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Jennifer Cheavens

Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2017

Jennifer Cheavens, associate professor, psychology, is the recipient of the 2017 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Cheavens true passion for the field of psychology is contagious and creates an environment that fosters excitement in her students. She holds herself and her students to a high standard of performance and this creates a motivated and intellectually stimulating environment.

Cheavens’ research focus is on the treatment of mood and personality disorders, both in younger and older adults. She teaches courses on personality and positive psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

A psychology alumna says of Cheavens, that she is “truly dedicated to teaching at all levels including undergraduate, graduate and even clinical supervision and training.  Jen embodies all the qualities we look for in a high quality educator. She is smart, curious, challenging, kind, patient, and provides enough support for her students to grow both intellectually and personally.”

A graduate student who Cheavens advised for four years wrote of Cheavens that “she helped me grow as a clinician and human being. She was as dedicated to my clients and clinical training as she is to everything else. She has shaped the way I approach all aspects of my life.”

Cheavens volunteers to give talks at the Psychology Enrichment Program. The program is targeted to undergraduate who want to learn more about a particular area of psychology research and meet with a faculty member outside of a class setting. In addition, she volunteers as a mentor and judge for the Denman Undergrad Research Colloquium and the Psychology Undergraduate Research Colloquium.

One of Cheavens’ undergraduate students commented that it was Cheavens who helped her find a sense of belonging. “Professor Cheavens was the first professor that made me want to come to class. It took me until I had Professor Cheavens, and until it was my third year at OSU to feel like I belonged and like I wanted to be here. She is the best teacher I have ever had.”

Another alumnus supported Cheavens’ nomination with a letter describing her experience learning from Cheavens as “by far, the most impactful, important and meaningful experience I have ever had. Dr. Cheavens challenged me to grow personally, professionally and academically and shaped both who I am and who I want to become as a clinical psychologist. “