Executive Director of the Frederick Patterson Research Institute of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Visiting Assistant Professor at George Washington University, and an Advanced Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University. Dr. Freeman received her Ph.D. with distinction from the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, her Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Spelman College.

-Kimberley Edelin Freeman, Ph.D.

PI: Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor (Howard University)

Faculty Profile:
Identify and Success Research Lab:

Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor is a widely respected and accomplished narrative personality psychologist.  She is Professor of Psychology and the founding Principal Investigator of the Identity and Success Research Laboratory (ISRL) within the Howard University College of Arts & Sciences.  Dr. Winston-Proctor’s interdisciplinary psychological science draws on multiple disciplines of psychology such as personality, developmental, health, cognitive, educational, cultural, and neuro psychology to explore the role of narrative processing and autobiographical reasoning in the development of narrative identity and the psychology of success across the life course within the culture of racialized societies.   Her narrative personality psychology work includes applications for health & well-being, STEM education of African American students, STEM faculty development, leadership development, authentic culturally responsive talent development of women within organizations, African ancestry tracing, data science, and artificial intelligence (e.g. machine learning, behavioral cybersecurity, computational thinking).  She also has a specialization in the development of innovative quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods of inquiry.  

In her early career, Dr. Winston-Proctor received numerous honors and awards of distinction (a) the National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Award for scientists and engineers; (b) the Howard University Emerging Scholar Award; (c) the Howard University Course Syllabus of the Year Award for her personality psychology writing course.  Dr. Winston-Proctor is committed to the education, training, and personal growth of the next generation of psychologists and research scientists who can solve complex problems throughout the world.   To support her research at Howard University, Dr. Winston-Proctor has been awarded over $15 million dollars of federal and private foundation funding.   Relatedly, across the course of Dr. Winston-Proctor’s academic career her scientific leadership includes serving on the Principal Investigator Team for the Howard University Center of High-Performance Computing, HU ADVANCE-IT, the NSF Center for Broadening Participation Research-D IMASS, and the Narrative Personality Psychology Health Collaborative. 

She has published her research in a variety of academic journals and edited books, as well as within two books on Cyber Security published by Taylor & Francis’ CRC Press.  Her national leadership and professional service are extensive including the following:  President, the Society of STEM Women of Color; Committee Member, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Women of Color in Technology; Director, Board of Directors of the Alfred Harcourt Foundation; Elected Member, the Society of Personology; Editorial Board Member, Qualitative Psychology, APA PSYLEARN; Treasure-Elect of APA’s Division 5, Society of Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (SQIP).   Dr. Winston-Proctor has also held appointments as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Professor at Brown University, Director of Internship and Fellowship Programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Director of the National Science Foundation Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate at Howard University, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, and a Visiting Scholar at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Winston-Proctor earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Howard University, with Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude honors. She also earned her Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. 

Cynthia Winston-Proctor, Ph.D.

PI: Dr. David Wall Rice (Morehouse College)

Faculty Profile:

Identity, Art and Democracy Lab:

David Wall Rice is Professor of Psychology at Morehouse College and Principal Investigator of the Identity, Art and Democracy Lab, a research space that looks at expressions of identity balance through engagement, the exploration of varied contexts and personal narratives. It is a strengths-based lab that works to understand and to elicit behavioral bests.

An extension of this lab work is found in David’s role as one of five Principal Investigators for the National Science Foundation-funded Center for the Development of Identity and Motivation of African American Students in STEM [award # 2010779].

David is the former Danforth Endowed Chair of Psychology at Morehouse College, was founding director of the Institute for Social Justice Inquiry and Praxis and founding Co-Director of the School’s Cinema, Television and Emerging Media Studies (CTEMS) Program.

While an active faculty member within his home discipline, David also serves Morehouse as curator for Crown Forum, a contemporary spin on the College’s weekly Chapel experience; and as coordinator for Justice-Mester, the school’s social impact-based winter term.

David graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and earned a Doctorate in Personality Psychology from Howard University.

With a Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University, David frequently applies his research to cultural criticism. He has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards for both The Journal of Negro Education and The Journal of Popular Culture; he has provided commentary for C-SPAN, NPR, PRI, CBS News, CNN, MSNBC; and his writing and opinion have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Magazine,, Vibe magazine, and The Root among other media outlets. His writing is also represented in the Cornell Hip Hop Collection as part of the Adler Hip Hop Archive.

David’s research in Personality Psychology and theory development is sharply focused on identity and self constructs. This is demonstrated in his book Balance: Advancing identity theory by engaging the Black male adolescent and in the forthcoming text, Back to the Lab: Self-stories, meaning making and the practice of psychological balance.

An emphasis on “the positive” is an approach that informs David’s work in identity development that finds root in youth culture, music culture, media, politics, psychology, education and faith.

David lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, Georgia.

To be involved in this type of freedom work with the Schools and the principlals attached is a gift.  The squad is amazing committed, and to be bound by the science and the responsibility to do good will, no doubt, yield important discovery.

David Wall Rice, Ph.D.

PI: Dr. Rashunda Stitt-Richardson (Winston-Salem State University)

Faculty Profile:
The Lab for Artificial Intelligence and its Applications (LAIA):

Rashunda L. Stitt Richardson is an assistant professor of Psychological Sciences at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) and the Principal Investigator of the Achievement, Identity, Motivation, & Success (A.I.M.S.) research lab. A.I.M.S. was created to train undergraduate psychology majors at WSSU on the psychological research process by focusing exclusively on the achievement, identity, motivation, and success of African American students in educational contexts.  

Primarily, Rashunda is a Black feminist researcher who focuses on the identity development and success of African American women in STEM. Her work has been published in the Journal of Negro Education and she spoke on the importance of identity development for African American women during a roundtable discussion with the New Orleans Saints fall 2020. 

An extension of this lab work is found in Rashunda’s role as one of the five Principal Investigators for the Broadening Participation Research Center for the Development of Identity and Motivation of African American Students in STEM, funded by the National Science Foundation [Award # 2010846]. 

Rashunda earned her PhD in Educational Psychology from The University of Memphis, her Master of Arts in Applied-Experimental Psychology from the University of West Florida, and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Howard University. She also earned the Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research in Education from the University of Memphis. 

Rashunda is an army wife who currently splits her time between North Carolina and Texas. 

QUOTE: It is a privilege to engage in work I am passionate about with this team who has individually informed my scholarship and teaching through their research and praxis. I am forever grateful and appreciative for the opportunity.” –Rashunda Stitt-Richardson, Ph.D.