Member Spotlight: Dr. Shawn C.T. Jones

Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University; SRCD Task Force on Publications and Ethical Behavior 

Do you have a mentor who has been instrumental in your career?

I have been blessed with amazing mentors, or more appropriately Jegnoch throughout my career. I want to in particular highlight Dr. Enrique Neblett and Dr. Howard Stevenson (doctoral and postdoctoral mentors, respectively). In the case of both, they advised from a place of holistic, developmental, and loving care. I try my best to pay this forward, and it will be a career-long repayment process! 

What advice would you give to a Graduate student beginning their Ph.D. studies in Developmental Science or related? 

There are a few things that come to mind. One is to read and study DEEPLY. If you love developmental science, you must understand its history: good, bad, and ugly. We all stand on the shoulders of the scholars who have come before, so it is important to understand that legacy. Second, I would encourage you to show up in spaces the ways that leave you feeling most authentic. These systems will adjust or they won't, but you have to stay centered. 

What is something you learned in the last month outside of your field? 

In the last month I had the opportunity to travel to Zanzibar and take a traditional Swahili cooking class, and so I learned how to make a number of tasty dishes. 

What is your best SRCD memory? 

There are so many upon which to reflect; however, one highlight that comes to mind was the Quad-Caucus Verzus event that happened at SRCD 2021! It was truly a blast and an honor to co-host 

What publication or book would you say is a must read in the field (and why)? 

While there are a number that come to mind, I am going to say Black Children Social, Educational, and Parental Environments by the McAdoos. I have found that so many of the constructs that we still navigate with regard to positive Black youth and family wellbeing are so elegantly and seminally discussed within the chapters of this text. 

We will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the SRCD Black Caucus at the SRCD 2023 Biennial Meeting. What are you most looking forward to at the Biennial this year?

Wow! 50 years, what a legacy, right? I am really looking forward to the Black Caucus events, both the pre-conference on centering and celebrating joy and of COURSE the gala. 

What are some of your hobbies? 

I truly enjoy cooking and baking, and I am also really into indoor gardening these days. 


Visit the


to learn about benefits, networking opportunities, and more!