Susan Dvorak  McMahon

Professor of Clinical and Community Psychology and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
College of Science & Health
773.325-2039
smcmahon@depaul.edu

Susan Dvorak McMahon is a Professor of Clinical and Community Psychology in the Department of Psychology and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development for the College of Science and Health. She has a long history of leadership roles within DePaul University as well as nationally in her field. Prior to becoming Associate Dean, Dr. McMahon served as Chair of the Psychology Department, Director of the Community Psychology Doctoral Program, and Chair of the University IRB – and as the first woman in each of these roles at DePaul. She has been honored as a Vincent de Paul Professor and a DePaul Woman of Spirit & Action. Nationally, Dr. McMahon is the 2016-2017 President of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association), and she previously served as President-Elect, Regional Network Coordinator, and Chair of the Council of Education Programs. She was honored to receive the Outstanding Educator Award and to direct the program that received the Excellence in Education Programs Award, as well as to serve as a Fellow of SCRA. Her teaching has focused on thesis, dissertation, and evaluation research courses for doctoral students and introductory and advanced community psychology courses for undergraduate students.

In terms of research, Dr. McMahon is interested in school-based evaluation and intervention with urban at-risk youth, student and teacher experiences in schools, and improving school systems. Her work has focused on understanding risk and protective factors at multiple ecological levels, promoting positive learning environments, preventing violence, and informing practice and policy. Dr. McMahon has published over 65 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has given over 170 conference presentations. She has conducted several research and intervention projects with Chicago Public Schools, including the following: 1) implementing and evaluating violence prevention programming with African American youth in grades k-8 in Cabrini Green, 2) evaluating the transition experiences of students, teachers, and administrators across 30 schools following the closure of a school that primarily served students with disabilities, and 3) evaluating a classroom management training and intervention with teachers, coaches, and administrators. Most recently, her research has focused on work derived from her service on the American Psychological Association Task Force on Violence Directed Against Teachers. This national study of about 3,000 teachers from 48 states assesses the frequency, types, and characteristics of violence teachers experience in schools. Dr. McMahon’s research has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including network television, radio, newspapers, and an Australian documentary.​