Dr. Dionne Stephens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology's Developmental Program at Florida International UniversityOriginally from Toronto, I became a faculty member at Florida International University (FIU) after earning my doctorate in Human Development from The University of Georgia- Athens. My research examines the influence of cultural beliefs and experiences on various sexual health outcomes. The specific research questions I explore focus on socio-historical factors shaping minority populations’ sexual health processes, with emphasis on gender and ethnic/ racial identity development.
With an ultimate goal of reducing health disparities, my work both validates and centers the experiences of the populations I study. My program of research has examined such issues as cultures’ influence on sexually transmitted infections transmission (e.g. HPV, HIV/ AIDS), intimate partner violence (e.g. verbal sexual coercion, teen dating violence, revenge porn), and sexual messaging across popular culture contexts (e.g. Hip Hop, reality television, social medias).
My teaching trajectory also reflects these research interests. I have taught such courses as Seminar in Identity Development, Culture & Sexual Health, Psychology of Health, Race, Gender & Sexuality in Hip Hop and Global Psychology. My Psychology of Women course was awarded both the Blackboard International Program’s Greenhouse Exemplary Course Award and the FIU Online Exemplary Course Award for Instructional Development. As the Director of the Department of Psychology's Global Health Research Study Abroad Program, I supervise 12 undergraduate and graduate students' engagement in global health inequalities research in Mysore, India.