Jacqueline S. Mattis earned her B.A. in psychology from New York University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan. Prior to assuming the role of Dean of SASN, she served as Professor of Psychology and Associate Department Chair for Diversity Initiatives in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. She also co-directed the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context. She previously served as Chairperson of the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development.
Her research focuses on the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of African American and Afri-Caribbean youth and adults, and on the factors that are associated with positive psychological and psychosocial development of urban-residing African Americans and AfriCaribbeans. In particular she uses quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the factors that contribute to volunteerism, civic engagement, altruism, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, optimism, and positive parenting among urban-residing African American and Afri-diasporic people. She has co-authored numerous articles and has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals. She co-authored (with collaborator Fulya Kurter) two books on counseling in the Turkish cultural context, including a handbook entitled “Culturally sensitive counseling from the perspective of Turkish practitioners” (Bahcesehir University Press). This handbook explores the topic of culture, cultural diversity and intercultural dynamics within Turkey as these issues apply to the practice of counseling.
Among the honors she has received over her career are the Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Association of Black Psychologists (2014); and NYU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award (2011) for teaching excellence, leadership, social justice and community building. She has been recognized for her mentorship and teaching. She received the 2020 Paul M. Fitts Graduate Mentor Award from the University of Michigan Graduate Leadership Council) for outstanding mentorship of graduate students in Psychology, and the 2020 Cornerstone Award for unique contributions to enhancing the academic and social progress of African American students at the University of Michigan. She also received the Outstanding Mentor Award from the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities program (2019).