Meet Dr. Arieahn Matamonasa…

We asked Arieahn Matamonasa, Assistant Professor in SNL, if she would share her background and experiences with current and future SNL students.


Where is your Residence/Hometown? 

I’ve lived and worked in Chicago for the last 20 years. Right now I live in the southwest suburbs where there is room for my horses and dogs. 

What is your Area of Expertise?

 My Ph.D. is in Clinical Psychology and I am a Licensed Psychologist in addition to my Assistant Professor role here at DePaul. My expertise is in multicultural psychology and Native American studies- and also more recently in Animal Assisted Therapies and Animal Human Interaction. I have published work and speak all over the world on these topics as well as incorporate this into my elective course offerings.

How long have you worked for DePaul?

I have worked here for 16 years, although it seems like yesterday that I started. What many students are most interested to know is that I am a graduate of DePaul!

Where were you educated?

I completed my undergraduate degree at DePaul with a focus in psychology and adult education. My Masters is in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University and my Ph.D. is in Philosophy with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology also from Fielding.  

Are there any current consulting projects you are working on?

As part of my role here as an Assistant Professor I am always writing and publishing. What I am most excited about now is a book I am working on. It is a 10 Chapter book called “All My Relations: Indigenous perspectives on Human-Animal Relationships”  This is a HUGE task and harder than most people think- but I am so passionate about the subject matter that I have found I really love writing and researching for this type of project.

Have you received any Distinctions/Awards while at DePaul?

I received a Student Diversity Award from the American Psychological Association Div. 29 in 2001, the Fielding Ethnic Minority Dissertation Award in 2005, The DePaul University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011, and the Wicklander Fellowship for Applied Professional Ethics in 2012.

What do you like about teaching at DePaul?

 What I most appreciate at DePaul -especially at SNL is the opportunity for both collaborative and experiential learning.

What do you like about the MAAPS program?

I love the idea that students can chart their own “course” and design a customized program that targets their learning needs and professional goals. I think the strength of the MAAPS program is on the emphasis it places on the student’s professional area and the application of knowledge to the practice site.

Who would you say is the most influential person in your life?

This is a challenging question as I have had many wonderful mentors in my life- including some of my current colleagues. I would not be where I am without them and I try to “give back” for all the mentoring I’ve received by being in this role for others. As far as the MOST influential person in my life- I would have to say it was my father who passed away in 2009. He was a great healer and teacher and his influence has shaped every aspect of my life.

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