Bierman named recipient of 2010 Faculty Outreach Award

April 08, 2010

Karen Bierman, Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts and director of the Child Study Center, has received the 2010 Faculty Outreach Award.

The award honors faculty who have positively and substantially affected individuals, organizations or communities through problem solving or development as a result of extending their scholarship.

Bierman has a distinguished record of outreach that takes findings from developmental and clinical studies and applies them in new ways to improve the educational and mental health outcomes of high-risk children. For as long as 20 years, she has sustained partnerships with schools, families and community agencies in Pennsylvania, several other states and a growing number of other countries.

In the FAST Track project, Bierman and other researchers partnered with school districts to identify young children at risk for severe behavioral problems and to provide them with intensive prevention services designed to alter their negative trajectories. The study has had high visibility nationally and internationally due to its unprecedented size, integration of developmental and prevention theories as they relate to reducing antisocial behavior, and rigorous longitudinal evaluation.

In the REDI study, Bierman orchestrated collaborations between her research team and Head Start programs throughout Pennsylvania to provide intervention that boosted the academic success and psychosocial adjustment of low-income children. Results of this study have been shared in an array of top-tier developmental, clinical and educational journals.

Bierman's third major area of emphasis was supported initially by FOCUS, an initiative funded by the Kellogg Foundation to engage community stakeholders in applied research endeavors. The project's goal was to work with community-school teams to develop program materials for home and school use, to facilitate a successful transition to school for at-risk kindergarten children by strengthening both academic and social-emotional skills. These materials are now being used in several prevention research studies where their impact is being evaluated, including the PATHS to Success program in Harrisburg, the Focus on Learning program in Mifflin and Juniata counties and the Learning Skills Project in Centre and Dauphin counties.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 12, 2010