The CEPRA Team

"Let our collective action tell the story of our Department’s determination and commitment to our students ... and affirm the right of our Department to exist and to develop students to their fullest potential" - (O. Miller, 2010).




  • 1.) Director 
  • 2.) Assistant Director
  • 3.) Community Service Liaison
  • 4.) Student Interns & Scholars
  • 5.) Advisory Board
  • 6.) Faculty Grant Writing Team
  • 7.) Partners 



Dr Gwendolyn Singleton


Gwendolyn Singleton, Ph.D.
Director of Center for Ethnic Psychological Research and Application
(Office Hours)

RANK:      Professor

AREAS:    Neuropsychology

Dr. Singleton received her Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from Howard University. In August 2011, Dr. Singleton was elected as the Chairperson of the Department of Psychology at FAMU, becoming the first FAMU alumnus elected to this position.

At FAMU, Dr. Singleton served as the Chair of the Institutional Review Board and as a Faculty Senator. She serves on a host of other university committees, as the faculty advisor and mentor for several student organizations, and in community services initiatives.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Dr. Singleton also serves as the Director of the Center for Ethnic Psychological Research and Applications (CEPRA).

Dr. Singleton has been engaged in ongoing research that examines (1) the efficacy of cognitive and behavior-based interventions in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, (2) the relationships among stress, blood pressure, cortisol, and interleukin-6 (IL-6), (3) the impact of stress management intervention on the recovery response to neuropsychological rehabilitation, and (4) the relationships among perceived stress, perceived racism, cultural identity, stress biomarkers (cortisol and IL-6) and health outcomes. Dr. Singleton’s research aims are to contribute to the broadening and enhancement of the field’s comprehension of the utility of self-management practices and its’ psychological and physiological benefits; as well as, to increase knowledge relative to the individual and summative influences of subjective, physiological, and hormonal responses to stress. This research will facilitate additional research in the area of psychoneuroimmunology, in that it allows the study of the effects of psychological events on nervous system functions, and its effects on immune system functions. Additionally, Dr. Singleton’s research not only bridges several uncommonly connected areas of research: neuropsychology, psychoneuroimmunology, and alternative/behavioral medicine, but also contributes to the reduction the disparities in the incidence, severity and recovery from stress-related diseases in African Americans.

This academic year, Dr. Singleton is willing to accept one thesis student; She is willing to serve on thesis committees as a departmental or as an outside committee member.


  • Lewis, C., Li, H., Singleton, G., Zollicoffer, A. (Under review). The Influence of Psychosocial Experiences on Risk for Psychosis in African American Young Adults: Implications for Early Intervention. Early Intervention in Psychiatry.
  • Li, H., Lewis, C., Chi, H., Singleton, G., Williams, N. (Under Review). Mobile Health Applications for Mental Illnesses: An Asian Context. Asian J Psychiatry.
  • Owens, B. & Singleton, G. (2018). Ethnic-racial socialization, cultural identity, and perceived stress are related to mental and physical health in African Americans. Psychotherapy Bulletin, 53(1), 27-35.
  • Singleton, G., Robertson, J., & Robinson, J. (2018). Core concepts in general psychology: Culture, society, life (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Great River Technologies.
Dr. Singleton is an avid runner, kickboxer, and a stellar ballroom dancer! Recently, she and her husband celebrated their son's matriculation into college.
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 earned her Ph.D. degree in School Psychology from The 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 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), and 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 an 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.
Leona Melissa Johnson, Ph.D.,
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
(Office Hours)

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 Ph.D. 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 Martin 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 joined the department of Psychology at FAMU in 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).  
Neico S. Slater-Sa-Ra, PhD
Neico Sa Ra-Slater, Ph.D.
(Office Hours)

RANK:          Visiting Professor

AREA:            Community Psychology, Educational Leadership

Dr. Neico Slater-Sa-Ra is a proud graduate of the Community Psychology program (2004) at Florida A&M University.  After completing her master’s degree, she went on to study Educational Leadership at Florida A&M University.  Throughout her Master’s and Doctoral studies, Dr. Slater-Sa-Ra worked as a Professor and Psychologist.

Dr. Slater-Sa-Ra has extensive clinical field experience.  As a practicing Psychologist and independent contractor, Dr. Sa-Ra has worked as a specialist for treatment of major mental health disorders for over 15 years.  Additionally, Dr. Sa-Ra has trained counselors and therapist in crisis intervention, established, implemented and evaluated programs in early childhood education, Umoja Kazi Parenting Training, and Hugging the Cactus Pre-Marital Development.  Dr. Sa-Ra participates in academic and community organizations inclusive of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), North Florida chapter, KONSANBA, Abusua Kuo and Hope Through COPE.  Dr. Slater-Sa-Ra is nationally known for her ‘on the groundwork’ with Black girls and women’s development through age grade rites of passage.  Dr. Slater-Sa-Ra is a registered Mental Health Counseling Intern, works with CEPRAH as the community liaison, and is trained in Mental Health Counseling First Aid.

Dr. Slater-Sa-Ra joined the faculty in the Psychology department at Florida A&M University (2020) where she is currently a Visiting Associate Professor.   Dr. Sa-Ra has worked with undergraduates to improve retention and encourage enrollment in graduate school. 

Dr. Slater-Sa-Ra’s research interests are in analysis of the explicit and implicit intentionality of curriculum, culturally relevant pedagogy and African-centered education. She is conducting research on rites of passage, the psychology of Black education, African spirituality as a therapeutic treatment modality, African-Centered School Leadership and the psychology of Black hair.  Understanding the intersection of education, leadership, race and psychology undergirds her passions in research, writing, publishing and community work.                                                                

This academic year, Dr. Slater-Sa-Ra is willing to serve on theses committees as a departmental or as an outside member.

Neico Slater-Sa-Ra is a proud wife of 24 years, a mother of 4 children and new grandmother (Yeye) of a beautiful little girl.









1. Paula Deboles-Johnson*

2. Nicole Everett

3. Rudy Ferguson

4. Angela Henderson, Ph.D

5. Christic Henry

6. Zemoria Johnson, R.Ph

7. Debra Lloyd*

(*Inaugrual CEPRA Advisory Board Member)

1. We Are All We Need, Inc. (Kevin Warren, CEO)

2. Pathways to Community Healing Initiative (Paula Deboles-Johnson, Nicole Everett, Christic Henry)

3. Temple Fit (Dr. Asha Fields Brewer)

Developing Partnerships

1. On Track Life Solutions (Keith Jacobs)

2. FAMU Counseling Center (Dr. Anika Fields



Contact Us

Center for Ethnic Psychological Research & Application
501 Orr Dr.
203 B Gore Education Complex (GEC)
Tallahassee, Florida 32307
(850) 599-3014