DR. LAVONNA CONNELL
Dr. Connell was born in the mountains of Charleston, West Virginia and grew up in the metropolitan city of Houston, Texas.
She went to the illustrious Pine Forge Academy and completed her undergraduate studies at Oakwood University where she graduated Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She went on the pursue her doctorate at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio which provided a strong foundation for her current clinical practice and world view.
Currently, Dr. Connell serves overseas as a Clinical Psychologist for children and spouses of active duty service members while also providing crisis intervention, psychological assessment, and assisting parents in advocating for the educational needs of their children.
Dr. Connell has a passion for outreach and has created and organized programs to support the community to include topics of mental health, sexual assault, and stress. Most recently, Dr. Connell partnered with The American Red Cross and established a Girl’s Empowerment Group, a group in which she mentored young ladies in grades 5-8 that addressed topics to include self-esteem, academic success, and mental health.
Dr. Connell is a proud aunt; a daughter, sister, and friend to an amazing network of individuals. In her free time, she can be found enjoying quality time with her social support, working on plans for an idea, or traveling the world.
Q & A with Dr. Connell:
What are 3 words to describe yourself? An influencer, an agent of change, and determined.
What is one social issue you would change? The issue of homelessness has always been on my heart. However, if I had all the critical tools I needed (language fluency and degree), I would be at the US border assisting with the issues going on there.
What was the motivation behind the podcast Melanated Musings? Melanated Musings was created to share my voice. Is another podcast needed? Probably not. However, I know that I can impact my circle of influence and in providing this platform, not only do I get to share my voice, my guests also get the opportunity to share their voices which is liberating for many of us who have been silenced for years, if not a lifetime.
What motivates you? I am motivated by understanding that there is a lot of work to do and recognizing where my privilege lies in regards to being able to do something about that change. There are many who cannot take action, don't have knowledge, or lack access to resources. I would love to be a major factor to changing the world. Even if I can't make that big of an impact, I hope to change the world of individuals. Whether it is an act of kindness that brightens one's day or working in conjunction with others to increase social justice, mental health awareness, or solidarity; I believe that I can make a difference-and that's what motivates me.
And now for some fun facts...
What has your favorite country been? Iceland! The food, the people, the landscapes...it is absolutely the most beautiful country I have ever been to. Experiencing the Aurora Borealis was breathtaking and unforgettable. And it has to be unforgettable because my camera did not pick up the sights! I could go on and on about Iceland. It was safe, fun, and a trip I would definitely repeat.
What is something adventurous you've always wanted to do and something you would never do? I have always wanted to go jetskiing and I would never go skydiving. Why jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane!?