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Faculty Research Interest

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Viviette Allen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, (vallen@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Allen’s background is in counseling psychology and in the study of organizational leadership. She is professionally licensed as a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Her research interests involve: ethics, moral reasoning/moral decision making and resultant behavior, psychopathology, psychotherapy and help seeking, stress, adult development, antisocial and asocial behavior, I/O psychology, psycho-social aspects of leadership, organizational behavior, motivation, and psycho-social aspects of religion and spirituality.

Laura Coyle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, (lcoyle@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Coyle's research has focused on positive psychology within diverse and/or underserved adolescent and young adult populations. Specifically, she is interested in uncontrollable stress, coping behaviors, subjective well-being, traumatic stress, and the mental health concerns of female veterans. Dr. Coyle has clinical experience in crisis intervention, college counseling, neuropsychology, and the treatment of stress disorders within a VA Medical Center.

Doreen Hilton, Ph.D., Professor, (dhilton@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Hilton is a counseling psychologist. Her research focuses on substance abuse, risky behaviors, parenting, adverse childhood experiences, and career development. Her current research projects focus on 1) the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of college students, and 2) the impact of adverse childhood experiences on adult behaviors.

Chris Ike, Ph.D., Professor, (cike@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Ike is a developmental psychologist. Dr. Ike’s research interests are in the following areas: variations in psychopathology across cultures for children, adolescents, and adults; behaviors and self-concepts; adjustment behaviors in migrant populations; beliefs in and attitudes toward traditional versus orthodox medicine and health care; minority education, including retention, attrition, and performance; cultural relativism in psychological disorders, treatment, and prognosis; and mentoring studies.

Yoshito Kawabata, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, (ykawabat@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Kawabata is a Developmental Psychologist. His research interest includes the investigation of peer relationships, psychopathology, and contextual factors such as schools, neighborhoods, and culture. Specifically, he is interested in risk and protective factors that may influence developmental processes involving peer relationships, friendships, and forms of psychopathology.

Daniel Montoya, Ph.D., Associate Professor, (dmontoya@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Montoya is trained in electrophysiological techniques and has experience working with different animal models, such as rats, cats and monkeys (Rhesus). He recently moved his research interest into the context of human cognition. However, a common denominator is his interest on learning and memory. Currently, his lab is involved in refining techniques that would lead to the study of cognitive processes and their concomitant changes in brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG). He is also interested in human-robotic interaction and the development of cognitive models using robotic agents.

Timothy Moore, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair, (tmoore40@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Timothy Moore is trained as a physiological psychologist, and he studies the effects of neuropeptides and steroid hormones and how these neurochemical factors influence behavior.  He uses an animal model to manipulate the neural circuitry involved with specific behaviors such as aggression. In addition, Dr. Moore is internationally recognized in the area of cultural studies for his contributions to the study of African-Centered Psychology

Pius N. Nyutu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, (pnyutu@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Nyutu’s research interests are in the area of assessments, promotion and advancement of mental health especially in schools, with minority groups, and underserved populations. His current research includes psychological well-being of Blacks, protective factors against suicide, and needs of military families. He works collaboratively with Drs. Wang and Tran, and they have a research team that includes students. Dr. Nyutu has received grants at three times in the recent past from HBCU Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health to promote mental health on campus at FSU. 

Kimberly Tran, Ph.D.,  Assistant Professor, (ktran@uncfsu.edu).  Dr. Tran’s background is in counseling psychology. Her research interests can be categorized into three major areas: 1) racial/ethnic minority psychology, 2) intersections of social identities and 3) social justice topics including prejudice and racism.  More specifically, in the area of cross cultural issues in mental health, she is interested in specific factors that influence coping strategies, psychological help-seeking and experiences of distress such as depression, trauma and suicidal ideation among ethnic/racial minorities. 

Maxwell Twum-Asante, Ph.D., Associate Professor, (mailto:mtwum@uncfsu.edu).  Dr. Twum-Asante area of interest is in cognitive psychology. His research interests span a wide range of topics in basic and applied cognitive psychology: 1) a primary interest is to understand the basic architecture of the human memory system and the processes that operate within it: 2) another facet of his research interest is the investigation into the neural mechanisms underlying learning and recognition of human faces; and 3) on the applied level, he is interested in how people integrate multiple, incomplete, and sometimes conflicting information to determine their subjective state of health, and the cues they rely on to make meaningful decisions about their health.

Thomas E. Van Cantfort, Ph.D., Professor, (tvancantfort@uncfsu.edu). Dr. Van Cantfort is a evolutionary comparative biopsychologist.  He approaches the study of behaviors from an evolutionary and biopsychological prospective.  Currently, his areas of research are: 1) language in cross-fostered chimpanzees; 2) culture in nonhuman primates; 3) human mating strategies; and 4) the effects of yogic breathing and testimony on depression, self-efficacy, and the psychophysiology of women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Link to my webpage.

David Wallace, Ph.D., Associate Professor, (dwallace@uncfsu.edu) Dr. Wallace is a social psychologist. His research interests rest mainly in the study of attitudes, and attitude-behavior consistency. Currently he is pursuing two main lines of research. One area of research involves the impact of perceived minority or majority status on how consistently attitudes are applied to actual behavior. A second line of research explores spiteful behavior. Little research has been done in social psychology exploring the causes and implications of behavior that harms another even though it also harms oneself (spite).  David is an active member of the Scientific Researcher Inventory (SRI) Project. 

Mei-Chuan Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. (mwang@uncfsu.edu) Dr. Wang’s background is in counseling psychology. Her primary research interests focus on positive psychology. She is interested in how coping strategies, psychological well-being, reason for living, and self-efficacy prevent individuals from depression and committing suicide when facing adverse life situations. Her other research interests involve: intimate partner violence, body image, and education satisfaction among international students.

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