top of page

Principal Investigator


Dr. Cheryl Talley examines factors that lead to lasting behavioral change, specifically those related to high academic achievement. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Talley and her colleagues have sought to reveal the role that affective factors such as academic identity and emotional regulation play in student success. With her training in affective neuroscience, Dr. Talley utilizes various strategies, including mindfulness training to help students develop strong academic identities and associated behaviors. The successful intervention that was developed at Virginia State University is called Project Knowledge, and was based on a theoretical model created by Dr. Margaret Beale Spencer, the Phenomenological Variant of the Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST). Findings from Project Knowledge are now being used to inform interventions in other disciplines through collaboration with colleagues in the departments of Biology, Math and Computer Science at Virginia State. In addition, Dr. Talley serves as a lead researcher in a HBCU STEM collaboration led by a group at Morehouse College.  Future plans include adopting Project Knowledge for grades K-12 by using technology to augment social emotional learning.

Cheryl P. Talley, Ph.D.

Meet The Team: Testimonials

Graduate Researchers


Victoria Davis serves as the Administrative Manager for Project Knowledge and is currently a Ph.D. student at Virginia State University in the Clinical Psychology Program. Victoria is a California native who earned her M.S in Psychology at Virginia State University and her B.S in Psychology at Tuskegee University. Victoria firmly believes that everyone has the capacity to learn. Her research includes understanding personal affective factors that impact academic achievement across all ages. Her dissertation will be focused on creating an integrative assessment battery that identifies protective factors and risk factors for incoming students at HBCUs. Upon graduation she hopes to use her research to be a voice for students in under resourced neighborhoods and tell the story from the Black perspective.

Victoria Davis, PhD

Kara Morrison Pic .png

Kara Morrison serves as the Clinical Advisor for Project Knowledge. Dr. Morrison is currently a graduate student at Virginia State University (VSU), in the Clinical Health Psychology PhD program. She received her M.S in Clinical Psychology from VSU and her B.A. in Psychology from Winston-Salem State University. Dr. Morrison is a former Post-Baccalaureate Research Education (PREP) scholar from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.  Her educational background and academic achievements have awarded her a foundation and understanding in research, clinical assessment, community engagement, and psychological/ neurocognitive testing.  Kara’s future goals consist of running a private practice focused on mental health & wellness for minority community members.

Kara Morrison, PhD


Jordan Windley serves as the Program Manager for Project Knowledge and is currently a Ph.D. student at Virginia State University in the Behavioral and Community Health Psychology Program. Jordan is a Maryland native who earned her M.S. in Psychology at Virginia State University. Jordan believes that community work and empathy has the capacity to foster civic mindedness in everyone. Her research includes suicide prevention, understanding personal affective factors, self-agency and self-identity formation in Black adolescents. Upon graduation she hopes to use her research to be a advocate for health equity for Black adolescents in her community and helping their voices be heard and needs being met

Jordan Windley, M.S.


Meya Mongkuo (she/her/hers) serves as the Wellness Coordinator & Research Analyst for Project Knowledge. She is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Health Psychology at Virginia State University after earning a B.A. in Psychology from East Carolina University.  Her goal is to assist in decreasing stress and maladaptive mental health outcomes of BIPOC students through cultural practices such as mindfulness meditation and yoga.

Meya Mongkuo, M. S.


Talia Blunt is currently a doctoral student at Virginia State University (VSU) in the Clinical Health Psychology Doctorate Program. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Hampton University. Ms. Blunt's research interests include looking at the effects of environmental and academic stressors on minorities and adolescents. Talia's future goals consist of continuing her education to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology and working in the community with minority youth.

Talia Blunt, M.S.

Brittney Tennyson

Meet The Team: Testimonials



Richmond, VA

Psychology Major

Jalyn Aliyah Davis


Martinsville, VA

Psychology Major

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13

MyAjah Dillard


Northern VA
Psychology Major
"Only you have the power to make yourself truly happy so choose happiness"

Angel Gaither


Middletown, CT
Psychology Major
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” - Benjamin Franklin

NaJaya Jordan


Chesapeake, VA
Criminal Justice Major
"There aren't limits within you, just around you"

Issamar Kirby


Richmond, VA
Psychology Major 
"I will never apologize for being myself"

Lyric Knighten


PG County, MD

Psychology Major

"I am optimistic because today is a new day"

Kania Mayo


Queens, NY
Psychology Major

"All dreams are within reach. All you have to do is keep moving towards them"

Tyra Mosby

Meet The Team: Testimonials
bottom of page