William James College Associate Professor, Dr. Natalie Cort Named Teacher of the Year by the Massachusetts Psychological Association

Natalie Cort

NEWTON, MA –Dr. Natalie Cort, co-director of the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health and an associate professor in the Clinical Psychology Department at William James College (WJC) has been named the 2023 Teacher of the Year by the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA). A practicing clinical psychologist, Dr. Cort also directs the Black Mental Health Graduate Academy at WJC, an award-winning mentoring and leadership pipeline program designed to recruit and retain Black students pursuing careers in psychology and mental health counseling. 

The MPA Teacher of the Year Award is presented to professors who promote an interest in the field of psychology to students, develop effective teaching methods and courses, and are concerned with professional identify as demonstrated activities within and outside the university setting. 

“Dr. Natalie Cort is an exceptional educator, an exemplary mentor, and a distinguished leader in her field,” said Dr. Gemima St. Louis, Vice President for Workforce Initiatives at William James College. “I cannot think of anyone else who is more deserving of this honor than Dr. Cort. I know that our students, faculty, and staff join me in congratulating her on this well-deserved and prestigious award.”

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Cort has earned a reputation as a clinical and research expert on racial and ethnic disparities in the mental health field. An active and engaged professor, advisor, and mentor, Dr. Cort also serves as the associate director and co-principal investigator of the College’s Specialized Training and Academic Retention Fellowship which is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. In 2022, she helped launch WJC’s institution-wide Teaching Faculty Fellowship, an initiative created to attract and prepare faculty members from underrepresented backgrounds for careers in higher education.

Dr. Cort, a research grade psychiatric diagnostician consultant, has been an investigator, intervention developer, clinician, and interpersonal psychotherapy trainer on 11 research trials and programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A prolific writer, she has also co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles and a practitioner guide on racial/ethnic differences in youth mental health, child abuse reporting practices, high-risk sexual behaviors, age-discordant sexual relationships, and depression treatment outcomes. 

As an immigrant of Afro- and Indo- Caribbean cultural background from Guyana in South America, her personal experiences spurred her to challenge ethnocentric and monocultural practices in the mental health field. Through her company, Cort Consulting and Counseling, Dr. Cort provides leadership coaching, professional development training, and consultation to ensure the promotion of culturally responsive and trauma-informed organizational policies and practices[SG1] .

“I am humbled by this honor and appreciate the support and acknowledgement of my peers,” said Dr. Cort. “I thank the MPA for recognizing my efforts to diversify the behavioral health workforce by encouraging students to enter the field. This award is truly a high point in my career.” 

About William James College

Founded in 1974, William James College is an independent, nonprofit institution and a leader in educating the next generation of mental health professionals to support the growing and diverse needs of the mental health workforce. Integrating field work with academics, the College prepares students for careers as organizational leaders and behavioral health professionals who are committed to helping the underserved, multicultural populations, children and families, and veterans.  William James College alumni can be found making an impact in a variety of settings including schools, the courts, clinical care facilities, hospitals the community and the workplace.


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