Tennisha Riley has been named an Outstanding Junior Faculty by Indiana University. This award recognizes promising tenure-track faculty who have not yet been awarded tenure and provides resources to further develop their research programs or creative activity. It is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.
Riley, an Assistant Professor in Counseling and Educational Psychology, called the award an incredible honor and said she’s grateful that the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology and the School of Education felt compelled to put forth a nomination and that the Office of the Vice Provost saw her research as deserving of the award.
“One thing that is so special about the award is that it recognizes the development of pre-tenured faculty. Without a doubt, there are members of the IU and Bloomington communities that have contributed to my growth and career. I am thankful for their continued support and learning opportunities within these shared spaces,” Riley said.
Among Riley’s research is a project she recently started with a community group in Allen County to understand factors contributing to the rising rate of suicide among Black youth. The project is community-based and youth-focused and seeks to get youth perspectives on the challenges Black adolescents face and how these challenges might contribute to mental health concerns or risk for self-injury and harm, with Riley adding, “We look forward to gaining insight from Black youth because they have been significantly impacted by the societal shifts due to the dual pandemics (COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism).”