In honor of African American History Month, we wanted to highlight our very own Psychology alumna, T’Niya Lawson (’20 Psychology)!

During her senior year, T’Niya completed her PSY 470 Senior Research Thesis under the supervision of our Department Chair Dr. Elliott. In her thesis, T’Niya examined how the race and attitude of a law enforcement officer (threatening vs. non-threatening) and the participants’ race influenced compliance with officer requests. Her results indicated that officer race, threatening attitude, and participant race did in fact influence compliance level. Her and research team found that compliance was highest in the non-threatening, same race as law enforcement officers conditions. Although the Psychology Student Research Showcase was cancelled due to COVID, T’Niya had the opportunity to present her work at the virtual Eastern Psychological Association Conference in March, 2020.

Looking back at her four years at Stevenson, T’Niya was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. To this end, she had held various leadership positions for many student clubs and organizations. For example, she had served as the Chair for Women of Resilience Tenacity, and Humility (W.O.R.T.H.) (a club focused on building sisterhood and creating a social environment for all women). She was also the Treasurer of Active Minds (whose goal is to empower students to speak openly about mental health and encourage help-seeking) and Treasurer of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Notably, T’Niya was an honorary member of the Psychology Program’s Honor Society Psi-Chi.

In Fall 2020, T’Niya started graduate school to pursue her Master’s in Clinical Psychology degree at Virginia State University. Although many students find the transition to graduate school overwhelming, T’Niya was taking everything in stride—all because of the excellent education she received at Stevenson University! For example, her professors took notice of her rich statistical knowledge and research experiences right at the beginning. After all, T’Niya had taken three research methods and statistics course and was involved in various research projects at Stevenson, and these experiences really made her stand out from her peers. Indeed, T’Niya’s first semester went so well that she earned a perfect GPA of 4.0! Moving forward, T’Niya will be taking clinical courses in her program and she is very confident that she is just as well-prepared.

We are so proud of T’Niya and look forward to hearing more about her future achievements! Please keep us posted!

Written by: Semira Nock