Nadya Fouad, University Distinguished Professor in Educational Psychology.

Nadya Fouad, PhD, ABPP

  • University Distinguished Professor, Educational Psychology
  • Mary and Ted Kellner Endowed Chair of Educational Psychology, Educational Psychology
  • Program Director, Counseling Psychology, PhD

Nadya A. Fouad is a faculty member in the Counseling Psychology division of the Department of Educational Psychology. A Board Certified Counseling Psychologist, her research examines how people make work and career-related decisions, with an emphasis on understanding the work choices of women and underrepresented populations. Dr. Fouad teaches Foundations in Career Development at the master’s level and Vocational Psychology and Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling Psychology at the doctoral level. In addition to classroom instruction, she supervises doctoral students in the practicum sequence, advises students’ dissertation research, and has chaired 52 dissertation committees.

Dr. Fouad’s active research team explores a variety of vocational psychology and career development topics, and has recently published manuscripts on individuals’ perceptions of occupational choices and women’s career development. They are also engaging in an ongoing university initiative to develop and assess undergraduate career exploration classes in an effort to discern how those classes prepare students to make better choices about their academic and professional futures.

Dr. Fouad’s service to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee includes her roles as Special Assistant to the Provost for Conflict Resolution and Chair of the Ombuds Council. She is also past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vocational Behavior and The Counseling Psychologist. Dr. Fouad has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and books, and her research has been cited more than 17,500 times. In 2017, she was awarded the Leona Tyler Award for Lifetime Achievement in Counseling Psychology by the American Psychological Association’s Society of Counseling Psychology.

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. 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) flipped the research question examining the reasons men and women engineers stay in engineering with the intention to provide recommendations for positive work environments in engineering. You can learn more about this project by visiting our joint research page here.

2. Cross-cultural interest assessment: I am interested in examining the role of race and ethnicity in 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. Rosie Bingham and I developed a model (Fouad & Bingham, 1995) that explicitly incorporates culture into career counseling. I also conducted a meta-analysis of the role of race/ethnicity in career decision making and choice with my colleague Angela Byars-Winston (Fouad & Byars-Winston, 2005). We documented that race/ethnicity plays a much stronger role in career expectations than it does in aspirations.

Also, building on a qualitative study investigating the construction of the meaning of career for Asian Americans, my students and I have examined the influences of family expectations on career decisions. We developed a Family Influence Scale (Fouad et al., 2010) 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 15 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.

Current Research Projects

I have a very active research team that focuses primarily on topics related to career development and/or cultural competence. Team projects are developed to help meet students’ research goals. Projects often lead to publication in peer-reviewed academic journals. Many students on the team have also submitted proposals to present at the APA Annual Convention. Dissertations completed by my previous students are available by selecting the graduates tab above.

This is a partial list of research questions my team is currently investigating:

  • Academic transitions for student veterans
  • Perceptions of opportunity for ethnic and racial minorities
  • Meaningfulness for hospital employees involved in direct patient care
  • Sources of outcome expectations for students engaged in career exploration
  • Literature review of women’s career development

Professional Service (Editorial Boards, Offices)

  • Editor, Journal of Vocational Behavior (2016-)
  • 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 Career Assessment, Training and Education in Professional Psychology
  • 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)


  • Leona Tyler Award For Lifetime Achievement In Counseling Psychology, 2017
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Faculty Distinguished Service Award, 2014
  • Society of Vocational Psychology, Distinguished Achievement Award, 2014
  • 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

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)