José Pons Madera, PhD
Dr. Pons was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, obtained a BA in Psychology from Salem State University in Massachusetts, and an MS and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies, now Albizu University (AU). Dr. Pons has post doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology, mental health administration and completed a visiting fellowship in fMRI research in neurosciences at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Rowland Center. Dr. Pons was the founder of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences of Ponce Health Sciences University where he was Full Professor of Clinical Psychology, Neuroscience of Learning, Couples and Family Therapy, and Psychiatry. Dr. Pons has been an APA accreditation site visitor and site visit chair, since 2005.
As a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico Dr. Pons has over 30-years of clinical experience. He is the founder of three mental health clinics and of two internship programs, one of which is APA accredited. Dr. Pons was the director and co-principal Investigator of the normalization project for Puerto Rico of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III. He has published on intelligence and emotional intelligence, autism, forensic family psychology, and on graduate training and regulation of the psychology profession in Puerto Rico. His academic experience includes teaching courses in the neurobiology and psychology of emotion; cognitive and affective basis of behavior; neuropsychological, psychological and personality assessment; and on short-term psychotherapy. He has provided lectures at the national level on diversity training in Clinical Psychology, and has lectured at the international level on the scientific frontiers of Psychology; neuroscience, psychoneuroimmunology and epigenetics.
Dr. Pons was the president of the Puerto Rico Board of Psychology Examiners from 2011 to 2014, and until 2016, was the president of the Board of Directors of the Ponce Autism Center. He was the 2004 Psychologist of the Year for the PR Psychology Association, the 2008 Researcher of the Year for the Carlos Albizu’s Revista Ciencias de la Conducta, and a 2009 recipient of the Distinguished Health Professional recognition, from the Puerto Rico State Senate. He reviews articles for various professional and scientific journals including Professional Psychology: Theory and Practice; Training and Education in Professional Psychology; Revista Puertorriqueña de Psicología; Revista de Medicina y Salud Pública; and Science of Learning (a Nature journal).
As a graduate student, Dr. Pons was Dr. Carlos Albizu’s Teaching Assistant. During his tenure under Dr. Albizu’s mentorship, he acquired his first exposure to teaching and to academic administration in Professional Psychology. Following on the steps of his mentor, Dr. Pons became in January 30, 2017, the fifth president of Albizu University.