July 1, 2020

College of Health and Human Sciences announces new department heads for Human Development and Family Studies, Psychological Sciences

Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences has named new academic leaders for its departments of Human Development and Family Studies and Psychological Sciences.

Valerie Knopik, the Ben and Maxine Miller Professor of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and current associate head of HDFS, becomes head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, effective today (July 1). She was preceded by Doran French, who served as head of HDFS since 2008 and remains on the faculty.

Jeffrey D. Karpicke, the James V. Bradley Professor of Psychological Sciences, becomes head of the Department of Psychological Sciences (PSY), effective today (July 1). He was preceded by David Rollock, who served as head of PSY since 2017 and remains on the faculty.

“I am delighted that Drs. Karpicke and Knopik have both accepted roles as department heads in the College,” said Marion K. Underwood, Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences and dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “Dr. Knopik has the vision, leadership acumen, scholarly excellence, and collaborative style to be a strong, excellent leader for HDFS. Dr. Karpicke’s commitment to undergraduate education, impressive research portfolio investigating how people learn and deep understanding of the department make him an outstanding choice to lead our Department of Psychological Sciences.”

Knopik received her PhD from the Institute for Behavioral Genetics and the University of Colorado Boulder. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric and genetic epidemiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, she joined the Washington University faculty. In 2009, she joined the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University, where she also served as director of the Division of Behavioral Genetics at Rhode Island Hospital. She joined the Purdue faculty as the Ben and Maxine Miller Professor of Human Development and Family Studies in 2017. Knopik holds memberships in several societies, including the Behavior Genetics Association, for which she has served as secretary. She is associate editor for Behavior Genetics, is consulting editor for Child Development, serves on the editorial board of Psychological Medicine, and is the lead author on the textbook “Behavioral Genetics.”

Knopik’s primary area of research focuses on joint effects of genetic, epigenetic and environmental (specifically prenatal and early postnatal) risk factors on birth outcomes, externalizing behavior (ADHD, conduct disorder), associated learning and cognitive deficits, and subsequent substance use. In addition to her primary area of interest, she currently collaborates as a statistical geneticist with local, national and international scientists on several NIH-funded research projects. She is the primary mentor on multiple NIH career development awards focused on biobehavioral pathways of development to adolescent substance use, genetic comorbidity of adolescent smoking and ADHD, and methodological approaches to gene-set and gene-network investigations of alcohol dependence.

Karpicke came to Purdue in 2007 upon graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with his Ph.D. in experimental psychology. He has served as a Provost Fellow (2013-14) and as director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Psychological Sciences (2019-present). He is a recipient of both the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Research Achievement Award (2018) and the HHS Early Career Research Achievement Award (2011). In 2014, he received the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2012, Karpicke was recognized with an Early Career Development Award, the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Karpicke is an expert on learning, memory and information acquisition. His research has shown that college students who use retrieval practice, which is a form of self-testing, retain the information longer and learn better, compared with students who reread their notes. He is a cognitive scientist, and his expertise includes learning and cognitive strategies in children and educational technology and computer-based learning.

As the college welcomes new department heads, Underwood said, “We also express our appreciation for the leadership provided by Doran French in human development and family studies, and David Rollock in psychological sciences. Both have been enthusiastic and ardent leaders of outstanding HHS departments.”

About the College of Health and Human Sciences

Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) prepares scholars, develops leaders, translates theory to practice, and advances knowledge of human behavior, health, and quality of life. HHS is home to the departments of Health and Kinesiology; Human Development and Family Studies; Nutrition Science; Psychological Sciences; Public Health; and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; and the schools of Nursing, Health Sciences, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. More information at www.purdue.edu/hhs.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.


Media contact: Matt Oates, 765-496-2571, oatesw@purdue.edu 

Source: Denise M. Buhrmester, dmbuhrmester@purdue.edu


Faculty-Staff News

More News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.