Janine Olthuis ’08, Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick, Canada

Photograph by Dean Casavechia

Major: Psychology, with a sociology minor

Byron Zamboanga’s influential courses: Introduction to Psychology, Psychology of Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

How we started working together: “I started working for him pretty early on, in my second year, when he hired me to help research the psychosocial correlates of adolescent and young adult substance abuse. I remember sitting at the computer emailing colleagues for him, thinking, ‘How does this man trust me?’ But he gave me a lot of independence in that mentorship role.”

He made graduate school seem possible: “In my third year, he told me I could get funding for grad school. He walked me through the whole process. I ended up getting a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, in clinical psychology. Recently, I got a pretty big grant for research, from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and he was one of the first people I told.”

Shared research: “I came back to Smith in May 2011 and did a two-day workshop with him on adolescents and alcohol abuse for teachers and students. We had collected data from Northampton High School while I was at Smith, and had agreed to give the results of our research back to the community.”

I will pay it forward: “I’ve been really, really fortunate. I try not to take it for granted. I made my job choice with mentorship in mind because I want the chance to mentor and have relationships with my students.”

Compiled by Lindsey Rowe Roberts ’06