About Us



Dr. Phyllis A. Ray

Assistant Director


Dr. Phyllis A. Gray is currently Professor of Sociology and Social Psychology at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, FL.  Previously, she served as the Vice President for Research, and then as the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Research Institute at Florida A & M University.  Other positions include being the Chief Research Officer and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Winston-Salem State University; Head of the Division of Social Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Voorhees College; Professor and Research Director of the Institute for Disability Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi; The City of Jackson (Mississippi)Chief  Strategic Planner/Consultant for the city’s 2000 – 2004 Strategic Plan; Executive Director of the Mississippi Urban Research Center at Jackson State University; Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at North Carolina Central University; Associate Professor and Assistant Professor of Sociology/Criminology, and Coordinator of the Mississippi Crime and Justice Research Unit of the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University, as well as an Instructor of Sociology at Iowa State University.  Dr. Gray has produced approximately 20 professional research final reports, 8 major strategic plans, and presented nearly 60 papers at national and international conferences.  She has published numerous scholarly research articles in both national and international journals, and is the recipient of many honors and awards including induction into the prestigious Sigma Xi National Scientific Research Society.  She is also the founding Executive Director of the National Black Graduate Student Association, Inc. Dr. Gray has generated close to 10 million dollars in external research funds.  Her research has been funded by The National Science Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, the U. S. Department of Education, the Mississippi Department of Health, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and the Kellogg Foundation.  During her tenure as Vice President for Research at Florida A & M University, faculty generated over $60 million in single-year funds and over $100 million in multi-year funds, within one year.Her current book, From Imagining to Understanding the African American Experience, was published in August, 2012.  Her second book, focusing on the disparate treatment of minority youth in the juvenile justice system is slated for publication in 2013. Dr.  Phyllis A. Grayis a native of Beaufort, SC and received her B. S. degree in Psychology from South Carolina State University, and both the M. S. degree and Ph.D. in Sociology/Social Psychology from Iowa State University.  She is the mother of two, Akeem T. Ray, a Junior majoring in Psychology at Florida State University, and Shakenna J. Durant, a 5th grader at Killearn Lakes Elementary School in Tallahassee, Florida.