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17:47 PM

GSU Professor Helps Students Get Research Experiences


Dr. Eman Tadros has a lot to say. The Governors State University Assistant Professor is passionate about her work, her field, and her students, and she spends the vast majority of her time in service to all three. She talks quickly, with intent, wanting you to understand the importance of her research topics, the need for more funding and additional studies, and the regard she has for her students.

As a child, she loved law shows and thought she would like to be either a lawyer or a therapist. Ultimately, in her own unique way, she chose both. Dr. Tadros is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Certified Practitioner, and an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor. The law? It is incorporated into her work through her extensive research on incarcerated individuals, especially regarding their relationships – with their spouses, coparents, children, parents, siblings, etc.

While studying for her master’s degree at Seton Hall University, she realized she could spend some time researching what she wanted to research, not just what was assigned. That, and having an early paper accepted for publication (when her professor said no one would be interested), set her on the path to quickly becoming a prolific researcher and writer.

Tadros’ accomplishments with research and publishing, however, does not come at the expense of her teaching or students. Her CV lists 79 peer-reviewed journal articles, all since 2018. More than a few bear an asterisk, noting that the authors include a mentored undergraduate or graduate student author.

 “I work with a lot of undergrad students who want research experience,” says Tadros. “I tell students, don’t be afraid to ‘cold call’ your professors to ask how you can help with their research.” Including students in her research is typical for Tadros, as is mentoring. “I am mentoring at least 20 students now,” she says, “and I work with some students for years on research projects.”

“Dr. Tadros is a fierce and accomplished researcher whose work is impacted the field in significant ways,” says Division of Psychology and Counseling Chair Dr. Danel Koonce. “I admire the passion she has not just for the marginalized population that she is writing about, but for the mentorship she provides to students whose efforts yield invaluable experience and confidence.”

Having caught the research bug early in her studies, she now tells undergrad students to get some experience before applying to grad school as research projects can be helpful for admission. She urges students to have an honest conversation with their professor about the time they can commit to a project. “It does not have to be a big-time commitment on their part,” she explains, “state what time you have and let’s see if we can make it work.

 Incarcerated men and women, and their relationships, are an understudied population according to Tadros. Funding is needed for more studies she explains, with the ultimate goal of better family outcomes, however those family are defined. “My research wish?” she responds when asked, “my research wish would be to choose a jail or prison, have all the therapists there use systemic theories, such as the Tadros Theory of Change, and then study the outcomes.” The Tadros Theory is one she put forth in a 2019 paper that views and treats people wholistically. It combines elements of several therapy models into an integrated approach that has received positive responses.

“The only negative comment I received was from someone who said I was too young to name a theory after myself,” she reports. The paper has been cited 37 times already, according to Google Citations, and is an example of the interdisciplinary and curious approach to her work.

Her current work, in part, relates again to relationships when one person is incarcerated and how to help the families cope.  “We look at how it affects children, but what about if your 20-year-old son is incarcerated, how does that affect you?” she explains. “Why are we, the policy makers and the academics, pretending we know what these people need. We should just be asking them. It sounds so obvious but we are not doing that.”

Tadros, however, is asking those questions and trying to solve those problems. Her energy, talent, and dedication not only benefits her research subjects, but her students at GSU. If you are a student interested in learning more about working with Dr. Tadros, contact her at There is plenty of work left to be done.