Darren Bernal, PhD
University of West Florida
Contact Dr. Bernal.
Darren Bernal, PhD, teaches at the University of North Carolina Asheville. He was previously an assistant professor of psychology at the University of West Florida, where he served as Psi Chi coadvisor for four years. He graduated with a PhD in counselling psychology from the University of Miami in 2014. His research focuses on the role of socioeconomic status in mental health disparities, mindfulness and performance, and psychological well-being. He serves on APA’s Committee for Socioeconomic Status and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues membership committee. His work with Psi Chi focuses on expanding membership, fostering student research, and promoting the impact of the Chapter on campus and the community. Under his guidance, his Chapter at the University of North Carolina Asheville has become reenergized. The Chapter has increased active membership, and will be hosting two large events to benefit the community. Additionally, the Chapter has begun sending members to present research at scientific conferences. Dr. Bernal teaches study abroad courses on mindfulness, sexuality, and well-being.
Fun Facts About Dr. Bernal
What are your hobbies?
Reading, traveling, meditation, strength training, rowing, learning, and wandering around.
What is the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Exploring Europe with students in my study abroad classes; visiting the cultures of India, Japan, and Cambodia; and camping among thousand-year-old trees were all amazing. But the best trip is always home to Jamaica. I can't have enough time with my family.
What is your favorite food?
In Jamaica we call it Ital food, which is simple vegetarian meals. Fresh ingredients in good company and I am set.
What sort of student were you?
When the material interested me—avid. When the material did not —frustrated. The higher the level of education, the more I enjoyed school. I am grateful to have had some amazing teachers from primary school to graduate school. I never skipped a reading, however the same can’t be said of lectures—especially in high school. After completing each degree, I continued to take courses and the student in me is alive and well.
Who are some of your favorite psychologists?
Kenneth Clark, Mamie Phipps Clark, Evelyn Hooker, Nancy Adler, Heather Bullock, Laura Smith, Jack Kornfield, Carl Jung, Vilayanur Ramachandran, and the list goes on.
What are three words that best describe you?
Calm, determined, and curious.
What is your favorite class to teach?
Social Inequity and Psychological Well-Being
What are some of your favorite books?
Anything by the psychologists listed above. Also Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity; The Health Gap; Facing Social Class; Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End; Crazy Like Us; The Hidden Life of Trees; The Seashell Anthology of Great Poetry; The Lunatic; Lilith’s Brood; Psychology, Poverty, and the End of Social Exclusion; The Power of Vulnerability.
What is your favorite band?
Are you an early bird or a night owl?