Gina (Diagou) Sissoko awarded prestigious Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

Gina Sissoko

Gina (Diagou) Sissoko, a second-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at John Jay College has been awarded the highly competitive Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship "is awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation." The fellowship is awarded to predoctoral students who "in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students."

Under the mentorship of Dr. Kevin Nadal, Gina studies the intersecting effects of racism and colorism, structural oppression, and gendered violence on mental health and legal involvement among Black women and girls. Her current project examines skin tone as a social determinant of mental health and criminal legal involvement among Black women survivors of interpersonal violence. Gina aims to pursue a research career focused on developing an evidence base for gender-, race- and trauma-informed policy.

Gina has been the recipient of multiple prestigious awards and fellowships, including the Junior Scientist Fellowship from the American

Psychological Association (APA), the Doctoral Student Research Award from the Graduate Center, the Livingston Welch Research

Award for academic excellence, the Hunter College Undergraduate Research Initiative Fellowship, the Program for Research on Black Americans Summer Graduate Student Mentoring Workshop Award, and the Vera Institute of Justice Summer Research Fellowship.

As a second-year student, she has an extensive publication record. To date, she has authored 17 professional presentations, five peer-reviewed publications, and three book chapters. Her work has been published in high impact journals such as the American Journal of Public Health and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Her research has already shown to have an impact on policy. For example, her book chapter titled "Mothering under Criminal Community Justice Supervision in the USA" in the Palgrave Handbook of Prison and the Family has led to improved training content for New York probation officers.

Gina attributes much of her academic accolades and success to the mentorship she receives from faculty at The Graduate Center.

CUNY's interdisciplinary nature allows her to work with faculty mentors across programs and departments. In addition to working under Dr. Nadal's advisements, she is mentored by Dr. Lorie Goshin from the GC Nursing Program and Dr. Allwood in the Clinical Psychology program at John Jay College.

Gina holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Hunter College. She served as the NGO

Youth Representative on behalf of the Association of Women in Psychology at the United Nations. She is currently the Mentoring Coordinator and a Graduate Student Board Member of the APA Section for Psychology on Black Women. Gina is originally from Hamburg, Germany and moved to New York City in 2012.

Submitted on: MAR 21, 2020

Category: Psychology