Bio: Jennifer S. Cheavens, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, earned her B.S. in psychology from James Madison University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas. After working for a few years in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center, she joined the faculty of The Ohio State University in 2007. In addition to engaging in research on mood and personality disorders and hope, she teaches undergraduate courses, including Positive Psychology, and directs the Dialectical Behavior Therapy clinic where she provides supervision to doctoral students in clinical psychology. In 2017, Jen was awarded the University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and she has been recognized by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies for her mentorship in 2018.
Teaching philosophy: In my teaching, I try to get the students to think like scientists about the information with which they are being presented -- I try to help them evaluate evidence and draw conclusions that are based on evidence. I also think it is important to have students involved in their own learning; thus, I try to make lectures interactive and give assignments that allow for the opportunity for involvement.
On being a mentor: One of the reasons I agreed to become a mentor is that I want to make this university smaller, both for me and for others. I thought making more connections with folks in different departments would help with that. I also want to continue to grow in my teaching and I thought working with others who are just starting to engage with teaching at OSU might be beneficial for all of us in that way.
Rewarding moment: I always find it rewarding when my students reach their goals - getting into graduate or professional school programs, improving on tests in the class, getting a new job - and share this accomplishment with me.
Best teaching advice received or given: Structure your class in a way that works for you.
Advice for new faculty: Make sure to give yourself adequate time to prepare the overall structure and flow of your class (e.g., get your syllabus together and have a good idea of how you want the semester to go) and then try to stick to that.