Faculty Profile

Munyi Shea

Munyi Shea

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Email: mshea@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2369

Education: BS, University of Washington, 2001; BA, University of Washington, 2001; PhD, Columbia University, 2008

Dr. Munyi Shea is a counseling psychologist, who joined Seattle Pacific University in 2016 after teaching and serving as an associate professor at California State University, Los Angeles – a minority-serving institution. Prior to joining the Clinical Psychology doctoral program, she was a professor and the director of doctoral programs in the School of Education.

Having lived in multiple metropolitan cities within and outside of the U.S. during her childhood and young adulthood, Dr. Shea has a strong interest and commitment to advancing mental health understanding and addressing disparities within historically marginalized communities. Her research centers around the intersection of culture and mental health, with a specific focus on immigrant communities. Her work examines the nuanced ways culture shapes individuals' understanding, experience, and expression of mental health concerns, aiming to translate this knowledge into the design and practice of accessible and culturally inclusive psychological services.

Throughout her career, Dr. Shea has developed or overseen innovative prevention and intervention programs that serve diverse populations. These initiatives include bullying prevention for Asian/Pacific Islander and Latinx school-aged children, a cognitive-behavioral guided self-help program for Latinas with eating disorders, and a peer-led, strengths-based support program for college-going mothers. These projects have received internal and extramural funding support from multiple sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Shea's professional accomplishments have earned recognition through several research awards, including the Early Career Award for Research from the Asian American Psychological Association, the Outstanding Research Award from the American Education Research Association, and the Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship on Race and Ethnicity Award from the American Psychological Association (Division 17, Counseling Psychology).

Beyond her research endeavors, Dr. Shea is equally dedicated to mentoring and community engagement. She was honored with the Graduate Professor of the Year award in 2022 at SPU. She has also received numerous internal grants, such as the SERVE Grant and the Inclusive Excellence Grant, to promote student scholarship and community-based participatory research. She was previously involved in international mentorship programs through her churches in New York and Los Angeles.

Currently, Dr. Shea continues to collaborate with colleagues from both within and outside the institution, fostering a multidisciplinary approach to address complex issues. Her ongoing research interests encompass understanding the mental health challenges and help-seeking barriers faced by young adults and college-aged students; promoting health and prevention through empowerment and advocacy; and integrating positive psychological interventions and social-emotional learning for K-12 students.


More about Dr. Shea’s current projects, presentations, and publications

Selected Publications

  • Ma, P-W., & Shea, M. (2021). First-Generation college students' perceived  barriers and vocational outcome expectations: Exploring the role of relational factors and sense of coherence. Journal of Career Development, 48(2) 91–104, First published online in 2019.
  • Shea, M., Wong, Y. J., Nguyen, K., & Gonzalez, P. (2019). College students' barriers to seeking mental health counseling: Scale development and psychometric evaluation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 66(5), 626–
  • Shea, M., Wong, Y. J., Nguyen, K., & Baghdasarian, S. (2017). College women’s subjective femininity stress, gender solidarity, and help-seeking intentions: The mediating roles of help-seeking attitudes and social stigma. The Counseling Psychologist, 45, 438–61.
  • Shea, M., Wang, C., Shi, W., Gonzalez, V., & Espelage, D. (2016). Parents and teachers' perspective of school bullying among Asian and Latino immigrant children. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 7, 83–96.
  • Cachelin, F., Shea, M., Phoutdavone, P., Wilson, T., Thompson, D., Strigel, R. (2014).  Culturally adapted cognitive behavioral guided self-help for binge eating: A feasibility study with Mexican Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20, 449–57, doi: 10.1037/a0035345.
  • Shea, M., Wong, Y. J., Wang, S., Wang, S., Jimenez, V., Hickman, S. J., & LaFollette, J. R. (2014). Toward a constructionist perspective of examining femininity experience: The development and psychometric properties of the subjective femininity stress scale. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38, 275–91. doi:10.1177/0361684313509591.
  • Shea, M., & Yeh, C. J. (2008). Asian American Students’ cultural values, stigma, and relational self-construal: correlates of attitudes toward professional help seeking. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 30, 157–72.

Please view Dr. Shea’s CV (PDF) for additional information.

Why I Teach at SPU

Munyi Shea, Professor of Clinical Psychology

“I teach at SPU because it is uniquely situated at a place and time where we are called to address complex problems with innovative strategies and deep compassion.  As an educator, I come alongside my students to inspire and guide them in discovering their passions, persisting in their aspirations, looking outwardly and giving their best to serve their communities.”