Professor Rhodes Receives Distinguished Contribution Award

06/17/2024 | Danielle Bilotta | Press Release Reprinted from the University of Massachusetts Boston

Jean Rhodes, UMass Boston’s Frank L. Boyden Professor of Psychology, has received a 2024 Award for Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology from the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA).

This annual award recognizes individuals whose careers of high quality and innovative research and scholarship result in significant contribution to the body of knowledge in community psychology.

Recent author of Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century, which received the American Psychological Association 2023 Eleanor Maccoby Book Award, Rhodes has devoted her career to understanding and advancing the role of both natural and assigned mentoring relationships in the lives of marginalized youth.

“I cannot imagine a more deserving scholar for this truly impressive acknowledgement of her stellar, rigorous and impactful research,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Joseph Berger. “Dr. Rhodes’ important work on mentoring has produced significant contributions to knowledge that make a compelling difference for improving the lives of young people around the world.”

Rhodes is founding director of the Center for Evidence Based-Mentoring at UMass Boston and has worked to establish similar centers in Europe and Asia. The centers drive evidence-based innovation that bridges gaps in mental health care and advances mentoring practices for young people, particularly in marginalized communities.

With over 200 published scholarly papers and several books, Rhodes currently is the associate editor of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology and has served on the editorial boards of both the American Journal of Community Psychology and the Journal of Community Psychology.

Rhodes’ interest in community psychology began as an undergraduate at the University of Vermont, where she worked with pioneering community psychologist George Albee. Albee’s vision that “no disorder has ever been treated out of existence” inspired her to devote her career to understanding the protective role of caring relationships like mentoring, she said.

“I am deeply humbled to receive the SCRA Award for the Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology,” Rhodes said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with amazing colleagues, students, and practitioners over the years, and for partnerships that have instilled in me an unwavering commitment to social justice and using psychology as a force for positive change.”