Diversity Award Namesakes


Read more about the namesakes and inspirations for the Diversity in Research Awards.


Ernest C. Davenport received a Bachelor of Science degree in both Psychology and Computer Science from Duke University, and Masters and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the first African American to be awarded a Ph.D. at UNC’s L. L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory. Since 1986, Dr. Davenport has been on faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology (Quantitative Methods in Education Program) at the University of Minnesota; he is currently the Director of Graduate Studies in this department. His research focuses on the study of measurement to better understand achievement gaps, with special interests in the relationship between student experiences and academic success (e.g., identifying indicators of learning success that may differ based on differential experiences). He also studies artifacts of statistical procedure, in particular those used in measurement. While at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Davenport has had a long-standing role as the director of an ACT/SAT review course for at-risk students, and was one of the founders of Minnesota’s Office of Educational Accountability (OEA), which was created to assist with educational accountability in the state. We are delighted to honor Dr. Davenport and his contributions to psychological science through the Ernest Davenport Award for Outstanding Psychological Research by a Student who Enhances Diversity, awarded to graduate students.


Bernadette Gray-Little received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Marywood University, and Masters and doctoral degrees from Saint Louis University. She joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971 where her research program focused on racial/ethnic membership of clients and clinicians in the treatment of psychological disorders, as well as the social determinants of self-esteem in racially/ethnically diverse groups of children and adolescents. In her tenure at UNC, Dr. Gray-Little held numerous leadership positions including: Chair of the Psychology Department, Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Executive Vice Chancellor, and Provost. Since 2009, Dr. Gray-Little has been the Chancellor of the University of Kansas, the first African American and the first woman to hold this position. She is additionally a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Association of American Universities. We are delighted to recognize her accomplishments and contributions through the Bernadette Gray-Little Award for Outstanding Psychological Research that Enhances Diversity, awarded to graduate students.


Susan M. McHale earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Bucknell University, and her Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduation, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center in Chapel Hill, NC. Currently, Dr. McHale is the distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Director of the Social Science Research Institute at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. McHale’s research has investigated how gender, ethnicity/race, disability, and socioeconomic status impact family relationships and everyday experiences of youth, especially between siblings. Dr. McHale is perhaps best known for her research examining the different ways which parents socialize their children on the basis of gender of the child and gender of the parent. We are delighted to honor Dr. McHale and her contributions to psychological science through the Susan M. McHale Award for Outstanding Psychological Research by a Student who Enhances Diversity, awarded to undergraduate students.


J. Steven Reznick received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters degree from Wake Forest University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. His research interests are diverse, though most of his research has focused on cognitive development in infants and the early identification of autism spectrum disorder. Professor Reznick has made many contributions to enriching diversity in student experiences, including through his service as UNC Associate Dean for First Year Seminars and Academic Experiences; his role in launching the Carolina Seminar on Behavioral Research with Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations; his leadership in several university committees that have helped foster diversity at UNC (e.g., Transfer Student Success Committee, the Retention Task Force, the Undergraduate Admissions Advisory Committee, the Enrollment Excellence Task Force); his service on the steering committee of the Program on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health; and his research on developmental disabilities. We are delighted to recognize his accomplishments and contributions through the J. Steven Reznick Award for Outstanding Psychological Research that Enhances Diversity, awarded to undergraduate students.