Now accepting applications for incoming 2017 class. Please email for more information 



Welcome to the ARCH 1 Lab! The mission of ARCH 1 is to address the causes and correlates of health behaviors in majority, minority, and underserved populations.
Within our lab, we are interested in the biopsychosocial model that addresses the biological, psychological, and social underpinnings of any person's health behaviors and possible disease processes. By addressing these factors, our lab can prevent, control and treat various chronic conditions within a multidisciplinary paradigm.

The research from ARCH 1 will focus on quality of life, and biomarker domains for persons who are interested in improving or maintaining their health through physical activity interventions or longitudinal studies. These studies are designed for persons
with chronic conditions, sedentary, free-living, and/or underserved populations.

We are housed in a department of psychology, but understand that it is critical to work with researchers or incorporate studies from nutrition, kinesiology, epidemiology or public health, and medicine among others. Thus, our research and training is transdisciplinary.

Dr. Georita M. Frierson 


  From 2005-2007,  Dr. Frierson worked at The Cooper Institute as Scientific Director and Executive Director of The Cooper Institute Oak Cliff Center. This center facilitates recruitment of underserved, under-represented, and diverse populations in the Oak Cliff and South Dallas communities for The Cooper Institute’s research studies. She was also the Director of Diversity Programs and Research Initiatives at The Cooper Institute. In 2007, she decided to commit her career to teaching and research by joining The Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University. From 2007-2012, she was an Assistant Professor and director of the ARCH 1 research lab. From 2012-2015, she was a tenured Associate Professor at Howard University. In January 2013, she became the fifth director of clinical training of the longest running APA Accredited Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Howard University. As of 2015, she is the inaugural director of clinical training of the 1st Ph.D. Program in the Department of Psychology at Rowan University.    

   Dr. Frierson is wholeheartedly committed to excellence by staying current in cancer research topics, empowering diverse groups through research and mental health services, and engaging in community service projects. 


Alex Jaffe is from Moorestown, NJ and graduated from Franklin & Marshall with a joint degree in Biology and Sociology. Alex has had a long standing interest in helping people and sees this profession as a great way of achieving his goal. Alex is a diligent worker who loves to work with others. When not studying / working, Alex likes to follow the Philadelphia sports teams. 

Pierre Leon is a first generation American and in the future, a second generation psychologist. Pierre holds a Bachelors Degree from Montclair State University and a Masters Degree from William Paterson University. Pierre’s interest in the field of psychology is due to his father’s work with AIDS/HIV infected patients; helping them adjust and cope with their illness. Pierre hopes to complete his Ph.D and become a Clinical Health Psychologist, as well as become involved in academia in the near future. When Pierre is not studying or doing research, he is in the kitchen cooking and coming up with new recipes that have been inspired by Peruvian and Colombian Heritage. 








Breanna Willis is a junior Psychology major with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her long term goals in the field include obtaining a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and working with minority groups and the LGBTQ community. A part from research activities, Breanna enjoys trying new foods, writing and watching drama shows.