Jeanett Castellanos

Jeanett Castellanos, UCI social sciences undergraduate associate dean and professor of teaching, has been named the 2022-23 Chancellor’s Faculty Award Recipient for Undergraduate Mentorship in social sciences. The honor, awarded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), recognizes a student- and faculty-nominated mentor who makes a difference in undergraduate Anteaters’ lives.

Affectionately known as “Dr. C” to her mentees, Castellanos’ research merges the fields of counseling and higher education with a particular focus on Latinx populations. She’s published widely on the topics including multiple studies in peer-review journals and three books, The Minority in the Majority: Expanding the Representation of Latina/o Faculty, Administrators and Students in Higher Education, The Latina/o Pathway to the Ph.D.: Abriendo Caminos, and her newest work, Riding the Academic Freedom Train: A Culturally Responsive Multigenerational Mentoring Model.

Castellanos applies her research to the hundreds of undergraduate lives she has touched through her tireless passion to help students succeed. She mentors dozens of racial ethnic minority undergrads each year on how to conduct individual, data-oriented research projects - many of which have resulted in published articles and book chapters. In her 20+ years as a member of the UCI social sciences faculty, she’s helped place more than 200 students in graduate school – a third at the doctoral level. Her efforts have also resulted in thousands of dollars in grant funding that have allowed students who otherwise may not have been able to afford it, the opportunity to travel and participate in research conferences and competitive programs across the nation in preparation for graduate school. 

This new award is her eighth highlighting her service beyond the classroom. In 2007, she received the Samuel M. Turner MENTOR (Minority Education, Nurturing, Training, Organizational advocacy, and Research) Award from the American Psychological Association; in 2008, she received the Star Vega Community Service Award from the National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA); and in 2012 she received the Outstanding Support of Hispanics in Higher Education Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHEE). In 2014, she received the prestigious UCI Living Our Values award. In 2016-17, she received UCI’s Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentorship, an award which highlights faculty who have made outstanding contributions through mentoring of students or other faculty that takes place outside of a traditional teaching or research relationship and beyond their formal advising duties. In 2018, NLPA created the Jeanett Castellanos Mentorship award in recognition of her commitment to mentorship and contributions to the field of Latinx psychology. And in 2020, she received the Distinguished Career in Service Award from the Society for Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race – part of the American Psychological Association Division 45 – in recognition of her continued dedicated service to communities of color through research, mentorship and work in the field of psychology and higher education. 

Castellanos is a first-gen college graduate and scholar. She completed her bachelor’s in sociology and psychology at UCI with honors, and her master’s in counseling and doctorate in educational administration at Washington State University. She served one year as a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University, Bloomington before coming back home to UCI in 1998. She’s currently serving in her second year of a three-year term on the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Board of Directors, a national non-profit focused on developing and increasing representation of Latinx faculty, senior administrators and students in higher ed.

Castellanos received her UROP mentorship award at the program’s 30th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium held on May 19.


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