DR. DIONNE PATRICIA STEPHENS

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Fostering academic excellence through innovative and interdisciplinary knowledge, diverse content, and inclusive learning environments- these are my teaching goals.

- Dionne Stephens, Associate Professor of Psychology

Since coming to Florida International University, I have taught at both the graduate and undergraduate level in the Department of Psychology and other programs, including African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS), Women and Gender Studies, Liberal Studies, and the Robert Stempel School of Public Health. Through my teaching and mentoring efforts, I foster academic excellence by offering the most current interdisciplinary and empirical theories, paradigms and methodologies. In this statement I outline the ways I strive to achieve this by centering issues relevant to the lives of students in a diverse community, and helping them recognize the need to become informed sufficiently so that they can contribute to critical and creative problem solving. It is also important to note that I view the classroom as only one of many spaces where students learn. This is why I encourage students to take advantage of research training, study abroad programs, and service learning opportunities to enhance their academic journey. I seek to expand students’ critical skills set so that they engage in creative problem solving. My successes are evidence by the accomplishments and evaluations of the many students she has mentored.


Teaching across disciplines... and the world!

It is also important to note that I view the classroom as only one of many spaces where students learn. This is why I encourage students to take advantage of research training, study abroad programs, and service learning opportunities to enhance their academic journey. Further, it is useful for students to take an interdisciplinary approach while on their degree journey. Toward this end, I am happy to have affiliated faculty status in the Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LACS) program at FIU. LACS was founded to promote the study of Latin America and the Caribbean in Florida and throughout the United States. I am currently working with LACS to develop partnerships between their existing research programs and the Global Health Equity Scholar (GHES) program which funded my research in Mysore, India.

I also hold affiliated faculty status in the Center for Women and Gender Studies (CWGS). I was responsible for initiating and developing three of their main initiatives- the CWGS and Psychology Dual Degree program, the Faculty Research Series, and the International Women, Gender & Violence Conference.

FIU Global Health Study Abroad Program.

I am proud to have developed the Department of Psychology's first Study Abroad Program! This Global Health Program is set to take place in summer 2017 in Mysore, India. This opportunity has been designed for students who are planning to attend medical school or a research based graduate program. Planned topics include cultural factors influencing intimate partner violence, prenatal care in rural communities, HIV/ AIDS and social support, medical tourism, culturally appropriate depression screening, legal/ medical connections in reporting abuse, and yoga as a wholistic health intervention. The topics student select will serve as the basis of their research project. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to visit academic and research institutions, and interact with health providers, patients and non- governmental organizations working on related health issues.

The Global Health Research Study abroad is an extension of Dr. Purnima Madhivana and my work examining cultural influences and women's health issues. We were seeking ways to expose students to and excite them about global research in a way that integrates their academic training. This program aims to provide participants with a foundation in health research from psychological, clinical and social perspectives, through a meaningful and useful experience.