UMass Boston

American Psychological Association Honors Professor Jean Rhodes with Urie Bronfenbrenner Award

08/29/2023| DeWayne Lehman

The American Psychological Association, Division 7, earlier this month recognized UMass Boston’s Frank L. Boyden Professor of Psychology Jean Rhodes with the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for her lifetime contribution to the field of developmental psychology.

Jean Rhodes
Professor Jean Rhodes

The Bronfenbrenner award recognizes an individual whose work has, over a lifetime career, contributed to the science of developmental psychology and worked to the benefit of the application of developmental psychology to society, through advocacy, direct service, influencing public policy or education, or other routes that enable scientific developmental psychology to better the condition of children and families.

Rhodes is a pioneering expert in youth mentoring. Over the course of her career, her groundbreaking research has enhanced the understanding of the role of mentors and helped shape best practices in mentorship programs across the country.

Rhodes is also the founding director of the UMass Boston Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, which aims to bridge research and practice in the field of youth mentoring to increase the quality and effectiveness of mentorship relationships. Through this work, she also co-founded MentorPRO, an evidence-based college success application and web platform that connects mentors and college mentees, enabling mentors 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,” Rhodes said. “This recognition is not just about my work but reflects the collaborative efforts of my many colleagues, students, and the young people we serve. I feel privileged to have spent my career working in a field that can facilitate positive change in the lives of so many. The award is named after a trailblazer, whose ideas and theories continue to shape our work."

In addition to her significant other academic and research contributions, Rhodes has authored or co-authored over 200 scholarly papers and several books, 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.

The prestigious Bronfenbrenner award will be presented to Professor Rhodes at the APA Annual Convention in August, 2024.