From: Detroit, MI
Year in School: 6th
Studying: Social Work & Psychology
Natasha is completing her final year in the joint Social Work & Personality Psychology program at the University of Michigan. She graduated in 2012 from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Overall she is interested in examining protective factors associated with socially and economically marginalized youth in an agenda to promote mental wellness, academic success, civic engagement, and self-efficacy. Her dissertation examines the influence of racial identity and racial socialization on critical reflection (e.g., racism awareness) —an aspect of critical consciousness that considers youths’ awareness of structural factors contributing to the Black-White opportunity gap. She also examines the mental health implications of youths’ endorsement of a critical reflection. Secondly, her dissertation investigates the intervening role a critical reflection of racism might have between cultural assets (e.g., racial identity and racial socialization) and perceived racial discrimination. She hopes her dissertation work is foundational for designing interventions, in collaboration with practitioners in education and mental health, to identify points of interventions to address the detrimental effects of racism.
Natasha is a fourth year house member at the Michigan Branch Telluride Association. Upon completing obtaining completing her program she hopes to find an academic space where she can engage in interdisciplinary research and collaborate with stakeholders in the community. Moreover, one of her career goals is to develop future researchers while promoting the growth of ethnic minorities in professional academia settings.