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Sherri Sobrato Brisson Endowed Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health at Santa Clara Univ.

Santa Clara University
California, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted date
Oct 31, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Business & Management, Other Business & Management, Education, Education Administration & Leadership
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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Sheri Sobrato Brisson Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Santa Clara University’s Department of Counseling Psychology in the School of Education and Counseling Psychology seeks to make a tenured appointment for the Sherri Sobrato Brisson Endowed Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health to lead the development of a new specialization in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and engage in research and a wide range of outreach and thought leadership activities in this area to raise awareness and understanding of the mental health needs and issues facing children and adolescents. This appointment will ideally begin by summer or fall of 2022.

The vision of our School is “A world in which everyone receives the education and the psychological tools and support needed to live flourishing lives of meaning, purpose and connection.” The Counseling Psychology department supports this mission by preparing highly-skilled therapists and related professionals to enact this work. As one of the nation’s premier master’s programs for licensed therapists, the Department of Counseling Psychology prepares professionals in transformative therapeutic perspectives and methods to improve the most vulnerable lives, with a particular focus on educating clinicians and related professionals who will advance mental health and well-being for and with our racially, ethnically, linguistically and economically diverse communities. Our students and graduates work in schools, hospitals, clinics and other settings with individuals and families. Our program is well-known for its integrative approaches to clinical work, and its focus on theory, practice, and the person of the therapist. We recognize the tremendous need for well-prepared therapists to serve the large and growing needs for mental health care among children and adolescents.

Our program currently offers students four optional areas of emphasis (similar to a minor): Alternative and Correctional Counseling, Health Psychology, Latinx Counseling, and LGBTQ+ Counseling. We seek someone who will guide the development and growth of a unique Child and Adolescent Mental Health Specialization for students pursuing work with children, adolescents and families.  We see this specialization as a “super-concentration” that will entail coursework designed to prepare those whose aim is to work with children and families. Students might also combine this Child and Adolescent Mental Health Specialization with one of the concentrations named above to deepen their engagement with specialized populations.

The candidate will also use this endowed professorship and funds attached to this endowment as a platform to engage in scholarship, public outreach, and advocacy for the mental health needs of children and adolescents. This is an ideal position for someone who seeks to combine the teaching and support of new therapists with an active program of research and opportunities to provide and guide public outreach both regionally and nationally. With this Endowed Chair, Santa Clara’s Counseling Psychology Department is making a commitment to pursue pioneering scholarship and practice related to the complex task of preparing clinicians for their work with children, adolescents and their families, and Santa Clara University is making a statement that the mental health of children and adolescents is a core value and needs far more attention than it currently receives.

For this endowed professorship, we seek an accomplished, senior faculty member (most likely at the Full Professor level, but Associate Professors are also encouraged to apply) with a strong vision for expanding access to quality mental health care for children and adolescents. The specific area of focus within child and adolescent mental health is open, although applicants whose work focuses on the needs of BIPOC communities in the mental health care of children and adolescents are particularly welcome. We expect the individual to bring a broad appreciation of the needs of children for different treatment modalities (e.g., play and expressive arts therapies, trauma-focused clinical applications, symptom-focused approaches) in diverse settings, and across a wide range of mental health concerns. We also expect that this endowed professor will serve as a strong voice for the mental health needs of children and adolescents in our community and beyond, and will lead public events and trainings to engage therapists in the region and the wider public in conversations about child and adolescent mental health.

The ideal candidate for this endowed professorship will have an active portfolio of research, demonstrated leadership in the field, and a willingness to work collaboratively and lead both within and across research areas. A track record of success in seeking extramural funding for research and other activities is highly desirable, as is a history of clinical work. The candidate will be an individual who can bring vision and leadership to the Department of Counseling Psychology, to mentor junior faculty and students, to build an innovative program of scholarship, clinical training, and public outreach to enable thriving, flourishing children and adolescents.

Santa Clara University has made the commitment to engage in the work needed to become an anti-racist university. As a Department, we are keenly aware that the mental health needs of children and adolescents within communities of color are sometimes less well-served than those in other communities. The candidate must exhibit an understanding of the causes and consequences of the effects of race and inequality on children, youth, families, and communities. Competitive applicants will be knowledgeable about the impact of these factors on quality of life issues, such as health disparities, trauma and mental health, interpersonal violence, education, and employment. Candidates whose commitment to child and adolescent mental health include a particular focus on underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.  


Candidates must possess a Ph.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology, or other degree (e.g., MD) that prepares an individual for clinical work. Candidates must have extensive clinical experience with children and adolescents, and be eligible for licensure in the State of CA. In addition, candidates must possess an active portfolio of scholarship and teaching, including a demonstrated capacity for obtaining external funding.

Application Instructions

Applications should be submitted through the SCU application portal [here], and will include a current CV and cover letter. Cover letters should detail the candidate’s interest in the position, including information about their experience, interests, and/or commitment to: Clinical work with children and families, a research agenda in child and adolescent mental health, public outreach and engagement, and engagement with issues of diversity, equity and inclusion – in teaching, research, and clinical work. Reference checks will be completed with finalists. Application review will begin on January 1, 2022; while applications will be taken until the position is filled, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible for the fullest consideration. Direct all inquiries regarding this position to Sabrina Zirkel, Dean, Santa Clara University School of Education and Counseling Psychology (

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