Kristen McCabe Awarded University Professorship

Kristen McCabe Awarded University Professorship

Psychological Sciences Professor Kristen McCabe, PhD was among five USD faculty members awarded the coveted University Professorship for 2020-21. A University Professorship is the highest individual award that can be bestowed to a USD faculty member. The award is given to those who’ve demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievements in teaching and research.


Dr. McCabe’s teaching interests focus generally on clinical psychology and more specifically on child clinical psychology. She regularly teaches Behavior Disorders of Childhood, Psychological Assessment, the Applied Experience/Internship in psychology series, Methods of Evidence Based Psychotherapy, and occasionally Psychological Assessment. Her courses include coverage of diversity issues and incorporate Community Service Learning. Dr. McCabe also regularly supervises student researchers through the Honors, Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, and McNair Scholars programs.


Dr. McCabe’s research interests focus on improving treatment access, engagement, and outcomes for ethnic minority children, with a particular focus on young Mexican American children (ages 2-7) with behavior problems. Her work has been funded by a mentored career development award from NIMH that focused on adapting Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based psychotherapeutic intervention for behavior problems in young children, to be more culturally responsive to Mexican American families. Dr. McCabe was a co-investigator on an NIMH grant examining the relation between child, parent, and youth consensus on treatment goals and engagement and outcomes in school based mental health services. She recently received funding to support the development of a method of personalizing behavioral parent training interventions for culturally diverse families.

Dr. McCabe was nominated by USD colleagues, current students, alumni, and research partners. Their honest reflections on Dr. McCabe's service to the department, students, research, and university make it abundantly clear why she was honored with this award. 

Regardless of her tight schedule, she has always made sure to set time aside to help with any questions, concerns, or simply comments which we may have. She has shown time and time again that she is devoted to our academic development through patience in her guidance, informative advice, and motivation aimed at helping us reach our full potential. - Yessica Green Rosas '19 (BA)

Dr. McCabe has modeled USD’s mission and goals in her research by emphasizing compassion, ethical service, and diversity in her research. As a research assistant in her laboratory, I am continually inspired by Dr. McCabe’s dedication to promoting equity and cultural sensitivity in mental health services. I have seen Dr. McCabe’s passion and drive as she researches, solves problems, and supports colleagues with dignity and grace. - McKenna Sakamoto '19 (BA)

Someone recently told me that an advisor is someone who tells you where doors exist; a sponsor is someone who opens the doors for you. Dr. McCabe has been the ultimate sponsor to me and I can think of no one who is more deserving of the USD University Professorship than her. She is the model of USD’s teaching mission and values and as such these values have been instilled in my own work. - Jennie Kuckertz '10 (BA), Doctoral Candidate, SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

She takes pains to ascertain the interests of her students and then involves them in experiences that would provide a strong background in research that will benefit the students in whatever future careers they may choose. The amount of time she invests in individual student meetings and her expedient review of student materials are strong indicators of the utmost priority upon which she places student education. Students are privileged when their mentors provide the opportunity, time, and encouragement to be involved in their own research, in presentations, and in publications. I would venture to say that the type of supervision and experiences that Dr. McCabe provides would, in many other universities, only be provided to graduate students. - May Yeh, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology, SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

Though her service contributions to the University are impressive, her scholarly work at USD has been truly outstanding. Dr. McCabe holds nearly 50 scholarly publications since her arrival at USD in 2000, 14 of which feature undergraduate coauthors, and she remains active with a couple of publications currently under review. Her work has been (and continues to be) supported by numerous large external grants including national funding agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control.- Lauren Benz, PhD, USD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

It is clear that Dr. McCabe is more than deserving of the University Professorship award. Dr. McCabe and other University Professorship awardees will be formally recognized for their award at USD’s Fall Convocation event, scheduled for Sept. 11, 2020.

begin quoteSomeone recently told me that an advisor is someone who tells you where doors exist; a sponsor is someone who opens the doors for you. Dr. McCabe has been the ultimate sponsor
Dr. Kristen McCabe

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