Marta Meana has served in many roles during her 20-plus years at UNLV. A licensed clinical psychologist and top researcher in her field, Meana is also a respected administrator, teacher, advisor, and mentor. She was appointed acting president of UNLV in July 2018 and served until August 2020.
A professor of psychology at UNLV since 1997, Meana has also been the dean of UNLV’s Honors College and served as senior advisor to the university president.
During her tenure as acting president, the university achieved record graduation and retention rates, hit its high-mark for enrollment, and earned provisional accreditation for its new School of Medicine. UNLV also earned the nation’s highest distinctions for both research and community engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Under Meana’s leadership as dean of UNLV’s Honors College from 2012 to 2018, enrollment in the select program more than tripled. The Honors College is an interdisciplinary effort that attracts top undergraduates from Nevada nationwide.
A renowned scholar in the field of clinical psychology, Meana’s groundbreaking research has reshaped clinical approaches to women’s health and human sexuality. She has published two books and close to 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Meana has earned multiple university, state and national awards during her career, including a Nevada Regents Excellence in Teaching Award, Nevada Senatorial Recognition for Teaching, UNLV Distinguished Teaching and Graduate Academic Advisor awards, the James Makawa Award for outstanding contributions in psychology, and the Masters and Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Meana joined the psychology department at UNLV in 1997 after completing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at McGill University, a pre-doctoral internship at the University of California, San Diego, and a post-doctoral research fellowship in women’s health at the University of Toronto.
Marta Meana is interested in women's reproductive health. She is particularly interested in women's sexual function, how it works, how it breaks down, and how it compares to male sexuality. Her work focuses on conceptualizations and mechanisms of sexual desire and on the sexual pain disorders. Also of interest is the study of factors that influence the cognitive processing of sexual information in both men and women. Her approach is informed by both essentialist and social construction perspectives and she subscribes to a biopsychosocial and systems approach to the study and theorizing of sexuality and to the treatment of sexual difficulties.
Dr. Meana obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McGill University in Montreal in 1996 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Women's Health at the University of Toronto. She was President of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, Associate Editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, served of on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Sex Research and Journal of Sexual Medicine, and she was an advisor to the DSM-5 Task Force on Sexual Disorders.