From the president

Elijah Mudryk is a graduate student at the University of Mississippi studying clinical psychology with a focus on community psychology. He is a student leader actively involved in working with communities to find solutions and helping groups access existing resources to collaboratively work toward solutions. As co-founder of the PEERS Social Skills Group within the Psychological Services Center at the University of Mississippi, he works with psychologists to provide evidence-based social training for children with developmental disabilities. In addition, Mudryk’s scholarly research explores what motivates and sustains African Americans to become involved in their communities. He uses this information to inform community leaders how they can recruit citizens to be more involved in social-, political-, and civic-oriented efforts. Mudryk's research also explores how positive community factors contribute to the development of leadership and social engagement among youth across the United States, Canada, and Africa.

Dr. Glenn Boyce


University of Mississippi


Personal Statement

My belief about community-oriented solutions is that they work best when they tap into the community’s existing resilience and resources, while serving in the role of an ally, using my education and experience to help develop these grassroots solutions. A community has the available resources including solidarity, passion for solving their challenges, knowledge from the peoples’ lived experiences, and a shared desire to improve living conditions for the world around them. These beliefs come from a concept I learned back in 2019 when I was working on a grant with a settlement agency helping Syrian refugees acculturate to life in Canada. We searched for previous models of successful cultural welcoming and came across a concept known as “intentional recognition” in the psychology literature. Intentional recognition is based on the idea that each person has something valuable to contribute to a social movement based on their individual background, knowledge, and lived experience. Remembering intentional recognition helped me realize that I could work to address this shared historical adversity by allying with communities and incorporating evidence-based knowledge into my partnerships. This motivation developed into my potential through my following years of psychology research, community intervention, dissertation mixed-methods research, and activist partnerships.

Elijah Mudryk

Clinical Psychology

University of Mississippi