Cheryl Tawede Grills, Ph.D.




Professor of Psychology
Office: University Hall 4600

Telephone: (310) 338-2716


B.A.,   Yale University, 1980
M.A.,   University of California at Los Angeles, 1982 
Ph.D.University of California at Los Angeles, 1985.

Specialty/Areas of Interest:

Clinical and community psychology, African-centered psychology, reentry and recidivism in criminal justice, substance abuse prevention and treatment, CBPR and program evaluation research, adult and juvenile justice, child welfare, traditional medicine in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Cuba. 

Courses Taught:

Community Psychology, Program Evaluation, African Centered Psychology, Introductory Psychology, School and Community Psychology, Study Abroad – Ghanaian History and Culture and African Psychology,  Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Treatment, Counseling Theory and Methods, Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills joined LMU's Psychology Department in 1987. She completed her undergraduate training at Yale University with a double major in psychology and African American studies and received her Masters and Ph.D. from UCLA. In 2009 she became certified in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Dr. Cheryl Grills is a clinical psychologist by training with a current emphasis in Community Psychology.  She is Professor of Psychology at Loyola Marymount University and Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts.  Dr. Grills also serves as a Los Angeles County Commissioner appointed by the LA County Board of Supervisors (2010) to a four year term on the Sybil Brand Commission for Institutional Inspections which focuses on conditions and practices within county jails, probation and correctional facilities. 

Dr. Grills is the immediate past president of The Association of Black Psychologists and founder and director of Imoyase Community Support Services, a non-profit program evaluation and consulting organization serving community-based organizations and foundations around the country.  She is Co-Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection. Among the honors and awards she has received is her election in 2004 to the title of "Distinguished Psychologist" by the Association of Black Psychologists (the association's highest honor).

Dr. Grills’ research interests, publications and current projects include African-centered models of treatment engagement with African Americans; substance abuse prevention and treatment, community psychology; community mental health, prevention, and the provision of action research and program evaluation services to community based organizations engaged in social action, community change and prevention on a host of issues including the those related to public policy and environmental change strategies to address childhood obesity in communities of color, education reform, health care, slum housing, homelessness, the prison industrial complex, reentry reduction of recidivism from incarceration for African American women, culturally based approaches to mentoring, and issues related to disproportionality in child welfare and juvenile justice. 

Dr. Grills consults nationally on a number of issues particularly regarding matters of cultural and social competence, multiculturalism and Africentric interventions.   She has also studied under traditional medical practitioners in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal and is a registered member of the Ghana National Association of Traditional Healers.  She has three children, and countless "adopted" children in the US and West Africa.

Recent Publications:

Grills, C., Villanueva, S., Anderson, M., Corsbie-Massay, C. Smith, B., Johnson, L. & Owens, K.  (In review).  Effectiveness of Choice Theory Connections (CTC): A cross sectional and comparative analysis of California female inmates.

Grills, C. (Accepted).  The Association of Black Psychologists: Context, Perspective, and Mission of ABPsi - Present & Future.  The Journal of Black Psychology.

Garcia, A., Minkler, M., Cardenas, Z., Grills, C., & Porter, C.  (Accepted).  Engaging homeless youth in Community –Based Participatory Research: A case study from Skid Row, Los Angeles. Health Promotion and Practice.

Grills, C. Fingerhut, A, Thadani, V, & Machon, R. (2012). The LMU residential learning community.  In: Buch, K. & Barron, K. (Eds.) Discipline-Centered Learning Communities: Creating Connections Among Students and Faculty Within A Major.  New Directions for Teaching and Learning Series: San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Grills, C. (2012).  ABPsi: The year in review.  Psych Discourse 46 (3), 4-11. 

Gonzalez, E.R., Villanueva, S., & Grills, C. N. (2012). Communities Creating Healthy Environments to Combat Obesity: Preliminary Evaluation Findings From Two Case Studies.  Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 10, 88-98.

