Ezemenari M. Obasi selected as SCP Mentor for the 2013-2014 LDI

Obasi_HeadshotEzemenari M. Obasi selected as SCP’s Mentor for the 2013-2014 CNPAAEMI Leadership Development Institute

Dr. Obasi will serve as primary mentor for SCP Fellow Tamba-Kuii Bailey, Ph.D. (see News posted on April 8, 2013) and as secondary mentor for an additional Fellow from one of the five sister organizations that comprise the Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Issues (CNPAAEMI) Leadership Development Institute (C-LDI). The 2013-2014 C-LDI year will begin with a day-long training session at Argosy University in Honolulu, HI on Thursday, August 1, 2013.

Biographical information for Ezemenari M. Obasi, Ph.D.:

Ezemenari M. Obasi earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics at the University of California – Irvine. He then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology from the Counseling Psychology program at The Ohio State University, while also obtaining a minor in quantitative psychology in the area of psychometrics and data analysis. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Harvard Medical School: McLean Hospital. Dr. Obasi has served on professional editorial boards (e.g., The Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Black Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Training and Education in Professional Psychology) and is a member of several national organizations (e.g., American Psychological Association, Association of Black Psychologists, & Research Society on Alcoholism).

Dr. Obasi’s research focuses on health disparities that disproportionately affect the African American community, addictions, and biopsychosocial determinants of health. As the director of the Hwemudua Addictions and Health Disparities Laboratory (HAHDL) at the University of Houston, he takes an interdisciplinary approach (incl., biomarkers, biofeedback, genetics, fMRI, experimental manipulations, etc.) and uses a diverse range of settings (incl., community, bar lounge, experimental rooms, medical facilities, etc.) to investigate biological, psychological, social, and cultural determinants of health. The impact that drug addictions have on health disparities impacting at-risk African Americans are grossly understudied. While there is strong evidence linking drug use and abuse to violent behaviors, injuries, mental health, and physical health problems, it is unclear how African Americans are disproportionately at risk given their relatively low incidence rates of drug use and abuse. There is a growing body of literature linking chronic stress – and one’s inability to effectively regulate stress – to addictions. As a result, Dr. Obasi is interested in investigating how stress dysregulation might be used to clarify the more subtle relationships between one’s cultural worldview/practices, environment, genotype, and drug use vulnerability. Ultimately, Dr. Obasi is committed to bringing about positive change to the African American and other marginalized communities. To this end, he has a history of being actively involved in the community and publishing in the area of African/Black Psychology.

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