A faculty member since 2010, Dr. Smith-Bynum will provide academic and strategic leadership and advance the teaching, research, service and outreach missions of the department and School of Public Health. She succeeds Dr. Sandra Quinn, who served as chair for the past five and a half years.
“I am thrilled and honored by the opportunity to lead the Department of Family Science at this juncture,” Dr. Smith-Bynum said. “Having been a member of the department for 13 years, this is an incredible opportunity to give back and to lift up our brilliant students, faculty and staff.”
Dr. Smith-Bynum earned her doctoral degree at University of Virginia. Before arriving at the University of Maryland, she worked as an associate professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University.
A clinical psychologist by training, she most recently served as senior director for science equity, diversity and inclusion for the American Psychological Association (APA). At APA, she ensured research derived by the psychological sciences and the people producing it represented the full breadth of humanity from all walks of life.
At the School of Public Health, Dr. Smith-Bynum directs the Black Families Research Group and is deputy director of community engagement for the Prevention Research Center. She is an expert in African American and adolescent mental health, family interaction and communication in ethnic minority families, parenting, racial identity and adolescent sexual behavior.
She is also the author of the Theory of Racial Socialization in Action for Black Families and co-author of the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity (MMRI) and the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI-R).
"We are poised to innovate at the intersection of family life and public health in our curricula and our research in some exciting new ways."
Her work has been published in multiple psychology and family studies research journals, and she has received grant funding from several federal agencies, including the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
As chair of the Department of Family Science, Dr. Smith-Bynum said she will work closely with faculty and staff to help expand the department’s social justice components.
"We are the only family science department within an accredited school of public health,” she said. “We are poised to innovate at the intersection of family life and public health in our curricula and our research in some exciting new ways. It is definitely a great time to be leading our department, and I am delighted to get started!"
“As we enter a new academic year, I know the Department of Family Science is in good hands under Dr. Smith-Bynum’s leadership,” said Dean Boris Lushniak. “I look forward to all she and her team will accomplish.”
- School of Public Health
- Department of Family Science