Shawn Utsey appointed acting chair of African American Studies
The College of Humanities and Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Shawn O. Utsey, Ph.D., to the position of acting chair of the Department of African American Studies, effective immediately.
Utsey is a professor with joint appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Department of African American Studies. A faculty member in the College of Humanities and Sciences since 2004, Utsey has served two previous terms as the AFAM department chair and brings a rich knowledge of the operations of the department and of the College and Humanities and Sciences.
Utsey is an engaged scholar who studies how race-related stress impacts the physical, psychological and social well-being of African Americans. Most recently, he has examined how trauma is manifested in the victims of racial violence.
Utsey is also an active filmmaker whose most recent feature-length documentary, “The Central Lunatic Asylum for Colored Insane,” premiered last September and explored the history of the first psychiatric facility for African Americans in the U.S. His previous documentaries include, “Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies” and “Meet Me in the Bottom: The Struggle to Reclaim Richmond’s African Burial Ground.”
Utsey currently teaches classes in the counseling psychology graduate program, as well as courses on the psychology of African Americans. He received his Ph.D. from Fordham University in counseling psychology.
The Department of African American Studies will hold an election for a permanent chair in January.
The college would like to thank Mignonne Guy, Ph.D., for her able leadership as department chair. Under her guidance, the department made key hires, led the development of CSIJ 200, and contributed centrally to the discussion of crucial issues affecting the College of Humanities and Sciences.