Faculty & Staff
Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Early Childhood Development
- Departments & Academic Units:
- Contact Info:
343 Justin Hall
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (1997)
- Master of Science in Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (2008)
- Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (2013)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (2013)
Throughout my academic career, I have focused on building resilience in vulnerable families. As an applied developmental scientist, joining the Kansas State Research and Extension faculty provides the opportunity to pursue my passion for strengthening families. Over the last few years, I have focused on young Head Start children, military families and adolescents, and older adults as part of my program of research. I am particularly interested in human development across the lifespan and how theory and practice merged with advanced research methods and statistics are best combined to provide research and evidence-based practices that make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, communities and regions in Kansas.
Both Social Organization Theory and the construct of Mindful-mindedness, which emerged from my own research efforts, inform my approach to program planning, development, and evaluation. Social Organization Theory focuses on how to effect change in formal and informal networks, while mindful-mindedness provides a framework for individuals-in-context-in-action to make the most of interpersonal interactions. In sum, my approach to development takes a strengths-based approach to helping families learn the skills of mentoring and combining them with their own creative efforts within the content area they need.
Originally from Noblesville, Indiana, I grew up on a small farm and was a ten-year 4-H member. After graduating from Noblesville High School, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Indiana University Bloomington in 1997. After working in Silicon Valley developing emerging technologies at a genomics/biotechnology company, I returned to school and earned my master’s degree in Human Development from Virginia Tech in 2008. During my doctoral training, I also earned a graduate certificate in Gerontology under the guidance of Associate Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor Dr. Rosemary Blieszner, awarded in 2013. My doctoral dissertation, funded by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, was titled “Shared Reading, Scaffolding, Guided Participation, and Mind-mindedness in Appalachian Head Start Families: Building the Construct of Mindful-mindedness.” I earned my doctorate in April, 2013.