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Teceta Tormala, PhD


Associate Professor

Contact Information:

Other Positions:

Core Associate Professor


PhD, PsyD, Masters


PhD, Social Psychology, Stanford University (2003)
MA, Social Psychology, Stanford University (2001)
BA, Psychology and Spanish, Duke University (1998)


 Dr. Teceta Tormala (she/her) is a social psychologist whose work centers on understanding how identity and culture shape the lived experience of individuals, and how systems can facilitate wholeness, wellness, and liberation. One focus of her scholarship is the exploration of intersectional Black identity, experience, and mental health, and the factors that promote mental wellness, healing, and liberation among members of the African diaspora. A second line of inquiry explores translational work for inclusion, equity, social change, justice, and transformation. Her research and teaching cohere around sociocultural psychology- with a recognition of historical, social, political, and economic influences on the psychological outcomes of individuals- and is grounded in critical consciousness, antiracism, feminism, and social justice.

Dr. Tormala earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and Spanish at Duke University, and received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University. She completed a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded postdoctoral fellowship at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Prior to joining the faculty at Palo Alto University, Dr. Tormala was a lecturer at Stanford University, and a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University.

Areas of Interest:

Developing critical and cultural consciousness; intersectional sociocultural identity and experience; wellness and liberation; racial and ethnic identity in Black immigrants

Selected Publications:

Tormala, T.T., & Mc Kenzie, R.S. (2021) Social representations of Blackness in America: Stereotypes about Black immigrants and Black Americans. In H. Chu & B. Thelamour (Eds.), Conceptual and Methodological Approaches to Navigating Immigrant Ecologies, Springer Press.

Unanue, I. Patel, S. G., Tormala, T.T., Trott, C.D., Piazza Rodríguez, A.A. Méndez Serrano, K. and Brown, L.M. (2020) Seeing more clearly: Communities transforming towards justice in post-hurricane Puerto Rico. Community Psychology in Global Perspective.


Tormala, T.T., Patel, S.G., Soukup, E.E., & Clarke, A.V. (2018). Developing measurable cultural competence and cultural humility: An application of the cultural formulation. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 12, 54–61.