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Executive Board

A multidisciplinary foundation is critical to carrying out the Center’s mission. We believe that understanding healthy urban child development involves building collaborative relationships with several disciplines that offer critical perspectives to urban child growth. To that end, our board represents an array of disciplines.


Lisa T. Moon,  Director

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology  

Dr. L. T. Moon
is a native of Richmond, Virginia and serves as an Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Union University, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Director for VUU's Center for the Study of the Urban Child. Dr. Lisa T. Moon received a B.A. degree in Psychology from Spelman College and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She joined the VUU family five years ago and brings with her professional competencies in the area of academic program development & coordination, clinical supervision, grant writing, and research & publication. She has focused her career on many aspects of academic instruction and clinical training of both undergraduate and graduate students who are studying to become professional practitioners in the field of psychology and counseling and attend historically black colleges and universities.  


Dr. Joy Lawson Davis
Associate Professor & Chairperson
Department of Education


Dr. Joy Lawson Davis is an Associate Professor & Chair in the Department of Teacher Education at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to working at Virginia Union, Dr. Davis was an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Her career spans four decades as a teacher, district coordinator for gifted education, university-level Research Grant coordinator, and an Executive Director/principal at a specialized high school for gifted learners in urban and rural areas in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also worked as State Specialist for Gifted Programs, K-12 in Virginia for five years. Davis is currently serving a three-year term as an At-Large member of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Board of Directors and previously served two terms as the Chair of the NAGC’s Diversity & Equity Committee.

Dr. Davis is a reviewer and published author of several articles, book chapters, technical reports and an award-winning book, "Bright, Talented & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners."  It is the first book of its kind to address the specific needs of the Black community by providing research-based support and resources for parents, educators, and other advocates. Her research and publications are focused on family/community engagement, underrepresentation in gifted education, and the psycho-social needs of high achieving students from diverse backgrounds.

Dr. Davis is a well-respected and recognized expert in the area of Cultural Diversity & Gifted Education. Holding two graduate degrees from The College of William & Mary in Virginia, she provides consultation services to school districts, family & community groups, organizations, and universities across the nation, in the Caribbean, and South Africa.

 Dr. Sandra K. Flynn
Associate Professor
Department of Social Work  

Dr. Sandra K. Flynn is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Virginia Union University. She has concentrated her career in academia. Her research interests include investigating the health issues that impact African Americans, the support needs of the aged, chronically ill, and caregivers. She teaches courses in Social Research Methods, Ethics, Social Welfare Policy, Social Work Practice and Field Placement. Prior to her current academic appointment, she maintained a career in law enforcement. A Southwest Virginia native, she earned her MSW from Radford University and her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.



Dr. Julie A. Molloy
Associate Professor & Chairperson
Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice  

Dr. Julie Molloy is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Criminology and Criminal Justice department at Virginia Union University. Dr. Molloy earned a B.S. in Psychology (concentration in Applied Psychology) from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 1985 and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Criminology from the Florida State University (1988 and 1995, respectively). Her dissertation research focused on the decision-making of jurors in death penalty cases and was part of the Capital Jury Project, a national study of jury-decision making in death penalty cases. She has worked as an evaluator for the Juvenile Welfare Board (Pinellas County, Florida), the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, and Transformation Systems, Inc. (TSI). She has served as a consultant for Pearson Education, Survivors of Stalking, the Florida Public Defender Association, Volunteer Lawyers’ Resource Center, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Supreme Court Racial and Ethnic Bias Study Commission, and the Police Foundation. Prior to working at Virginia Union University, Molloy was a faculty member at the University of Richmond where she taught criminal justice courses in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She currently serves as a member of the City of Richmond’s Community Criminal Justice Board and is an Executive Planning Committee Member of the Center for the Study of the Urban Child. Her research interests include the impact of incarceration on children, families, and the community; the epidemiology and ecology of violent behavior; as well as the deterrent impact of capital punishment.

Dr. Felecia D. Williams
Associate Professor
Department of History & Political Science  

Dr. Felecia D. Williams
is an Associate Professor of Political Science/Public Administration in the History and Political Science Department at Virginia Union University. Her research interests include internationalization of college and university campuses, disparity issues, and issues affecting urban populations. She teaches courses in American Government, research methods, comparative politics, urban and metropolitan politics and public administration. Prior to her current academic appointment, she taught as an adjunct at the University of Richmond, Virginia State University, and Piedmont Community College, where she was selected as a Virginia Council for International Education faculty delegate to the United Kingdom. She also has worked in local and regional government as a program manager and administrator and has consulted with nonprofit organizations on issues of performance and program evaluation. A Virginia native, she earned her Ph.D. from the Center for Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University and her MPA from the University of Virginia.

 Ms. Odessa W. Johnson
Administrative Assistant