Grills, C. (2011).  Reflections on the culturally adaptive model of counseling for persons of African descent: An African centered perspective.  In: Gallardo, Yeh, Parham, & Trimble (Eds.). Working Culturally and Responsively with Persons of African, Asian, Latino, and Native Descent: The Culturally Adaptive Model of Counseling.   Woodland Hills: Sage Publications.

Grills, C. (2011).  Mobilizing Tuskegee, Alabama for community healing.  Psych Discourse 41 (1), 3-4. 

Grills, C. (2011).  ABPsi: Building bridges for the future: A call to action.  Psych Discourse 45 (5), 4-6. 

Bell, D., Anderson, M, & Grills, C. (2011). Culture-based prevention programming for African American youth: Winners and the Community Prevention Program of Avalon Carver Community Center.  Psych Discourse 45 (2), 4-9. 

Grills, C. (Accepted for Publication). African psychology: Reflections and refinements.  In:  Mkize, N. (Eds) African Psychology.  Pretoria, South Africa: Van Schaik.

Grills, C. (2010). Each other’s keeper: African-centered understanding of mentoring.   Psych Discourse. 46(5). 

Grills, C.  (2009). I am because we are: Locating health, well-being, and intervention in community.  Psych Discourse. 43 (4), 9-17. 

Grills, C. (2006).  Afterward.  In W. Nobles (Ed). Seeking the Sakhu:  Foundational writings for an African psychology. Chicago: Third World Press.

Grills, C. (2004).  African psychology.  In R. Jones (Ed). African psychology.  Hampton, VA: Cobb and Henry.

Grills, C. (2004).  African psychology. A rejoinder.  In R. Jones (Ed). African psychology.  Hampton, VA: Cobb and Henry.

Grills, C. (2004). To be an African psychologist:  A pilgrimage to Iwa Pele.   Psych Discourse. 36 (2), 5-7. 

Grills, C.  (2003). Substance abuse and African Americans. In D. Gilbert & E. Wright (Eds.), African American women living with HIV: The need for critical responses.  Praeger Press.

Grills, C. & Ajei, M.  (2002). African-centered conceptualizations of self and consciousness: The Akan model.  In T. Parham (Ed.), Counseling persons of African descent.  Woodland Hills: Sage Publications.

Grills, C.  (2002). African-centered psychology. In T. Parham (Ed.), Counseling persons of African descent.  Woodland Hills: Sage Publications.

Grills, C. and Bass, K. (2001).  African Americans and The prison industrial complex. Community Psychologist.  News Journal of Division 27 of the American psychological Association.

Ajei, M. and Grills, C.  (2000). Sunsum as Conscious Energy.  Psych Discourse, (20) 12-15.

Longshore, D. & Grills, C. (2000).   Motivating recovery from illegal drug use: Evidence for a culturally congruent intervention. Journal of Black Psychology 26(3), 288-301.

Grills, C. N., & Rowe, D.  M. (1999). Constructing and managing culturally competent research teams for community-based investigations. Drugs & Society, 14 (1/2), 247-268. 

Longshore, D. & Grills, C., & Annon, K.  (1999).   Effects of a culturally congruent intervention on cognitive factors related to drug-use recovery.  Substance Use and Misuse, 34 (9), 1223-1241.

Longshore, D., Grills, C., Annon, K. & Grady, R., (1998). Promoting recovery from drug abuse: An Africentric intervention.  Journal of Black Studies, 28(3), 319-333.

Grills, C. & Rowe, D. (1998). African traditional medicine: Implications for African-centered approaches to healing.  In R. Jones (Ed.), African American Mental Health, Hampton, VA: Cobb & Henry.

Grills, C. & Rowe, D. (1998).  Research teams in ethnic communities. Drugs and Society, 14(1-2), 247-268.

Longshore, D., Grills, C., Anglin, M.D., & Annon, K. (1998) Treatment motivation among African American drug-using arrestees.  Journal of Black Psychology, 24 (2) 126-144.

