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Ph.D. in human development and family science launches academic careers

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Oklahoma State University’s Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a specialization in human development and family science (HDFS) is a research doctoral program designed to promote breadth, depth and integration of knowledge in HDFS through research collaborations.

The program’s goal is for students to have the knowledge and experience to develop into leading scholars. The Class of 2018 is a clear indicator that the program is meeting that goal.

Eight students completed the Ph.D. in Human Sciences, option in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) in 2018, and all eight have successfully transitioned to assistant professor, post-doctoral fellowships or other university or social services positions across the United States.  

“I believe OSU’s HDFS department is one of the best in the country,” said Amanda Harrist, the Bryan B. Close Professor in Human Development and Family Science. “We have a top-notch faculty who are committed not only to their own highly productive and socially relevant research programs, but who also put a premium on mentoring graduate students.”

A look at the class of 2018 and their current positions:

Clint Broadbent is an assistant professor in Teacher Education and Family Development at Southern Utah University. Broadbent’s OSU advisor was Brandt Gardner.

Chao Liu serves as an assistant professor in Psychology at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. Harrist served as Liu’s advisor at OSU.

Zachary Giano is continuing his time in Oklahoma as a post-doctoral fellow at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. Mike Merten advised Giano during his doctoral work.

Amy Huffer is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware. Amy Payton served as Huffer’s advisor at OSU.

Hua Lin is serving in a postdoctoral fellowship at OSU, working with Human Development and Family Science faculty Bob Larzelere and Ron Cox on research projects. Larzelere advised Lin during his doctoral work at OSU.

Todd Spencer accepted a position as an assistant professor of professional practice in OSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Science. Spencer also directs the Center for Family Services, which provides high-quality, low-cost marital and family therapy services to the public. Matt Brosi advised Spencer during his doctoral study.

Kris Struckmeyer is an assistant extension specialist for caregiving at Oklahoma State University. Whitney Bailey served as Struckmeyer’s advisor.

Amy Treat graduated in the fall and is currently consulting for the George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa. Amanda Morris advised Treat.

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