Our Mission

The Identity and Success Research Laboratory is a narrative personality psychology lab that conducts both basic psychological science and applied research.  The mission of ISRL is to achieve the following:

  1. Develop theories and methods to expand understanding of narrative identity, success, health, and well-being within the lives of individuals who live in racialized societies.
  2. Design models that specify how dimensions of human personality (e.g. personality traits, motivation, narrative identity) inform the development of computational thinking, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (e.g. machine learning) theories and methods.
  3. Design and deploy apprentice and team science training models to cultivate research skills and harness the personal development of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.
  4. Design research intensive undergraduate courses and advanced graduate courses that engage students in learning experiences that equip them to conduct high quality research projects within a semester long course.
  5. Translate knowledge from basic research and narrative personality psychology theories to transform the identity and success within both organizations (i.e. academic, corporate, and government) and individual lives (e.g. African American students, women in the workplace).

Our Principal Investigator and Founder

Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor is a widely respected and accomplished narrative personality psychologist.  She is Professor of Psychology at Howard University, as well as the founding Principal Investigator of the Identity and Success Research Laboratory (ISRL).  Dr. Winston-Proctor draws on multiple disciplines of psychology such as personality, developmental, health, cognitive, educational, cultural, and neuro psychology to explore the role of narrative processing and autobiographical reasoning in the development of narrative identity and the psychology of success across the life course.   Her narrative personality psychology work includes applications for education, leadership development, social justice, health, behavioral cybersecurity, African ancestry tracing, computational thinking, and artificial intelligence (e.g. machine learning).   Dr. Winston-Proctor is committed to the education, training, and personal growth of the next generation of psychologists and research scientists who can solve complex problems throughout the world. 

During her early career, she received the National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award, the foundation’s most prestigious award for early career scientists and engineers.  In addition, she has been awarded the Howard University Emerging Scholar Award and the Howard University Course Syllabus of the Year Award. 

To support her research at Howard University, Dr. Winston-Proctor has been awarded over ten million dollars of federal and private foundation funding.   She has published her research in a variety of academic journals and edited books, including Culture & Psychology, Qualitative Psychology, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of Psychology, Psych Critiques, New Directions in Childhood &Adolescent Development, Review of Research in Education, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology, the Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry, the Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of Psychology, and Culture, Learning, & Technology: Research and Practice.  In addition, she is a widely sought after speaker and has provided expert commentary for public convenings of the Atlantic, the Association of American Colleges and Universities,  Essence Magazine, Diversity in Higher Education,  Black Enterprise, the U.S. Department of Education, and the White House, Office on Science, Technology and Policy (OSTP). Dr. Winston-Proctor also recently co-authored the book, Behavioral Cybersecurity: Applications of Personality Psychology and Computer Science published by Taylor and Francis. 

Her national leadership and professional service are extensive including the following:  President, the Society of STEM Women of Color; Committee Member, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Women of Color in Technology; Director, Board of Directors of the Alfred Harcourt Foundation; Elected Member, the Society of Personology; Editorial Board Member, Qualitative Psychology, an academic journal of the American Psychological Association (APA); Advisory Board Member, APA PSYLEARN; Executive Committee Member, Society of Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology.   Dr. Winston-Proctor has also held appointments as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Professor at Brown University, Director of Internship and Fellowship Programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Director of the National Science Foundation Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate at Howard University, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, and a Visiting Scholar at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Winston-Proctor earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Howard University and her Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan.

University and National Appointments

Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor was appointed the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on the Under representation of Women of Color in Tech

Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor was reappointed to Editorial Board of the American Psychological Association Journal Qualitative Inquiry

Dr. David Wall Rice was promoted to Full Professor at Morehouse College

Dr. Leshell Hatley was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at Coppin State University

Dr. Cynthia Thomas was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at Louisanna State University (LSU)-Alexandria