September 9, 2016
This year, AFAM welcomes Dr. Shawn O. Utsey as our new interim Chair. Dr. Utsey, a counseling psychologist whose research interests focus on the African American experience, previously served as Chair of African American Studies from 2006 to 2012 before moving to the Department of Psychology. In recent years, Dr. Utsey has remained a valued affiliate faculty member, and some students may know him from his class AFAM 322: Personality and Behavior of African Americans. Dr. Utsey is excited for the coming year, and is happy for the opportunity to work closely with AFAM students and faculty.
Dr. Utsey stepped into the position in July, after Dr. Kimberly Brown, who served as Chair during the 2015-2016 academic year, embarked on a year-long research leave.
In July, Dr. Utsey organized a trauma response team of licensed clinical psychologists and other support personnel that offered support to the VCU and greater Richmond community after the shootings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and five Dallas police officers. Psychologists were available to speak to people on the VCU campus and in other locations in the community.
Dr. Utsey’s experience and enthusiasm are a welcome addition to our department.