Human Development, Culture, & Learning Sciences

Assistant Professor Veronica Yan works with a graduate student during a seminar.

Photo of Stephanie Cawthon

Area Chair
Stephanie Cawthon

Human Development, Culture, & Learning Sciences (HDCLS), as a core academic area of specialization, represents the scientific and theoretical bases for research and practice within the field of Educational Psychology.

In order to prepare graduate students for careers in teaching and research, we train students in theories of:

  • human cognition
  • culture
  • development
  • language
  • learning
  • motivation
  • social psychology
  • personality psychology 

Our program offers both Ph.D. and master's degrees in specific sub-areas within our academic discipline. Please visit the links below for additional details about our program. 

Human Development, Culture, and Learning Science Faculty

Photo of Germine Awad

Germine Awad

Associate Professor

Studies the effects that acculturation and identity have on discrimination, specifically in populations of Arab/Middle Eastern and African American women.

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Stephanie Cawthon

Professor, HDCLS Area Chair

Elizabeth Glenadine Gibb Teaching Fellowship in Education

Explores individual, school, community, and system level factors that affect education, employment, and quality of life outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

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Toni Falbo


Studies the outcomes of sibling status on human development and educational attainment, and examines the effects of China's one-child policy on the personalities of Chinese children and adults.

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Katherine Muenks

Assistant Professor

Focuses on motivation and how individual beliefs and social-contextual factors influence students’ achievement and academic behaviors.

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Kristin Neff

Associate Professor

Researches the psychological health benefits of self-compassion, drawing from fields of social and personality psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology.

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Laura Quiñones Camacho

Assistant Professor

Studies predictors of risk for mental health problems in early childhood.

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Marie-Anne Suizzo

Associate Professor

Research interests are centered around how parent-child relationships, parental involvement, and child socialization shape children's and adolescents' development and learning across cultures and ethnic groups.

Photo of Veronica Yan

Veronica Yan

Assistant Professor

Studies the cognitive underpinnings of learning and instruction (memory & metacognition), integrated with social-psychological processes (motivation & mindset), in direct applications to classroom practices, online instruction, and self-regulated learning.

Affiliated Centers

Coping and Stress in Education Research Team

Explores the intersection of health, psychology, and education by researching how to promote wellness and productivity in educational settings.

National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes

Supports postsecondary outcomes for individuals who are deaf, deafblind, deafdisabled, hard of hearing, or late deafened by drawing on evidence-based strategies to educate and engage with stakeholders across the nation.

Social Psychological Approaches to East Asian and Asian American Education

Focuses on family and cultural factors that affect educational outcomes. Topics include the impact of: East Asian culture, including perfectionism and shame, immigrant status in the U.S. and Asia, and only-child and socioeconomic status.