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Karen Bierman named Evan Pugh University Professor

Karen L. Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies, and Director of the Child Study Center, was named an Evan Pugh University Professor in April of 2016.

Karen L. Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies, and Director of the Child Study Center, was named an Evan Pugh University Professor in April of 2016. Since its inception in 1960, only 71 faculty members have received this highest honor the Institution can give to a member of its faculty. Evan Pugh Professors are chosen because she or he "has displayed the courage to pioneer in her or his field, the discipline to remain at the forefront of research, and the generosity of spirit to share these accomplishments with students." A committee evaluates their research publications, creative work or both, and assesses contributions to the education of students who later achieve recognition for excellence in the candidate's discipline or interdisciplinary area.

Dr. Bierman received her doctorate in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. Since joining Penn State in 1981, she has served in numerous positions:  Director of the Child Study Center, Associate Director of the Prevention Research Institute, Founding Director of the Children, Youth, and Families Consortium, and Director of the Social Science Research Institute.

Her 30+ year research career has focused on social-emotional development and children at risk, with an emphasis on the design and evaluation of school-based programs that promote social competence, school readiness, positive peer relations, and that reduce aggression and related behavior problems. She has directed several longitudinal studies evaluating the long-term impact of early school-based and family-focused preventive interventions designed to reduce aggression (Fast Track) and enhance school success (Head Start REDI). She has also developed and evaluated small-group social skill training interventions for peer-rejected children (Friendship Group). She also directs a predoctoral training program in the interdisciplinary educational sciences, funded by the Institute of Educational Sciences. Bierman has received funding for prevention and school readiness promotion from the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Educational Sciences, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She has published three books and over 190 articles and chapters, and has served as an educational advisor to a number of organizations devoted to improving early education for disadvantaged children, including Head Start and Sesame Street.

To view the Penn State News announcement, please click here.