The award recognizes early-career faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University who are emerging leaders in their field of research, scholarship, or creative activity.
Metzger’s community-based scholarship aims to improve a psychological treatment known as cognitive-behavioral therapy for Black youth by better understanding risk and resilience factors involved in interpersonal and racial trauma.
She has established collaborations with colleagues across a range of disciplines including clinical, community, and school psychology, public health, addiction sciences, and nursing. She is Director of The EMPOWER Lab (Engaging Minorities in Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education, & Research) and serves as Affiliate Research Faculty in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University.
Metzger’s research focuses on preventing engagement in risky behaviors among minority youth, such as sexual activity and alcohol use; relieving emotional problems including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and racial trauma; and reducing the risk of problematic outcomes such as HIV exposure and unintended pregnancies that can result from stressful experiences.
Metzger has won numerous awards, including from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the National Minority Quality Forum. She has also been recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Alumni Association at Georgia State, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology.
Metzger, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2015, joined the faculty at Georgia State in 2021 from the University of Georgia where she was an assistant professor.
Recipients of the Dean’s Early Career Award are selected based on outstanding achievements in research and teaching, as well as service contributions to Georgia State.
Metzger said she is honored to be recognized with this award.
“I am thankful for the support of my mentors, colleagues, students, staff, allies, advocates, and co-conspirators who have encouraged, facilitated, amplified, and helped carry the weight of the work that we are all doing to reduce the impact of interpersonal and racial trauma on those in our population who are often marginalized,” Metzger said.
“As a first-generation American born in College Park to two immigrant parents from Sierra Leone, West Africa, it has been my lifelong personal and professional goal to spread awareness, amplify evidence-based positive coping strategies, build community, and reinforce the healing power of families. I am excited to continue my program of research teaching, and service at Georgia State to reduce mental and behavioral health disparities and empower Black youth and families.”
Lindsey Cohen, chair of the Department of Psychology, said Metzger deserves recognition and is already receiving national recognition for her scholarship.
“Dr. Metzger’s scholarship is scientifically rigorous, expanding our understanding and the knowledge base,” said Cohen. “Her work directly helps our most vulnerable populations facing racism, health disparities, and trauma. Her resilience-based framework serves to empower youth and their families struggling with behavioral health issues. Dr. Metzger is most deserving of this award, and we are fortunate to have her on our faculty at GSU.”
The award is funded by private contributions from members of the college’s Board of Visitors and other donors to support rising stars among the faculty. As part of their recognition, recipients are provided $3,000 in professional development funds.
The other 2023 recipient is Sidong Lei, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy. Read his story here.