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Op Ed: Value Beyond the Classroom: Clare Mehta’s Impact on the Emmanuel Community

When I arrived to Emmanuel College the fall of my freshman year (Fall 2012), I had planned to major in psychology. I had attended a talk given by Dr. Clare Mehta and Dr. Linda Lin regarding the various paths a psychology major could take (Master’s vs. Ph.D. etc.). Following this talk I became extremely overwhelmed, my brain was flooded with all the classes I’d need to take, the GPA I would need to maintain, the research I’d need to conduct, and the internships I would need to have. Both professors had seemed so friendly and knowledgeable during the talk and I decided to reach out to Dr. Mehta as her primary topic regarded the Ph.D. path, which was the path I was leaning toward at the time. The following week I met with Dr. Mehta for the first time and she gave me a large, very intimidating amount of paperwork but attempted to ease my anxieties and reassured me of the fact that because I was only a freshman, I had plenty of time to figure it all out. Little did I know, Dr. Mehta would become one of my biggest mentors at Emmanuel, and one of the most important people regarding my undergraduate experience.

Throughout my following years at Emmanuel, Dr. Mehta became both one of my main advisors and one of my biggest supporters. In my time at Emmanuel I worked closely with Dr. Mehta through research in her Lifespan Lab, serving as the Psychology Club President and she the advisor, acting as her FYS fellow, and as a tutor for her Child Development course. In exchange, Dr. Mehta was always there to guide me if I was unsure about my major or my career path, or even if I was having difficulties in my personal life. She was always there waiting with a box of tissues and wise pieces of advice, and I am so blessed to have had her support.

My relationship with Dr. Mehta was an integral part of my time at Emmanuel. She, along with Dr. Linda Lin, provided me with opportunities I may not otherwise have had. She pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. Because of her and Dr. Lin, I was able to present at the Association of Women in Psychology Conference in San Francisco, California in March 2014, and I had the experience of a lifetime. Because of her recommendation I was able to intern at Boston Children’s Hospital as a research assistant. Because of her contribution to my application, I was able to also intern at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Inpatient Psychiatry unit, I was accepted to Boston College School of Social Work, and I was hired at Franciscan Children’s Hospital upon my graduation in December. Finally, I was able to graduate with Distinction in the Field due in part to Dr. Mehta’s unwavering support and constant feedback.

Dr. Mehta cares deeply about Emmanuel’s students and the community as a whole. I know I am not alone in the successful experiences I have had because of her. I also know that her value extends beyond the Psychology Department. Dr. Mehta is extremely active on Emmanuel’s campus and has aided individuals – both students and faculty – from various departments across campus. She has attended and helped to plan various, important events that covered a variety of topics such as: depression and other mental health issues, information sessions for Psychology Majors, round table discussions regarding racism and white privilege as

well as feminism and intersectionality, movie screenings regarding masculinity, and events regarding sexual assault. Dr. Mehta also served on the committee for Diversity and Inclusivity at Emmanuel in light of many racially centered events that occurred on campus. Dr. Mehta is so involved on campus that I have only been able to touch upon some of her overall contributions.

In addition to her overall extracurricular impact on campus, Dr. Mehta also runs her own research lab called the Lifespan Lab. Recently she has examined cross-sex friendships in emerging adulthood and has also specifically examined sexual orientation and race in this context as well. Dr. Mehta also works at Boston Children’s Hospital as a staff scientist in the division of Adolescent Medicine. She greatly concerned with the professional development of her students and constantly includes them on her own professional development journey. She is consistently including students in her drafts of manuscripts for publication and the creation of presentations for conferences.

Dr. Clare Mehta is extremely compassionate and selfless. Everything she has done at Emmanuel has been in the best interest of her students and the community. While I was never lucky enough to have Dr. Mehta as a professor, I was able to witness first hand her teaching abilities through my tutoring positions, and have heard from numerous students how incredible she is as a teacher. Although I was never a student of Dr. Mehta’s, the relationship I was able to form with her and the impact she had on me, despite never being in the classroom, is a clear testament to the value she adds to Emmanuel’s campus. She is a true asset to the college, and I can proudly say that she helped shape me into the successful College graduate I am today, and without her I would not have had such a valuable experience at Emmanuel College. Denying her tenure would be a huge loss on Emmanuel’s behalf. Dr. Mehta will thrive anywhere and will spread her knowledge and supportive attitude wherever she goes, Emmanuel has been lucky enough to experience her astuteness as a professor and her benevolence as a person.

Meghann Soby

Alumni: Class of 2o16

Posted by on May 27, 2016. Filed under Around Campus,Opinions & Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.