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Photo of Sánchez, Bernadette

Bernadette Sánchez, PhD

President's Distinguished Professor

Educational Psychology

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Building & Room:

1256 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St.

Office Phone:



Bernadette Sánchez is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an expert on mentoring relationships and the positive development of urban, low-income adolescents of color, particularly Latinx and African-American youth. Her research is on the role of formal and natural mentoring relationships in youth’s educational experiences, the resilience and resistance of youth who are marginalized in U.S. society, and the racial and ethnic processes, such as racial discrimination and racial/ethnic identity, that impact the development of youth of color and their relationships with mentors. Her current research projects are on a) the role of mentoring in adolescents’ science and ethnic/racial identities and b) an evaluation of a series of cultural humility training activities for volunteer mentors of youth of color. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), William T. Grant Foundation, and local foundations for her mentoring research. She was also a Distinguished Fellow for the William T. Grant Foundation. Bernadette is a member of the Research Board for the National Mentoring Resource Center and is a Fellow of the Society of Community Research & Action. She is committed to disseminating her work to a broad  audience, including academic journals and through workshops, trainings, Op-Eds and blog posts for mentoring practitioners and youth workers. She is a first-generation college student and loves teaching and mentoring students at UIC.


EPSY 150: Human Development and Learning Academic Success

EPSY 256: Adolescent and Early Adulthood Development in Contemporary Society

EPSY 383/LALS 383: Critical Perspectives of Latinx Human Development

Selected Grants

William T. Grant Foundation, An Investigation of a Cultural Humility & Social Justice Training & Support Intervention for Mentors of Youth of Color, 2020-2023, PI

National Science Foundation, Collaborative Research: A Multi-level Investigation of STEM Mentoring – Outcomes for Middle School Youth, their Mentors and Partner Organizations, 2019-2024, co-PI

National Science Foundation, Investigating How Museum Experiences Inform Youths’ STEM Career Interest and Awareness, 2019-2023, co-PI

Selected Publications

1 graduate student

1Monjaras-Gaytan, L. Y., Sánchez, B., 1Anderson, A. J., 1Murillo, Y. G., 1McGarity-Palmer, R., 1de los Reyes, W., Catlett, B. S., & Liao, C. L. (in press). Act, talk, reflect, then act: The role of natural mentors in the critical consciousness of ethnically/racially diverse college students. American Journal of Community Psychology.

1Monjaras-Gaytan, L. Y., Sánchez, B., & Carter, J. S. (2020). Developing natural mentoring relationships among Latinx youth: The roles of trust in adults and stressors. Applied Developmental Science. Advanced online publication.

Sánchez, B., 1Anderson, A. J., Carter, J. S., 1Mroczkowski, A. L., 1Monjaras-Gaytan, L. Y., DuBois, D. L. (2020). Helping me helps us: The role of natural mentors in the ethnic identity and academic outcomes of Latinx adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 56(2), 208-220.

1Anderson, A.J., Sánchez, B., & McMahon, S. D. (2019). Natural mentoring, academic motivation, and values toward education among Latinx adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 63, 99-109. DOI 10.1002/ajcp.12319

1Liao, C.L. & Sánchez, B. (2019). Mentoring relationship quality profiles and their association with urban, low-income youth’s academic outcomes. Youth & Society, 51(4), 443-462. DOI: 10.1177/0044118X16668058

Sánchez, B., Pryce, J., Silverthorn, N., Deane, K., & DuBois, D. L. (2018). Do mentor support for racial/ethnic identity and cultural mistrust matter for girls of color? A preliminary investigation. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 25(4), 505-514.

1Anderson, A.J., Sánchez, B., Meyer, G., & Sales, B. (2018). Supporting adults to support youth: An evaluation of two social justice trainings. Journal of Community Psychology, 46(8), 1092-1106.

Sánchez, B., Hurd, N., Neblett, E., & 1Vaclavik, D. (2018). Mentoring for Black male youth: A systematic literature review. Adolescent Research Review, 3(3), 259-278. DOI 10.1007/s40894-017-0074-z

Sánchez, B., 1Mroczkowski, A., 1Liao, C. L., 1Cooper, A. C., 1Rivera, C., & DuBois, D. L. (2017). Mentoring as a mediator or moderator between racial discrimination and coping efficacy in urban, low-income, Latina/o youth. American Journal of Community Psychology, 59 (1-2), 15-24. DOI: 10.1002/ajcp.12114

1Cooper, A., & Sánchez, B. (2016). Roles of racial discrimination, cultural mistrust, and gender in Latina/o youth’s school attitudes and achievement. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26(4), 1036-1047. DOI: 10.1111/jora.12263


PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, Community & Prevention Research (Psychology)
MA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Community & Prevention Research (Psychology)
BA, Fairfield University, Psychology

Professional Memberships

Society for Community Research & Action

Society for Research on Adolescence

Society for Research on Child Development