Sean Brotherson(Ph.D., Oregon State University)
Professor and Extension Family Science Specialist

Office Phone: 701-231-6143

Core Area: Family Science
Research Interests: Parenting and fatherhood; Healthy marriages; Family stress; Rural families; Grief and bereavement; Family life education; Family policy 


James Deal (Ph.D., University of Georgia)

Office Phone: - 701-231-7568 

Core Area: Child Development 
Research Interests: My current research focuses on identity development in emerging adults, particularly in the areas of religion and the transition to college. I am particularly interested in first generation and/or low income students and issues related to financial support.  


Heather Fuller (Ph.D., University of Michigan)

Office Phone: 701-231-5621

Core Area: Adult Development and Aging
Research Interests: Social relationships 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. 

Research Lab: Linked Lives

Joel Hektner, (Ph.D., University of Chicago)
Professor and Head
Office Phone: 701-231-8269

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

Carmen Kho, (Ph.D., University of California Merced) 

Assistant Professor  

Office Phone(701) 231-1823 


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). 

Leanna McWood, (Ph.D., Auburn University) 

Assistant Professor

Office Phone: (701) 231-1826


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

Melissa Lunsman O'Connor, (Ph.D. University of South Florida)
Assistant Professor

Office: EML Hall 283
Office Phone: 701-231-8688

Core Area: Adult Development and Aging
Research Interests: My research focuses on characterizing changes in cognitive and functional abilities across the adult lifespan, and my ultimate goal is to promote healthy aging.  Specifically, my research interests include: 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.

Research Lab: Healthy Aging Lab

Wen Wang (Ph.D., Michigan State University)
Assistant Professor

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.

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