Our first annual list of amazing alumni
The Psychology Department is pleased to acknowledge seven alumni who have made noteworthy contributions to the field. The 5 Under 10 group all graduated since 2012 and each honoree has continued to learn, grow and use their degree to advance the field and their communities in significant ways. We look forward to learning about the remarkable things these talented young scholars will accomplish in the future.
Our NC Distinguished Alum award recognizes an alum who has made a notable contribution to North Carolina. While we have many alumni who give back to NC in meaningful ways, we are especially proud of the work that Dr. Kelly Graves has done through her establishment of the Kellin Foundation.
Our first Distinguished Alum award recognizes the 25-year career contributions of Dr. Michael de Arellano whose research and clinical work has successfully addressed health disparities in underserved communities and made significant contributions to trauma- informed care for youth.
We are pleased to present our inaugural list of extraordinary alumni and look forward to honoring more alumni next year!
5 Under 10
Dr. Nneka Morris Alexander (PhD 2015)
Nneka Morris Alexander received her PhD in Clinical Psychology under the mentorship of Susan Keane. She completed intensive pediatric training during her internship year at the University of Florida and through a post-doctoral Fellowship at Emory University. She currently serves as the Pediatric Psychologist for the Heart Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is board certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Her clinical responsibilities include conducting outpatient neurodevelopmental assessments for infants and toddlers with congenital heart disease through the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program and providing psychological support to families hospitalized on the cardiac units. She has spearheaded initiatives to make these units more developmentally appropriate, including creating weekly neuroprotective care rounds. Her research interests focus on parenting and development in children with chronic illness.
Dr. Stephanie Miller (PhD 2012)
Stephanie Miller received her PhD in experimental psychology under the mentorship of Stuart Marcovitch. She is currently an associate professor and director of experimental training at The University of Mississippi. She is also the director of the CUB (Cognition Underlying Behavior) Lab, whose work examining early social-cognitive development has been funded by the National Institute of Health and the Spencer Foundation. She serves as chair for the Society for Indian Psychologists Native-to-Native Mentorship program and is UM’s Provost Faculty Research Scholar for Institutional Transformation focused on building research teams to increase institutional capacity in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Dr. Jessica Moore (PhD 2012)
Jessica Moore is an Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) with appointments in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. She received her PhD under the mentorship of Susan Keane. Dr. Moore directs the URMC Family Therapy Service and teaches, mentors, and supervises in the URMC Marriage and Family Therapy and Psychology Postdoctoral training programs. Dr. Moore also leads the Pediatric Psychology and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics programs at Rochester Regional Hospital. She provides clinical care to children and families with developmental needs and coaches Pediatric Residents on communication in patient care. Dr. Moore is passionate about clinical training and access to quality care for children and families.
Dr. Mary Moussa Rogers (BA 2014)
Mary Moussa Rogers is a Lebanese first-generation college student whose research interests developed at UNCG in the RIGHT-Track lab under the direction of Susan Keane. Dr. Rogers was awarded their PhD in clinical psychology from Mississippi State University in 2021 and is currently an Assistant Professor at USC Aiken. They completed their dissertation through Psi Chi’s Network for International Collaborative Exchange and collaborated with 7 countries on the topic of family dynamics and emerging adult outcomes. They collaborated on the AMENA-PSY campaign to include “MENA” as a demographic category in research data collection. They also conduct mental health workshops in their community including a recent $150,000 grant to conduct substance use prevention service and research.
Dr. Malachi Willis (MA 2016)
Malachi Willis received his MA in Experimental Psychology under the direction of Rosemery Nelson-Gray. He is a Research Associate in the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow. He primarily researches the nuances of sexual consent, which he conceptualizes as a person’s willingness to engage in a particular sexual behavior with a particular person within a particular context. Malachi uses his diverse training (MA, Forensic Psychology; MA, Experimental Psychology; MS, Statistics and Analytics; PhD, Community Health Promotion) to conduct studies across several methodologies and guide his decisions as an editorial board member for three sex research journals (Journal of Sex Research; Archives of Sexual Behavior; Psychology and Sexuality).
The NC Distinguished Alum
Dr. Kelly Graves (PhD 2006)
Executive Director and Co-Founder Kellin Foundation
Kelly Graves received her PhD under the direction of Terri Shelton and has since focused her career in the areas of trauma and resiliency. After 16 years in academia where she developed curricula, secured millions in funding, and published extensively, Dr. Graves retired as a tenured Associate Professor to launch the Kellin Foundation – a nonprofit trauma recovery center that provides free behavioral health services to over 12,000 people annually and is a partner with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. She’s a consultant with US Department of Justice, was invited to the White House under the Obama Administration to participate in Think Tank sessions, and trains internationally, most recently assisting in Guam, Japan, Hawaii, and Poland.
Dr. Michael de Arellano (PhD 1997)
Professor, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center
Michael A. de Arellano received his PhD under the direction of Rosemery Nelson-Gray. He is a professor and a licensed clinical psychologist at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina. For over 25 years, his research and clinical work have focused on addressing health disparities through the development, evaluation and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for trauma-exposed youth from traditionally underserved communities. In addition, Dr. de Arellano serves as Senior Associate Dean for Diversity for the College of Medicine, engaging in efforts to further diversify the healthcare workforce through recruitment, retention, promotion and cultural competency programs for students, residents, faculty and staff.