Professor, Human Services Addiction Studies
Annahita Mahdavi immigrated from Iran in 1985 and resided in Turkey as a UN refugee until 1988 when she was granted a residency for Sweden. After staying in Sweden for two years, she came to the United States in 1990, where she was granted political asylum in the United States as well.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Human Development from the Vanguard University in 2007, and her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology/MFT from Pepperdine University in 2010, where she was awarded the California Stipend 2010 for her work involving integration and implementation of advocacy within diverse clinical and academic practices as a graduate student at Pepperdine University. She received her Ph.D. in International Psychology with a concentration in Trauma Services, from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The focus of her studies has been the resiliency of human beings in the face of atrocities. Her dissertation title is: “Perceptions of Acculturation Resiliency Factors of Iranian, Iraqi, and Afghan Refugees”. As part of her Ph.D. Fieldwork studies, she has been a part of international studies in Ireland, Belfast (2010) looking at the high rates of suicide, Peru, Lima (2014) looking at the traumatic impact of poverty on the indigenous population.
“Whatever you do in life, make sure it has a purpose in serving others, especially the “least of these”, for me, that is achieving the ultimate joy in life” - Dr. Annahita Mahdavi.
She has worked both as a clinician and as an educator in the fields of clinical and international psychology since 2009. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and is an activist for Equity, Criminal Justice Reform, Drug Policy Reform, and Immigration Reform and refugee rights. She has taught at Saddleback College and The Chicago School of Psychology as an adjunct professor from 2012 to 2015 and is a frequent guest lecturer at Chapman University. She teaches courses in both disciplines of Human Services and Psychology including Drugs, Society and Human Behavior, Introduction to Chemical Dependency, Addiction and Mental Health, Co-occurring Disorders, and Crisis Interventions, Trauma, and PTSD, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Psychology of Acculturation, Multicultural and Diverse Populations, well as the clinical practicum and fieldwork courses. She has and continues to present at a verity of conferences on the subjects related to advocacy and social justice such as, “The Impact of Drug Policy” “The Clinical Practices that Contribute to Social Injustice,” “Empathy and Social Justice,” and “Acculturation and Assimilation of Immigrants”, “Abolishing The Notorious Prison Industry in America”. She has also presented at many women’s leadership conferences, emphasizing the concepts of “Intersectionality of Women Feminist Movements.”
She is active in multicultural and International advocacy and been working with a diverse population and a variety of organizations such as The Orange County HealthCare Agencies, Alternative Education for Incarcerated Minors OC, Drug Courts of Californian OC, Multi-Cultural Non-profit Organizations (working with a diverse refugee population), treatment of drug use disorders and addiction within diverse communities. She had her private practice treating a diverse population impacted by traumatic events and backgrounds, mainly immigrants and refugees from the Middle East. Other than her role as a clinician and an educator, she has been acting as an advocate for many social justice-related issues for marginalized communities such as women, refugees, people of color, LGBTQ, the currently and formerly incarcerated population related to drug charges, and those with chemical dependency problems.
She has been conducting ongoing psycho-educational groups, classes, and seminars, including a series of TV and Radio, shows via international satellite channels. She has been an active member of her community with a diverse range of volunteer work, such as being a board member of the non-profit organization Network of Iranian Professionals of Orange County (NIPOC) from 2009 to 2012, the volunteer coordinator of the international cultural festival Mehregan from 2010 to 2012, a founding member of the nonprofit organization Iranian Circle of Women’s Intercultural Network. She conducts ongoing seminars with a variety of social, cultural, and psychological topics. She has appeared on many TV, and Radio shows presenting those topics, as well as running her own TV series on psychoeducational material on international satellite programs from 2009 to 2014. Currently, She is an executive board member of the California Association of the Alcohol and Drug Educators. She is a committee member of the Course Identification Addiction Studies Faculty Discipline Review Group, for the Californian Community Colleges.
She is an associate professor at Long Beach City College where she teaches the Addiction Studies/Mental Health program. She has founded a grassroots student organization for the formerly incarcerated students, called LBCC Justice Scholars. In conjunction with that student association, she has led the efforts and has initiated the implementation of a resource center for the integration and transition of the systems impacted student population, called the same Justice Scholars Program.
Annahita enjoys hobbies such as dance, yoga, swimming, listening to good music, martial arts, reading, writing, and gatherings with family and loved ones. Annahita’s daughter, Nirvana, has a BA degree from UC Berkeley in English Literature with a minor in Linguistics and is currently in a Ph.D. Program in the same field.