Brianna J. Downey, M.A., YPEA

Brianna Downey is a first-generation third-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University. She is also the current Vice President and Secretary for the Black Student Association (BSA), a Marie Fielder Center Research Fellow, a Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP) LEAD Institute Fellow, the North Carolina Professional Development Seminar (NC-PDS) Representative, and the Student Delegate to the Clinical Psychology Research Committee. Most recently, Brianna has been chosen as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) for a mental health project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This project will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of STEM students and faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Brianna is a double graduate of the illustrious North Carolina Central University, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology. During her graduate tenure, Brianna’s research interests included health, educational, and social disparities. Her work is specifically centered around the contextual factors that influence learning for Black students as well as the psychosocial impact of pain for adults living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), a chronic blood disease endemic to Blacks in America. She has used these interests to gain meaningful experiences by presenting award-winning research at psychological and educational conferences across the country, penning and editing several article publications, and co-publishing Chapter 24 on African American Health in the Handbook of Health Psychology.

In addition to her commitment to research, Brianna is also a devoted wife and mother to her three-year-old son, Furious. Born in March 2020, his development is concurrent with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as her matriculation through Fielding. When she is not engaged in her roles as homemaker or doctoral student, Brianna is a Youth Program Education Assistant at a state residential facility for individuals with intellectual and developmental delays. She has over 7 years of experience in working with children and adolescents with Autism and other barriers as well as providing academic and social support to students across the lifespan.