Faculty & Staff

Sean Brotherson, Ph.D.

Extension Family Science Specialist, Professor

(Ph.D., Oregon State University)

Office Phone: (701) 231-6143

Email: sean.brotherson@ndsu.edu 

Core Area: Family Science 

Research Interests: Parenting and fatherhood; Health marriages; Family stress; Rural families; Grief and bereavement; Family life education; Family policy 

Learn more about Dr. Brotherson

Developmental Science Program

Kim Bushaw, M.S.

Extension Family Science Specialist 

(M.S., North Dakota State University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-7450 


Core Area: Family Science

Jim Deal, Ph.D.


(Ph.D., University of Georgia) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-7568 

Email: jim.deal@ndsu.edu 

Core Area: Child Development  

Research Interests: Identity development in emerging adults, particularly in the areas of religion and the transition to college. First generation and/or low income students and issues related to financial support.  

Learn more about Dr. Deal

Developmental Science Program

Margaret Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

Margaret Fitzgerald (Ph.D., Iowa State University)


Office Phone: 701-231-9792

Email: margaret.fitzgerald@ndsu.edu

Core Area: Financial Planning and Public Policy; Family Science

Research Interests: Family Owned Businesses--copreneurial couples, women and minority owned businesses, the interface between the business, family and community, and managerial adjustment strategies.

Learn more about Dr. Fitzgerald

Heather Fuller, Ph.D.


(Ph.D., University of Michigan) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-5621 


Core Area: Adult Development and Aging 

Research Interests: Social relationships and well-being across the lifespan (e.g. intergenerational relationships); Successful aging and health promotion; Aging in rural and cross-cultural contexts; Aging families and caregiving; Survey research and program evaluation 

Learn more about Dr. Fuller

Research Lab:Linked Lives Lab

Developmental Science Program

Joel Hektner, Ph.D., Department Head

Professor and Head 

(Ph.D., University of Chicago) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-8269 

Email: joel.hektner@ndsu.edu 

Core Area: Child, Adolescent Development 

Research Interests: Design and effectiveness of programs to prevent adjustment problems and promote well-being in children and adolescents; Peer affiliation patterns and peer influences on children's behaviors; Family and school conditions that facilitate optimal experiences (flow) and optimal development; The Experience Sampling Method

Learn more about Dr. Hektner

Developmental Science Program

Carmen Kho, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

(Ph.D., University of California Merced) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-1823 

Email: Carmen.Kho@ndsu.edu

Core Area: Context and Diversity, Adolescence, Emerging Adulthood 

Research Interests: I apply a cultural-ecological framework to examine how cultural, family, and other contextual influences intersect with socio-emotional development of children, adolescents, and emerging adults. My research takes a normative development approach and examines developmental processes with careful consideration of contexts in which they take place (e.g., family, neighborhoods, immigrant receiving context) and the timescale in which these processes occur (e.g., moment-to-moment, day-to-day, across years).  

Learn more about Dr. Kho

Developmental Science Program

Christi McGeorge, Ph.D.


(Ph.D., University of Minnesota) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-7335 

Email: Christine.McGeorge@ndsu.edu 

Core Area: Couple and Family Therapy and Family Science 

Research Interests: The influence of heterosexism, cissexism, and sexual and gender minority prejudice on clinical practice and training, gender equity in therapy, promoting LGBTQ ally behavior in collegiate athletics, gender equity in higher education, and societal perceptions of single parents.

Learn more about Dr. McGeorge

Leanna McWood, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

(Ph.D., Auburn University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-1826

Email: leanna.mcwood@ndsu.edu

Core Area: Child and Adolescent Develoment

Research Interests: Extracurricular Involvement; Social Relationships; Contextual Influences; Sleep; Adolescent Development

Learn more about Dr. McWood

Developmental Science Program

Natira Mullet, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor  

(Ph.D., Texas Tech University)  

Office Phone: (701) 231-1828


Core Area: Diversity and Family Science 

Research Interests: Examining intergenerational, cultural and familial protective factors to reduce interpersonal trauma and resulting substance use and mental health outcomes among marginalized communities.  

Learn more about Dr. Mullet

Developmental Science Program

Melissa Lunsman Connor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

(Ph.D., University of South Florida) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-8688


Core Area: Adult Development and Aging 

Research Interests: Examining age-related differences and changes in cognitive and functional abilities, such as driving, among healthy adults and clinical populations; quantitative methods and psychometrics; interventions for improving cognition, health, and everyday functioning; and attitudes toward dementia. 

Learn more about Dr. O'Connor

Research Lab: Healthy Aging Lab 

Developmental Science Program

Candace Philbrick, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer

(Ph.D., North Dakota State University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-8270 


Core Area: Gerontology 

Meagan Scott Hoffman, Ph.D.

4-H Youth Development Specialist, Assistant Professor

(Ph.D., Oklahoma State University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-7964 


Core Area: 4-H Youth Development 

Area of Responsibility: Family and Consumer Science, Communication Arts, Afterschool Training, Adolescent Development, Children, Youth, and Families at Risk

Learn more about Dr. Hoffman

Jane Strommen, Ph.D.

Extension Gerontology Specialist and Assistant Professor of Practice

(Ph.D. North Dakota State University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-5948 


Core Area:  Gerontology  Website:  Aging & Wellness

Research Interests:  Family caregiving, rural elders, aging in place, healthy aging  


Wen Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

(Ph.D. Michigan State University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-1875 


Core Area:  Child Development 

Research Interests:  The development of young children’s mastery motivation and persistence; Cultural variances in parenting and early parent-infant communication; Prosocial behaviors and emotions towards racial ingroup and outgroup members

Learn more about Dr. Wang

Developmental Science Program

Ann Werlinger, M.S.

Senior Lecturer

(M.S., North Dakota State University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-9790 

Email: Ann.Werlinger@ndsu.edu 

Core Area: Child Development

Dena Wyum, M.S.

Senior Lecturer

Human Development and Family Science and Women and Gender Studies

(M.S., North Dakota State University) 

Office Phone: (701) 231-7755 

Email: Dena.Wyum@ndsu.edu 

HDFS Staff

Jeanie Winkelmann

Academic Advisor

Office Phone: (701) 231-9849

Email:  Jeanie Winkelmann


Make an appointment with Jeanie at this link: https://ndsu.campus.eab.com/pal/Ncq1VfyhZr


Krista Olson

Administrative Secretary, HDFS Extension
Office Phone: 231-8652
Email: Krista.L.Olson@ndsu.edu

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