Why UMass Boston? Picture of students on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus.

Creativity & Innovation

Author and teacher Jean Rhodes stands outside the elevators in Healey Library.

Jean Rhodes

  • Professor of Psychology

  • MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership Endowed Chair

Why UMass Boston?

That’s an easy question for Professor of Psychology Jean Rhodes to answer.

“There is something incredibly inspiring about the students at UMass Boston,” Rhodes says. “When I teach and meet with undergraduates, I can't help but be moved by their motivation and commitment to improving their lives. And, when I work on research projects with a team of incredibly smart and dedicated doctoral students, I am energized by their intellectual curiosity."

Rhodes is a globally recognized expert on youth mentoring who is now involved in a new initiative.

Mentoring Research
In January 2011, Rhodes was named as the first research director for the UMass Boston/MENTOR Research Alliance, a first-of-its-kind institute that supports the advancement of youth mentoring efforts. It’s a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Boston and the MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership.

She researches the positive and negative effects of mentoring for children of prisoners, high school dropouts, and low-income children in after-school settings.  She exposed the rarely acknowledged harm that unsuccessful mentoring relationships can cause in her 2004 book, Stand by Me: the Risks and Rewards of Mentoring Today’s Youth.

Becoming Manny
Rhodes examined the life of baseball legend Manny Ramirez and the coach who mentored him in her 2009 book, Becoming Manny: Inside the Life of Baseball's Most Enigmatic Slugger.

Rhodes confirms that “Manny had caring mentors in his life who help guide him.’’

Student Research Opportunities
Rhodes says because of all the research at the university, students have a wealth of opportunities here.

“Many of the faculty members have active labs and welcome the opportunity to involve undergraduates in their research,” she says, “The psychology department also offers a year-long honors program for qualifying majors. Students go to conferences and get intensive research involvement.”

Getting back to the question of 'Why UMass Boston,' Rhodes sums it up this way: “I share UMass Boston's commitment to serving diverse, dedicated students, and there’s nowhere in the country I would rather do my work.”

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