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New Director announced for the Child Study Center

The Child Study Center is delighted to announce Dr. Karen Bierman, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Penn State, has accepted the position as Child Study Center Director, effective April 1st, 2009.

Dr. Bierman received her doctorate in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver and has been at Penn State since 1981. She has previously served as associate director of the Prevention Research Institute, founding director of the Children, Youth, and Families Consortium, and director of the Social Science Research Institute during her time at Penn State.

Dr. Bierman’s extensive research interests span the domains of clinical psychology, prevention, social-emotional learning, and developmental neuroscience. Her recent work has focused on implementing empirically supported and developmentally informed social-emotional learning curricula as a part of the Head Start Research-based Developmentally Informed (REDI) Program. She also directs the new FRIENDS Project (Fostering Readiness through Interactive Experiences promoting Neuro-Development in Schools), a preventive intervention study evaluating the impact of early social-emotional learning on attention and self-regulation skills. She co-directs two other preventive intervention studies: the PATHS to Success violence prevention program, and the Focus On Learning program, which uses a home visiting intervention to support parents of at-risk readers. Additionally, Dr. Bierman’s work in the area of prevention of aggression and conduct problems is well known, particularly her work directing the Pennsylvania site of the Fast Track Program, a multisite study that aimed to identify and prevent conduct problems in young at-risk children.

Dr. Bierman was a William T. Grant Foundation Faculty Scholar from 1982-87. Her work was recognized with the President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration at the Pennsylvania State University in 2002.

Welcome, Karen!