Jonathan C. Gewirtz

Professor, Psychology

Jonathan Gewirtz, with white hair and glasses, a tiny plastic skull, and a balance scale, smiles from his office desk chair.

A tireless, behind-the-scenes advocate for students, Jonathan Gewirtz strives to see the world through their eyes.

One thing he saw was a need for improving Psychology 1001, a course taken by a quarter of U of M students. As both lecturer and, later, director of undergraduate studies, he helped build it into what a former colleague regards as the best introductory psychology class in the country.

Along with the Learning Abroad Center, Gewirtz set up a study abroad course in biological psychology in Madrid, Spain. There, students with packed schedules can gain priceless experience overseas—including in research labs and clinical settings—while fulfilling their degree requirements.

“Professor Gewirtz helped me realize that the complex topics I found daunting before were actually within my intellectual reach,” says a student of the course.

Empathy is a critical human faculty, the social glue that binds us to one another. It is also a core component of my research program and the principle underlying my teaching philosophy.--Jonathan C. Gewirtz

Gewirtz has also strengthened his department’s senior major project course, helped secure funding for a new online minor in health psychology, and championed the B.S. degree program in psychology. And he shines as a mentor, as a former student who has also worked in several other labs attests.

“Under Dr. Gewirtz’s tutelage, I have been able to push myself the most to go beyond my comfort zone and to grow as an academic,” the student says.

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