Dr. Rachel Tennial

Dr. Rachel Tennial is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. She is from St. Louis, MO and completed her doctorate at Saint Louis University. Recently, Dr. Rachel Tennial was recognized as a Student Advocate for her outstanding efforts in student academic advancement. She is committed to working amongst the community as well as exploring social psychology in her research projects.

Community Engagement

Dr. Tennial is spear-heading the steering committee for a $160,000 BMOC (Black Men Of Color) grant and data platform. As a leader and proud supporter of BMOC and BMOST (Boys and Men of Color Opportunity Success Team), Dr. Tennial will play a vital role in building a comprehensive evaluation system and data access platform to enable program staff at youth-serving organizations, colleges, and the City of Little Rock to more effectively collect and use data to help BMOC succeed in school and career.

In addition to her work with BMOC and BMOST, Dr. Tennial is also developing a presentation about the life and legacy of Dr. William S. Hall. On February 28th, 2020, Dr. Tennial will be giving a presentation and serving as a panelist for the Centennial Commemoration event described here.

Research Initiatives

Dr. Tennial is focusing her research on examining different facets of human behavior and interaction. Her research interests include the topics of stereotypes, prejudice, colorism, and identity. Currently, she is conducting research within the area of collective identity with specific studies on racial identity, racial identification, sexual identity, and sexual identification. This body of research is focused on developing a methodology to accurately conceptualize and assess identity constructs. Her work also includes the examination of the significance and meaning that humans place on skin tone (e.g. light skin vs. dark skin).

On March 26, 2020, she will be presenting at Murray State University about race and sexual identity. The presentation “Who are We? An Exploration of Racial and Sexual Identity” will delve into a brief history of racial identity and present findings on a study of Black racial identity and racial identification. She will discuss how the findings on a study of Gay and Lesbian sexual identity apply to the larger population as well as areas for future research.

Finally, in April of 2020, Dr. Tennial will be presenting a talk at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association. This is a collaboration with Drs. Faucett and Moore. She is providing perspective to their research with Methodist clergy with their study “Relationships Between Personality and Demographic Variables of United Methodist Clergy and Attitudes Towards Same-Sex Marriage.”