The Researcher Resilience Training (RRT) program is an NIMH-funded program designed to provide advanced doctoral students and early career investigators of African descent interested in child and adolescent behavioral health, with the necessary research skills to address the significant challenges that exist within resource-poor settings. RRT fellows will receive didactic instruction, mentoring, “hands-on” experience (conducted remotely in 2021) in child-focused studies, individualized consultation, goal setting, monitoring and ongoing support resources across time. To learn more about the program, click here.




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Dennis  W. Boyd Jr., MSW

Dennis W. Boyd Jr., MSW

Dennis W. Boyd Jr., MSW is a first-year Ph.D student from Flushing, Queens, New York City. Before attending the Brown School, Dennis worked as a consultant with the New York City Department of Education with public schools, charters schools, and youth organizations. He designed supplemental programs to enhance school culture, and improve social and educational outcomes for Black and Latino males. In 2014, Dennis launched Mothers With Son’s seminars for African American and Latino moms with teenage sons. Dennis’ research interest is in the Black family with a focus on the mother-son relationship. His other interest includes adolescent development, k-12 public education, and juvenile justice.

Jerell  DeCaille, MS

Jerell DeCaille, MS

RRT Fellow 2022

Jerell DeCaille is a second year Public Health Studies doctoral student in the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University. Jerell’s research interest looks to explore how masculine norms and race impacts coping behaviors among Black men and boys. Additionally, he is interested in sexual health communication and the role fathers and male mentors play in communicating with adolescent sons about sexual health and sexual risk behaviors.

Samantha  Francois, PhD

Samantha Francois, PhD

Samantha Francois, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Tulane University’s School of Social Work. Dr. Francois is also an executive director of Tulane University’s Violence Prevention Institute and co-director of the Center for Youth Equity, a CDC Center of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention. Her research uses systems perspectives and critical race theory to understand the intersections of individual, community, and structural factors that impact development in Black and African American youth. She also explores youth-led activism and organizing as community and structural violence prevention strategies. Dr. Francois is a mixed methods researcher who uses community-based, participatory, and action research frameworks. She designs and executes research through an anti-racist and intersectional lens aimed at social transformation and community liberation. Dr. Francois has a doctorate in psychological sciences, concentrated in developmental psychology, from Tulane University.


Patricia Bamwine, MA, MSW, PhD

Patricia Bamwine, MA, MSW, PhD

RRT Fellow 2021

Dr. Patricia Bamwine is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Social Work.  She received extensive training in community-based participatory research (CBPR) with adolescents through the T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine.  Dr. Bamwine received both her PhD and Master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.  Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Campbellsville University and MA in Sociology from Western Kentucky University. Her work is interdisciplinary in that it draws from public health, sociology, thanatology, and social welfare.  She utilizes a critical and constructionist perspective to design mixed-methods projects that examine the intersection of gender, race, and class as they relate to social problems such as violence.  She is currently focused on interventions that support young people after the loss of a loved one to homicide. Her hope is that this work will aid in the development and improvement of service design and delivery to reduce negative life outcomes for young people of color. 

Jasmin Brooks, MA

Jasmin Brooks, MA

RRT Fellow 2021

Jasmin Brooks is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston. Jasmin utilizes mixed methods approaches to examine how racism-related stressors influence suicide vulnerability and internalizing mental health disorders within Black populations. Jasmin’s current program of research also examines important culturally-relevant protective factors that mitigate the potential impact of racism-related events. She aims to apply her findings to the development of clinical interventions that reduce racial stress and promote psychological well-being within Black communities. Jasmin received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sonyia  Richardson, MSW, LCSW, PhD

Sonyia Richardson, MSW, LCSW, PhD

RRT Fellow 2021

Dr. Sonyia Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focuses on equity in clinical practice and culturally adapted suicide prevention and intervention strategies for Black youth. Dr. Richardson is the founding owner of Another Level Counseling and Consultation located in Charlotte, North Carolina which she has operated for over 14 years. She has over 16 years of practice experience as a licensed clinical social worker and has focused on advocating for the needs of marginalized populations. Recently, she was named the North Carolina 2021 Social Worker of the Year. She possesses a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (University of North Carolina Charlotte), M.S.W. (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill), and a B.A. in Psychology (University of North Carolina Charlotte).