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Kevin Cokley, Director 2109 San Jacinto Blvd (Bellmont Bldg. Rm 224), Mailcode E3600, Austin, TX 78705 •



Kevin Cokley, PhD 

Director & Professor |

Dr. Cokley is a counseling psychologist and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Black Psychology. His research and teaching can be broadly categorized in the area of African American psychology. His research foci have included examining (1) the psychological and environmental factors that impact African American student achievement, (2) the influence of racial and ethnic identity, and (3) correlates of mental health including perceived discrimination, religiosity and spirituality, and most recently the impostor phenomenon. Using social science research, personal anecdotes and references to popular culture, his current book project debunks the myth of Black anti-intellectualism.


Kathryn A. Freeman, JD

Policy Coordinator |

Ms. Freeman is an attorney whose research examines juvenile justice policies and practices that result in a school-to-prison pipeline. Her major functions include monitoring state and federal legislation that has an adverse impact on urban populations and providing guidance for policy analysis projects for IUPRA. She is also involved in research projects that focus on housing and an analysis of recent legislation considered by the Texas legislature.


Celeste Henery, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow |

Dr. Henery is an anthropologist whose research focuses on issues of mental health, race, and gender. She has conducted research on the mental wellness of black women in Brazil and currently is exploring new interpretative paradigms for issues of inequality and wellness in black communities. Her current research includes a study of mental health in public housing.

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Leonie Jones, BA

Administrative Associate |

Ms. Jones provides ongoing administrative support for a variety of policy research projects. She is also involved in editing of IUPRA publications and information management.  


Victor O. Obaseki, JD

Policy Coordinator |

Mr. Obaseki is an attorney who is responsible for establishing and maintaining a process for tracking legislation that affects urban populations. His current research focuses on an analysis of education policies at the state and federal levels. He is also involved in analysis of Medicaid Expansion and a review of changes in the African American population in Texas.


Chunhui Ren, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow |

Dr. Ren has completed and published a series of demographic studies of the black population in Texas circa 1950-2010. These studies have shown significant migratory changes in the locus of the black population in Texas and the continued disparities in housing, income, health, and mortality. He is currently working on studies of Medicaid, public housing, and factors that influence urban poverty.


Albert Thompkins, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow |

Dr. Thompkins’ research work focuses on the relationship of mental health of black populations, economics, and race disparities. He has conducted research on the economic cost of mental illness in the US and the extent to which changes in the economy result in major reductions in expenditures in funding for mental health at the state level. He is currently working on a project that examines the degree of mental health training of black ministers and their involvement in the formal mental health system. 


Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD

Research Scientist |

Dr. Vohra-Gupta’s research focuses on economic and labor policy as it relates to women and families of ethnic minority groups. She is currently conducting research on minimum wage policy and the safety net as it applies to women of color in poverty. In addition she is completing a research study on birth outcomes in low-income women of color. Dr. Vohra-Gupta manages the publication of briefs and articles within IUPRA and teaches courses in public policy, race, ethnicity, and culture.

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