Message from Chair
Greetings from the Chair
Karen S. Wampler, Chairperson
Welcome to the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (formerly, Family and Child Ecology). It has been my pleasure to serve as chair in a department like ours. We are committed to interdisciplinary research and teaching as well as taking research from the “ivory tower” of academics into the classroom, clinic, and the wider community. Our faculty and students focus on understanding individuals and families in the context of diversity, communities, and social justice.
Our department is a very special place. Perhaps, in part, it is our location near the heart of the Michigan State campus, beautiful in every season. The iconic Beaumont Tower with its carillon concerts is just across the street through an ancient “oak opening.” Folks here walk and bike year-round all over campus, through the Botanical Gardens, along the lovely Red Cedar River, and on Grand River Avenue with its shops and restaurants bordering the campus. Human Ecology, our ivy-covered building, is a symbol of the early commitment of MSU to the education of women. Elegant wooden benches carved in 1926 when the building opened sit under the windows in one of our conference rooms. Our research labs on the fourth floor have chalk blackboards along the walls and cupolas with stunning views of the campus. One campus of our Child Development Laboratories is at Central School on Grand River Avenue, a two-story brick classic Michigan elementary school, purchased and renovated by Michigan State for our early childhood education and research programs. The other campus is in a specially-built wing of a modern public elementary school in nearby Haslett Michigan. The Couple and Family Clinic is in the Clinical Center on the south edge of campus that houses the medical clinics of the MSU Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine.
Our faculty and students make the department a special place. Faculty come from diverse backgrounds, both academic and personal, with a common vision and commitment to research and student learning. Students find an academic home here, working closely with each other and their faculty mentors. Our faculty are known as superb teachers who consistently invest in student success. Our students too are diverse in their academic backgrounds, life experience, geographic origin, and career goals. The department welcomes and respects students with professional interests in working in community agencies, public schools, and preschools as well as students who are focused on university-level teaching and research.
There is much more I could tell you and I look forward to other occasions to talk with you more about our department and its faculty and students.