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K-State Today

October 11, 2023

Schmitt named psychological sciences department head

Submitted by Marcia Locke

photo of Dr. David Schmitt

The College of Arts and Sciences has named David Schmitt as head of the psychological sciences department. He joined the department in July 2023.

Before coming to K-State, Schmitt directed the Center for Culture and Evolution at Brunel University London in the United Kingdom. Prior to that, he spent 23 years as a psychology faculty member at Bradley University in Illinois. Schmitt received his doctorate in personality psychology from the University of Michigan in 1995.

“We are really excited to have Dr. Schmitt as our new department head for psychological sciences,” said Chris Culbertson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “He brings a solid administrative background with him as well as new areas of expertise and experience in research, teaching and service.”

Schmitt’s most recent research focuses on revealing how the diverse intersections of gender identity, gender roles and sexual orientations impact mental health differently around the world. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles on human sexual diversity.

Schmitt is the founding director of the International Sexuality Description Project. It is a collaboration of hundreds of psychologists, biologists and anthropologists in more than 60 countries who seek to understand how gender, personality and culture combine to influence mental health and well-being.

Schmitt was recently distinguished as the most frequently cited scholar in cross-cultural psychology in the 2000s. In 2016, he received the Ira and Harriet Reiss Theory Award from the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, recognizing his important theoretical advances in sexology with his work, “The Evolution of Culturally-Variable Sex Differences.” He has been elected to the Society for Experimental Social Psychology and as a fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Schmitt is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Culture and Evolution and a co-founder of the women’s mental health app Dionysus Digital Health. He is also the immediate past president of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.

In his spare time, Schmitt enjoys international travel, nature trail hikes and disc golf.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the psychological sciences department and K-State community, and it is an honor and a privilege for my family to call Manhattan, Kansas, our new home,” said Schmitt. “Go ‘Cats!”

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