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Dean of School of Family Studies named (Released: 8/28/96)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- An exceptional scholar and experienced department head from Pennsylvania State University has been named dean of the University of Connecticut's School of Family Studies.

Charles M. Super, a professor of human development in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State began his tenure as dean Aug. 23. His appointment was announced by Mark Emmert, Chancellor and Provost for University Affairs at the University of Connecticut.

"I am pleased to welcome Charles Super to campus and to the University. I look to his playing a leadership role as the School of Family Studies focuses its energy and its resources," Emmert said. "His priorities -- promotion of diversity both in curriculum and in faculty and staff, support of collaborative efforts across the University, integration of theory-driven research with need-driven application, and strengthening of administrative accountability and integrity -- will contribute significantly to the school and to the University."

Emmert also commended Acting Dean Steven Wisensale for his "diligence and perseverence in leading the school during this transition to new leadership." Of Super, Wisensale said, "He is an excellent choice for dean. He comes with an outstanding track record and will fit in well within our school. His leadership skills will take us into the next century. We are all looking forward to working with him."

Super joined the faculty of Penn State in 1988. He was head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies from 1988 to 1991. During the 1995-96 academic year, he was on leave from Penn State as visiting professor in the Department of Developmental Psychology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He was also a visiting professor there in 1992.

Born in Miami Beach, Fla., Super earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale University in 1966 and a doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Harvard University in 1972.

Super's research interests include the cultural influences on human development, and parental and professional ethnotheories of child development and behavior. He is the author or coauthor of many books, monographs and articles.

Super is married to Sara Harkness, an associate professor of human development and anthropology at Penn State. Harkness, whose research interests include culture and human development, will join the UConn faculty as a professor of human development in the School of Family Studies. Super and Harkness have four children.

The School of Family Studies provides students with a multidisciplinary understanding of individual and family development and change over the life span. Students learn about the social context within which families function, including the impact of race, gender, class ethnicity, and social policy on families and their members. The School of Family Studies serves as a major educational and training facility for students interested in human service careers. The school offers undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees.

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