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Educator to Discuss Minority Mental Health

Educator to Discuss Minority Mental Health

02/12/2019 

Racism is not simply unfair. It is also stressful. And that, according to Victoria McNeil, can negatively affect the health of people from historically underrepresented groups.

A doctoral student and instructor in counseling psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, McNeil has focused her scholarship on health psychology and health disparities, minority mental health advocacy and trauma and its impact on transgenerational minority identity.

She will share her research on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at SUNY Cortland.

McNeil’s talk, titled “I Am Enough: Racism-Related Stress, Self-Esteem and Racial Identity in the #blackgirlmagic Era,” will begin at 6 p.m. in Old Main Brown Auditorium.

The presentation is free and open to the public. It is the 12th annual Charles N. Poskanzer Lecture, sponsored by the College’s Health Department with support from an endowment fund named in honor of the late SUNY Distinguished Service Professor emeritus who taught in the College’s Health Department for 40 years.

A self-described “dreamer, literary fanatic and advocate,” McNeil’s research interests center on psychological trauma and the impact that racism and discrimination have on transgenerational minority identity. 

“I am dedicated to educating our community about optimal mental health practices,” McNeil said. “I hope to empower minority millennials to break free of the psychological chains of oppression and take an active stance in fighting for change.” 

As a speaker, McNeil has presented her research at various venues, including the European Branch of the American Counseling Association’s conference in Naples, Italy and the Florida Counseling Association’s conference in Orlando, Fla. She has been invited to serve as a guest lecturer at Stetson University, Northeastern University and the University of Florida.

Before pursuing a doctorate, McNeil earned a master’s degree in psychology from University of Florida and also has completed coursework toward a master’s degree in mental health counseling at the University of Central Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in African American studies from University of Florida.

The Poskanzer Fund was established through the Cortland College Foundation as an endowment to support an annual, public lecture offered by the College’s Health Department in honor of its former colleague. Since Poskanzer’s death in 2010, the fund has continued to grow through donations made in his memory. The Poskanzer Lecture allows the Health Department to bring national leaders in public and community health to campus to meet with students and faculty and to deliver a public lecture on a current public health issue.

For more information, contact Health Department Chair Bonni Hodges at 607-753-4225 or Kelechi Ibe-Lamberts, SUNY Cortland assistant professor of health, at 607-753-4225.