Longshore, D., Grills, C., (1998). Drug problem recognition among African American drug-using arrestees.  Addictive Behaviors, 23( 2), 275-279.

Longshore, D., Grills, C., Annon, K. & Grady, R., (1998). Promoting recovery from drug abuse: An Africentric intervention.  Journal of Black Studies, 28(3), 319-333.

Longshore, D., Grills, C., Anglin, M. D., & Annon, K. (1997). Desire for help among African- American drug users. Journal of Drug Issues, 27(4), 755-770.

Grills, C. & Longshore, D. (1996).  Africentrism: Psychometric analysis of a self-report measure.  Journal of Black Psychology, 22 (1), 86-106.

Grills, C., Bass, K., Brown, D, & Akers, A. (1996).  Empowerment evaluation: Building upon a tradition of activism in the African American community.  In D. Fetterman, A. Wandersman, & S. Kafterian (Eds.), Empowerment Evaluation: Knowledge and Tools for Self-Assessment and Accountability,123-140, Sage, CA.

Grills, C. & Nobles, W. (1995).  A covenant with destiny: The ABPsi African healers project; Psych Discourse, 26 (6), 8-9.

Rowe, D. & Grills, C. (1993). African-centered drug treatment: An alternative conceptual  paradigm for counseling African-American clients.  Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 25(1), 21-32.

Grills, C. (1991). The high visibility education project (Contract No. D-0059-8). Sacramento, CA: State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs-Report.

Fairchild, H.H. & Wright (Grills), C. (1984).  A social-ecological assessment and feedback intervention of an adolescent treatment agency. Adolescence, XIX (74), 263- 275.

Director of/Programs in charge of:

-Associate Dean, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, Loyola Marymount University
Portfolio includes: Internationalization of the Curriculum, Engaged Learning, Graduate Programs, Living Learning Communities, Faculty Searchers and Hires, Liaison to College Staff
-Ghana Study Abroad Program, (Founder and Faculty Sponsor)
-Founder and Academic Sponsor, Kente Scholars Graduation Program (1996-present)
-Ghana Study Abroad Program, (Founder and Faculty Sponsor)
-Chair, Psychology Department, Loyola Marymount University 

Honors & Awards:

MLK Drum Major for Service Award – President Barak Obama

National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Urban LA, Honors for Excellence in Turning Research into Action

Certificate of Special Recognition, The Honorable Maxine Waters, 35th Congressional District

Faculty Recognition Award, Kente Graduation, Loyola Marymount University

CCHE Childhood Obesity Grant - National Evaluation of 22 Site Environmental and Public Policy Change Strategy

The President's Volunteer Service Award, An Initiative of the United States President's Council on Service and Civic Participation

CCHE Childhood Obesity Grant - National Evaluation of 10 Site Environmental and Public Policy Change Strategy

Inducted: Alpha Sigma Nu, National Jesuit Honor Society

Appreciation Award, United Coalition East Prevention Project

Faculty Recognition Award, Kente Graduation, Loyola Marymount University

Appreciation Award, Black Probation Officers Association

Barbara Avery Community First Award, The learning Community, Loyola Marymount University

Distinguished Psychologist Award, The National Association of Black Psychologists

The Villager Award, Loyola Marymount University Black Alumni Association

Appreciation Award, Southern California Association of Black Psychologists

Service Award, The National Association of Black Psychologists

Center for Consciousness Studies Grant, Principle Investigator, Consciousness Research

Dr. Ruth Temple Award For Distinguished Public Health Service in Los Angeles County

Certificate of Appreciation from Senator Barbara Boxer for service to the County of Los Angeles in the area of drug prevention

Commendation (By Resolution No. 908) from The Board of Fire Commissioners of the Los Angeles City Fire Department

County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California Award in Research and in Public Policy, for her contributions to these areas in the state of California.

National Institute of Drug Abuse Substance Abuse Treatment Engagement Clinical Trials Study

Clinical Credentials:

(RTC) Certified in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy

Fun Facts:

Salsa dancing anyone?