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Cheryl Talley

Talley, Cheryl, PhD


Associate Professor

Phone: 804-524-5130
Fax: 804-524-5460
Location: Hunter McDaniel, Rm 30 N-A


  • PhD, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • MS, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • BS, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA


  • Health and Wellness and Academic Achievement

Research Interests

  • Rodent models of metabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with specific emphasis on socio-behavioral factors
  • Obesity among African American women:  the effectiveness of a psychospiritual intervention
  • Mindfulness and Meditation as protective factors of systemic disempowerment
  • Obesity, Diabetes, and Other Metabolic Disorders

Courses Taught

  • Graduate:  Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Undergraduate:  Physiological Psychology, Drugs and Behavior, Vision and Audition, Brain Damage

Dr. Cheryl Talley has a deep commitment to undergraduate science teaching in the laboratory and in the classroom. Dr. Talley’s student researchers have consistently won student research awards and presented their research at state, regional and national meetings, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Society for Neuroscience annual meetings. Dr. Talley takes student-mentoring very seriously and understands what is necessary to gain admittance into medical, dental or graduate school. She focuses on helping students strengthen their academic skills. However, she also recognizes that personal factors like, time management, organization and self-confidence are equally important to academic success.

Dr. Talley is also active outside of the University. She just recently ended her tenure as chair of the Science Committee of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45) of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Talley has served on numerous boards and commissions and was most recently re-nominated to a board associated with the Education Directorate of Virginia by Governor McDonnell.  She chairs the Board of Reference for the center for Justice and Peace Building at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. At the local level, she founded an organization for middle school children aimed at increasing self-esteem and improving academic outcomes.

Dr. Talley’s research interests include obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. She utilizes laboratory rats in her research to investigate the cause of diabetes at the molecular and cellular level. As a member of the faculty in the Health Psychology program her students are also engaged in studying psychological and cultural factors that contribute to chronic behavior-related disorders like obesity,

Dr. Talley is currently re-submitting a grant proposal to the National Institute of Health which is a collaborative effort with colleagues at James Madison University. The research involves comparison of rats reared and impoverished and enhanced settings and comparing how relative deprivation may influence the behavior of genetically obesity-prone rats. Current research in academic success is ongoing with a colleague at Georgetown University. The research includes aspects of cognitive neuroscience and focuses on innovative ways to enhance academic success of undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students. One aim of this research is to identify strategies that will increase students' attention and focus while they are preparing for and taking exams. Another outcome will be the creation of videos featuring successful students who are advising other students on how to get "Straight-A's" at Virginia State.

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