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Cheryl Grills - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Cheryl Grills Cheryl Grills

Professor of Psychology | Loyola Marymount University


Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills joined LMU's Psychology Department in 1987. She completed her undergraduate training at Yale University with a double major in Psychology and African American studies and received her Masters and Ph.D. from UCLA. In 2009 she became certified in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy. She founded and currently directs the Psychology Applied Research Center housed within the Department of Psychological Science.

Dr. Grills is a clinical psychologist by training with a current emphasis in Community Psychology. She is Professor of Psychology and President’s Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University and a former Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts.

Dr. Grills is a research principal investigator on several multi-site projects addressing mental
health disparities, social determinants of health, positive youth development, and COVID’s
impact on communities of color nationally. An important part of her work is in the area of racial
stress focusing on research and training associated with racism, racial stress and trauma, implicit bias, and the development of community-based self-help models to address the negative effects of racism on people of African ancestry in the US and globally. Her research interests, publications, and projects include African Psychology, African Centered models of treatment engagement with African Americans, community psychology, community mental health, mental health disparities, community organizing as a public health strategy, community defined mental health intervention strategies, positive youth development, and program evaluation.

Education (3)

University of California at Los Angeles: Ph.D., 1985

University of California at Los Angeles: M.A., 1982

Yale University: B.A., 1980

Areas of Expertise (9)


Racial Stress

Positive Youth Development

Community Psychology

African-Centered Psychology

Reentry and Recidivism in Criminal Justice

Mental Health Disparities

Program Evaluation


Accomplishments (4)

Drum Major for Service Award (professional)

Awarded by President Barack Obama (2013)

Certificate of Special Recognition

Awarded by the Honorable Maxine Waters, 35th Congressional District (2011)

Honors for Excellence in Turning Research into Action

National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Urban LA (2011)

Faculty Recognition Award

Kente Graduation, Loyola Marymount University (2011)

Affiliations (6)

  • Association of Black Psychologists
  • Psychology Applied Research Center (PARC@LMU)
  • Imoyase Community Support Services (ICSS)
  • Within Our Lifetime
  • Community Healing Network
  • Alpha Sigma Nu

Research Grants (1)

CRDP II Statewide Evaluator

California Department of Public Health 


As the statewide evaluator for Phase II of the California Reducing Disparities Project , PARC@LMU will use a CBPR integrative mixed methods multi-year approach to discern best practices associated with the implementation of culturally defined evidence practice, as well as CRDP Phase II’s achievement of its objectives.

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