Campus Office: North 207K
Dr. Griffin-Fennell is a triple graduate of the University of Connecticut. In 2007, Dr. Griffin-Fennell received her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut. Her dissertation examined how race/ethnicity and racial stereotypes affected college-aged observers' perceptions of depressed mood and potential suicide risk in same-age male peers. She also earned a graduate certificate in women's studies in the previous year, with emphasis on the lived experiences of African American women. In 2005, she received her master's degree in psychology. In 1999, she earned a BS degree in psychology, which very few students attain from the University.
Dr. Griffin-Fennell is an Academic Program Manager for Psychology and the Master's Program in Human Services.
Since 2002, Dr. Griffin-Fennell have served as the instructor-of-record at a number of local universities, including Central Connecticut State University and three campuses of the University of Connecticut (Storrs, Greater Hartford, and Waterbury), teaching psychology courses and a course in life skills for freshman football players.
As the new Academic Program Manager in the Psychology and Master of Human Services programs, Dr. Griffin-Fennell staffs and oversees the teaching faculty, manages the course curriculum, constructs and maintains the integrity of the OEI courses offered to our students, and teaches and mentors students.
Prior to joining Post University, Dr. Griffin-Fennell was an adjunct professor at Central Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut, Greater Hartford campus. She also completed postdoctoral training at the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, where she served as a research project manager on several initiatives across the state, including trauma-informed care and gender responsiveness.
To complete her doctoral training in clinical psychology, Dr. Griffin-Fennell was a psychology intern in the Albany Internship Consortium Program in Albany, NY. While in Albany, her clinical work was quite varied in the populations and psychological disorders with which she worked, ranging from individuals with acute onsets of severe psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia, women of childbearing age with substance abuse histories, and veterans from different military skirmishes and branches of service. Even though challenging, this work has been thought-provoking and gratifying. These experiences have expanded her understanding of and the need for psychology as a helping profession, and have colored her thoughts on how future members of the helping professions should be trained.
One of Dr. Griffin-Fennell's academic mentors once said, "In order to become a good teacher, a person must borrow from the best." She goes one step further, "In order to become a good teacher, you must borrow from the best, and make what is borrowed better." In becoming the best, a person learns from the best, while remaining abreast of current trends in teaching and technology. She has collected a personal set of standards on being a good teacher, based on observations of the characteristics and techniques of her beloved teachers from elementary school through graduate studies. A good teacher does more than providing students with the information needed to attain a favorable grade in a course. A good teacher creates a working environment of trust, genuine rapport, mutual respect, and unwavering support; incorporates various teaching methods and technologies to engage the students; helps those students apply that course material to real-life situations, allowing it to become more tangible, and helping them realize and embrace their potential through positive mentoring relationships.
Dr. Griffin-Fennell is married with two young boys. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys cooking and gardening.
Presently, Dr. Griffin-Fennell's research interests reside in the areas of suicidal behavior and psychological and physical well-being. In particular, her research interests concern the influence of cultural beliefs and other sociological aspects on lay people's abilities to recognize suicide risk factors and buffers, as well as the interface among psychological well-being, physical health, and racial identity on the behaviors of African American female adolescents and women.
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS AND POSITIONS
American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Member, Society for the Teaching of Psychology
Member, Society for the Psychology of Women
Member, Psychology of Black Women
Member, Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues
Emerging Scholars Interdisciplinary Network (ESIN)
Co-Chair, Ethnicity, Race, Culture, and Suicide Research Study Group
Honors and Awards:
Invited Participant, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Research & Coaching Clinic (received mentoring & training, 2009)
Fellow, American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program Psychology Summer Institute (received mentoring & training, 2009)
Invited Participant, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Third Annual Symposium (received mentoring & training, 2009)
Brown, D.L., Griffin-Fennell, F.D., & White-Johnson, R.L. (2011, November). Women's mental health: Considering multiple dimensions of social identity and diversity. In Lundburg-Love, P., Nadal, K., & Paludi, M. (Eds.), Women and Mental Disorders. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishers.
Frisman, L., & Griffin-Fennell, F.D. (2009, March). Commentary: Suicide and incarcerated veterans: Let's not wait for the final numbers. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 37(1), 92-94.
Griffin-Fennell, F.D., & Williams, M. (2006, August). Examining the complexities of suicidal behavior in the African American community. Journal of Black Psychology, 32(3), 303-319.
Griffin-Fennell, F.D. (2005, October). Dispelling myth: Educating high school students about clinical psychology. Connecticut Psychologist, 59(3), 4.