Nadya Fouad

Distinguished Professor & Mary and Ted Kellner Endowed Chair of Educational Psychology - Counseling Psychology, School & Community Counseling
Educational Psychology

Nadya Fouad is a faculty member in the Counseling Psychology area. She studies how people make work and career-related decisions, particularly in understanding the work choices for women and underrepresented minorities. She teaches doctoral practicum and Vocational Psychology for doctoral students.

Research Interests

My scholarship and publications are primarily focused in four major areas (view full curriculum vitae).

1. Applications and extensions of the Social Cognitive Career Theory. I have been particularly interested in the math and science applications of the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). Most recently, my colleague Romila Singh and I have worked on three projects funded by the National Science Foundation that have examined reasons for persistence and departure from engineering, incorporating SCCT with Turnover Theory. The first project, Stemming the Tide, is available here: Stemming the Tide.

We have continued that research in a second study, with male engineers (NSFGears) to both describe male engineers’ experiences and to compare men and women engineers. The third project (NSF ENGAGE) will flip the research question; to examine the reasons men and women engineers stay in engineering, helping to provide recommendations for positive work environments in engineering.

2. Cross-cultural interest assessment: examining the role of race and ethnicity in vocational interests and developing a better understanding of how race plays a role in the assessment of vocational interests. Interestingly, we have found over the years that race/ethnicity has a much smaller effect size influencing interests than do gender. Most interventions have focused on ways to promote racial/ethnic minority individuals’ interests in math and science careers, but findings suggest that research and interventions need to examine environmental factors and barriers to math/science career choices.

3. Contextual issues in career development. A third area of research relates broadly to contextual issues in career counseling and career development. Swanson and Fouad’s Career Theory and Practice will be expanded and include a central focus on context in the third edition, due out in 2014. Rosie Bingham and I developed a model (1995) that explicitly incorporates culture into career counseling. Fouad and Byars-Winston conducted a meta analysis of the role of race/ethnicity in career decision making and choice. We documented that race/ethnicity plays a much stronger role in career expectations than it does in aspirations.

More recently, building on a qualitative study investigating the construction of the meaning of career for Asian Americans, my students and I are examining the influences of family expectations on career decisions. We developed a Family Influence Scale that is helping us to explore the role of family expectations and supports across cultures (including Korea, India, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, and Israel).

4. Competence. The final area of research may be roughly classified as “professional issue”. I have been involved for the past 8 years in helping to clarify benchmarks in trainees’ attaining competence as psychologists. More information on benchmarks tools are available on the APA Education Directorate website.

I am also a strong advocate for ensuring the cultural competence of psychologists. The outcome of a number of efforts within the American Psychological Association was co-chairing the Writing Team (with Patricia Arredondo) for the creation and successful approval of the Multicultural Guidelines for Psychologists. Patricia Arredondo and I are currently co-chairing a team to revise the Guidelines.

Current Research Projects

In addition to the above projects, I have a very active research team that focuses primarily on topics related to career development and/or cultural competence. The team currently consists of 9 students. Team projects are developed to help meet students’ research goals. All students on the team have submitted proposals to present at the Atlanta Counseling Psychology conference or the American Psychological Association convention in Washington DC. Research team projects are student-developed, and currently include the examination of the validity of the Family Influence Scale in India and the US, a meta analysis of best practices in retention of college students, and the development of a scale to measure career myths.

Professional Service (Editorial Boards, Offices)

  • Editor, The Counseling Psychologist (2008-2013)
  • Editor in Chief: APA Handbook of Counseling Psychology, Volumes 1 and 2 (with co-editors Linda Subich and Jean Carter)
  • Editorial Boards: Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Career Assessment.
  • Chair, APA Ethics Committee (2012)
  • Chair, Board of Educational Affairs (2006)
  • Chair, Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs (2005-6)
  • President, Society of Counseling Psychology (2000-2001)
  • Chair, Society of Vocational Psychology (1996-1998)


  • Council of Counseling Psychology Training Program Lifetime Contributions Award, 2013
  • Outstanding Professional Contribution Award (Milwaukee Area Psychological Association) 2012
  • Best Paper Award (National Career Development Association) 2011
  • Paul Nelson Award (Council of Chairs of Training Councils) 2010
  • Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology (American Psychological Association) 2009
  • 19th Annual Janet E. Helms Award for Mentoring and Scholarship 2009
  • School of Education Faculty Research Award, 2007; APA Division 17 John Holland Award for Outstanding Achievement in Career and Personality Research, 2003
  • Distinguished Service Award, Academy of Counseling Psychology, 2001
  • APA Presidential Citation for leadership on APA School to Work Task Force, 2000
  • Professional Writing Award, Wisconsin Association for Counseling and Development, 1996
  • Ralph F. Berdie Research Award, American Association for Counseling and Development

Nadya Fouad Curriculum Vitae (PDF)