Jen Matos holds a doctorate in education with a concentration in social justice education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is interested in the role of equality and liberation in learning communities. Matos' research has two distinct areas. In the first area she examines the assets that students from marginalized groups bring to the classroom and how those strengths can be utilized to enhance the system of public education in the U.S. In the second area, she examines the effects on learning and activist outcomes when college students report feeling cared for by their instructors.
A native of New Jersey, Matos moved to Massachusetts to attend Smith College as a first-generation student, where she earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature. Discovering her passion for education while in college, she returned to Smith College to earn an M.A.T. and holds Massachusetts State Certification in secondary education as an English teacher. She has taught at UMASS Amherst, Our Lady of the Elms, and the Smith School for Social Work before coming to Mt. Holyoke.
She is currently working with a student research team on two projects. One focuses on Latinx parental resiliency in public education settings. The other focuses on best practices for the retention and graduation of Black and Latinx students.
- Racism and Inequality in Schools and Society
- Psychology of Racism
- The Process of Teaching and Learning in Middle and Secondary Schools
- Practicum Seminar in Teaching and Learning: Middle and Secondary Schools
Matos, J.M.D. & Norskey, G.E. (2018). “Choosing Each Other: Love, Friendship, and Racism” in M.R. Hall & K. Smith (Eds.), Uncommon Bonds: Women Reflect on Race and Friendship. New York: Peter Lang.
Matos, J.M. (2018). Book Review: Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race (Beverly Tatum, 2017, Basic Books), for Humanity and Society DOI: 10.1177/0160597618761471
Matos, J.M.D. (2015). La Familia: The Important Ingredient for Latina/o College Student Engagement and Persistence, Equity & Excellence in Education, 48 (3), 436-453.