We are thrilled to welcome a new doctoral student from the University of Massachusetts Boston to our lab!
Jordan Cherry is a first year graduate student in Clinical Psychology at UMass Boston. She holds a BA in Psychology and Medical Anthropology from the University of Virginia and has research interests pertaining to bridging barriers in accessibility to mental health care, specifically for different cultural communities.
Jordan is enthusiastic about promoting community-driven solutions to address mental health concerns within marginalized groups. Her particular interest lies in exploring how individuals with limited formal training in mental health, like mentors and community leaders, can play a significant role in alleviating mental health struggles. Her aim is to examine how taking cultural differences into account when understanding mental health and well-being can enhance access to support for communities that have been historically overlooked by established psychological frameworks.
Her research focus extends to innovative approaches beyond conventional mental health interventions. This includes studying the potential of digital platforms, community-engaged research, and initiatives led by paraprofessionals to extend mental health services to culturally diverse youth. Within this realm, Jordan is particularly invested in youth mental health. She want to assess the viability and impact of interventions like peer support, mentorship, and creating a supportive environment for accountability.
Our Executive Director, Dr. Jean Rhodes, has been honored with the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for her lifetime contribution to the field of developmental psychology. The award, given by Division 7 of the American Psychological Association (APA), recognizes an individual whose work, over a lifetime career, has contributed not only to the science of developmental psychology, but also to the practical application of developmental psychology to society.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Rhodes has profoundly impacted the field of youth mentoring. Her groundbreaking research has enhanced the understanding of the role of mentors and helped shape best practices in mentoring programs worldwide. Dr. Rhodes has contributed to or authored over 200 scholarly papers and several books on the topic including, most recently, Older and Wiser: New ideas for youth mentoring in the 21st century, which received the 2023 Eleanor Maccoby Award from Division 7 of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Rhodes is the founder of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. The goal of the center is to bridge research and practice in the field of youth mentoring, aiming to increase the quality and effectiveness of mentoring relationships. Through this work, Dr. Rhodes also co-founded MentorPRO, a college success application and web platform that connects mentors and college mentees, enabling mentors and programs to help students set goals, monitor progress, and access the resources they need to thrive.
“I am incredibly touched to be honored with the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award.” said Dr. Rhodes when notified about the award. “This recognition is not just about my work but reflects the collaborative efforts of my many colleagues, former and current students, and the young people we serve. I am humbled to receive an award in the name of Urie Bronfenbrenner, whose groundbreaking ideas and theories continue to shape our work.”
For more information about this award, please visit here.
The Community Psychologist (TCP) is SCRA’s (Society for Community Research and Action) newsletter, provides an informal venue for SCRA members to exchange ideas and information. It includes brief reports and reflections on the practice of community research and action, as well as updates and announcements of interest to members. Regular features include columns on women’s issues, public policy, international issues, students’ concerns, racial and cultural affairs, and job opportunities. SCRA members receive four issues of TCP each year.
Assistant Director Megyn Jasman recently wrote for The Community Psychologist’s Student Column about inspirations to pivot her career path from individual-treatment models to community- level prevention. In addition to working at the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, Megyn is a graduate student in Community Psychology, exploring ways community-based programs can help prevent the development of adverse mental health conditions, as well as bridge gaps in services, particularly among disadvantaged populations.
Her excerpt discusses how the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring is currently working on innovative approaches to college student support, by leveraging technology to connect mentees to networks of mentors and personalized resources. See below for the full issue or visit here.
While digital interventions have many advantages, they are plagued with low uptake and attrition, limiting their potential. Research suggests that providing human support for digital intervention use can improve user retention and associated outcomes.
Digital support platforms, like MentorPRO, can scale such human support for one’s digital intervention use.
Hosted by Northwestern University and the Society for Digital Mental Health, Jean Rhodes and Dr. Alexandra Werntz presented a webinar on June 6th, 2023 on scaling mental health services through technology-enhanced mentoring.
Full Slides:CBITS MentorPRO.JER.pptx
On June 5th, 2023, our colleagues from The European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring visited us at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Nearly a decade ago, Dr. Jean Rhodes helped to found the European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. This Center is the research division of Mentoring Europe. They work on developing and launching research lines on mentoring, in collaboration with various European universities, research institutions, and the UMass Boston/MENTOR National Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. These research lines include research on mentoring programmes and practices, in order to improve our understanding of when, why, and for whom mentoring works best.
Mentor Europe also hosts an annual European Mentoring Summit.
To learn more about the European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring and Mentoring Europe, you can visit their website here.
Pictured from left to right: Szilvia Simon (Community Manager), Dr. Jean Rhodes, and Gysbert Bergsma:
The Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring is thrilled to announce its first LIVE course! The course is titled Mentoring for Youth Mental Health, and those who participate will learn evidence-based strategies to support youth mental health as a mentor. Associate Director Dr. Alexandra Wentz will be leading this course in the Spring of 2023.
This course is designed for mentors who work directly with youth, in addition to program staff with an interest in expanding their program’s offerings. Course participants will receive exclusive access to digital tools developed by the Center for use with youth. The course will be taught synchronously over Zoom, so attendees can participate from anywhere! Participation in this course will also come with access to this course through MentorCorps, Dr. Jean Rhodes’ newest digital tool to support mentors and programs. MentorCorps allows course participants to interact with each other to create networks and engage in discourse.
Mentoring for Youth Mental Health Flyer