Developmental Psychologist, Author, & Mother

Hi, I'm Erin!

I have a passion for the power of learning and partnership. Great teachers and coaches fostered my purpose -- to contribute to society by mentoring and teaching others to make the world a better place. Now, my passion is making education the best it can be for everyone who seeks it. After receiving my Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Georgia, I spent the next 14 years as a professor before serving as the very first Presidential Fellow at FSCJ. After launching a new unit at UGA (Academic Partnerships & Initiatives) I returned to Jax to improve the student experience at FSCJ.


I am passionate about cultivating growth and harnessing strengths in others. I was fortunate when asked to lead FSCJ’s Downtown Immersion Project. Downtown Immersion situated FSCJ as the first college or university to enter the Downtown Jacksonville space, paving the way for Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida to follow as well. Partnering with JAX Downtown Investment Authority and city leaders secured critical support for the adaptive reuse of the historic Lerner Building at 20 W Adams. It went from a vacant, dilapidated building to a modern, 58-unit Student Housing. And some of the most fun work I've done is founding the FSCJ Social Enterprise Incubator Competition, a venture jointly funded by the Bank of America Philanthropic Foundation. This cool project -- done in partnership with faculty -- spurred college students to compete for funding for entrepreneurial projects that simultaneously created social good.


What else? 

I was born in Tampa, FL and now live in Jacksonville Beach with my family. I won my first writing award when I was a senior in high school, and it dawned on me maybe I should write more. For nearly two decades, I have taught in university classrooms to captive, semester-long audiences who I subject to endless jokes and stories. As a developmental psychologist, I am obsessed with uncovering family history, and exploring the contexts that shape our lives' paths. 


My latest passion has been a work of heart. Uncovering family history has taken me on an incredible journey, discovering my grandmother's lineage that was once-cloaked in mystery and shame. In Mary Blair DestinyI tell the fateful story of an infant abandoned and forgotten, yet who ultimately forged her way in this world -- leaving a legacy of strength, resilience, and determination.


A graduate of the University of Central Florida and the University of Georgia, I have a Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology with concentration in girls' self-concept development, and I still long for the days of arguing with professors and examining thousands of cells of psychosocial data. When not writing, I lead a great big team of great people at FSCJ, and still teach each semester just for fun. My idea of absolute bliss is a day filled with nothing but water to stare at, a gentle breeze on my screened porch, some writing, and the sound of my kids laughing. When not doing grown-up work, I enjoy teaching my two daughters about the ocean, stars, music, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs in any sport.


For more about Mary Blair Destiny, follow on Instagram @maryblairdestiny Facebook @themaryblairproject or Twitter @maryblairdestny. 


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