Jennifer Ceavens

Jennifer Cheavens, Professor of Psychology, OSU


Identifying and Bolstering Strengths in the Classroom: Integrating Positive Psychology Constructs Into Teaching

Evidence suggests that positive psychology constructs, such as hope and kindness, are associated with positive outcomes across a number of domains, including academic outcomes. But it can be hard to identify and bolster strengths in the classroom when there are so many other objectives, activities, and issues to address. We will discuss low-cost ways to incorporate positive psychology constructs into our teaching.


Jennifer Cheavens, Ph.D. is a Professor and the Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University (OSU). Jen earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, after completing her internship year at Duke University Medical Center (DUMC). Following her internship year, Jen completed a post-doctoral fellowship and her first faculty position in in Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. After three years on the faculty at Duke, Jen accepted a position at the Ohio State University and has been there since then. Jen directs the Mood and Personality Studies research group at OSU where she supervises both graduate and undergraduate researchers conducting investigations aimed at characterizing and improving treatment for disorders of emotion dysregulation, including borderline personality disorder and depression. Jen also studies hope, gratitude, and kindness as well as ways to incorporate client strengths into treatments. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate-level courses, including both Positive Psychology and Personality Disorders, in addition to providing supervision in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy clinic. For the past three years, Jen has also been offering a personal wellness and mental health course with her colleague, Dan Strunk. Jen has been recognized for her research (e.g., George Valliant Award for Contributions in Positive Clinical Psychology), teaching (e.g., OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching), and mentorship (e.g., Association for the Advancement of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies Spotlighted Mentor Award).