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Tabbye M. Chavous, PhD

Achievement in Context Lab Director
Professor of Education and Psychology, University of Michigan
Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity

Biographical Summary:

Dr. Tabbye Chavous is a Professor of Education and Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. A native of Aiken, South Carolina, Dr. Chavous attended the University of Virginia where she received her Bachelors degree and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Community Psychology in 1998.  Following her graduate work, Dr. Chavous entered the University of Michigan as an assistant professor and moved up the ranks to professor. At UM, she has served as chair of the Combined Program in Education & Psychology (CPEP) and associate dean of academic programs and initiatives within the Rackham Graduate School. Currently, she serves as the Director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan.


Dr. Chavous' expertise and research activities center around (1) social identity development among Black adolescents and young adults; (2) achievement motivation processes among ethnic minority students, including relations among individuals' racial/ethnic, gender, and academic identities; (3) educational transitions in secondary schooling and higher education; and (4) diversity and multicultural climates in secondary and higher education settings and implications for students' academic, social, and psychological adjustment. In collaboration with a number of her graduate student and postdoctoral mentees, she has published extensively in these areas. Dr. Chavous is a co-founder, principal investigator, and co-director of the university's Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context, a center funded through the National Science Foundation focused on research, training, and community engagement related to promoting positive development among diverse populations of Black youth and families. Also, she has secured funding through grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation for research projects focusing on racial socialization processes among Black adolescents, psychological and contextual factors affecting college transitions among ethnic minority students; and relationships among racial identity, racial discrimination, and well-being among Black  college students. Most recently, Dr. Chavous was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for a project examining race, gender, and academic identification processes among Black students pursuing academic pathways in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.


Dr. Chavous’ undergraduate and graduate teaching interests and contributions focus on developmental, psychological, cultural, and organizational processes relevant to education and youth development more broadly. Examples include: adolescent psychology, with a focus on adolescent development in the context of schools, communities, and other societal institutions; community psychology; educational psychology and human development; foundations of teaching and learning; schools as organizations; race, ethnicity, and culture in education; and social science and the "achievement gap," or social science approaches for understanding and addressing educational disparities across race, ethnicity, gender, and social class. In addition to her courses, Dr. Chavous mentors students across diverse academic and disciplinary backgrounds in education and psychology. Previously, Dr. Chavous served as associate dean in the university's Rackham Graduate School, working on policies, programs, and initiatives related to enhancing academic excellence and diversity in graduate education.  Currently, Dr. Chavous is the Director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity, working to produce and promote diversity scholarship and its dissemination and applications to practices and policies to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and society.


Dr. Chavous' Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Departmental/Unit Affiliations:

  • National Center for Institutional Diversity

  • Combined Program in Education & Psychology (CPEP)

  • Department of Psychology, Personality and Social Contexts Area, College of Literature, Sciences, & Arts (LSA)

  • School of Education

  • Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context (CSBYC)

  • Institute for Social Research, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Program for Research on Black Americans

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