I am a professor and state extension specialist in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University and the sole author of the website The WonderWise Parent. I have also taught 4-year-old children at Purdue, Bowling Green State University, and Texas Tech. I have been a Child Development Center Director, a Medical Social Worker, and a Play Therapist in a children's hospital. I recently served for two years as the Interim National Program Leader in Human Development for the Families, 4-H, and Nutrition unit in the Cooperative State Research and Extension Service at USDA in Washington, DC.
I have an M.S. and Ph.D. in Child Development from Purdue University (1970, 1972) and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Dayton (1968).
Because extension specialists at each of the Land Grant universities throughout the United States work with county extension educators in program delivery, we have quite a bit of experience with designing programs for use by other professionals. Programs, as opposed to individual publications, typically involve a set of resources, including leader guides and materials for participants. Many of the resources described in previous pages here are part of larger programs I have created.
I am an Educator because I want to make a real difference in the lives of children and their parents. Most of my teaching today is in communities with parents, teachers, and children rather than in the academic classroom. Although I enjoyed teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at Purdue, Bowling Green State University, and here at Kansas State University, my real interest is in practical, community education.
I am a Storyteller because I believe storytelling is a powerful strategy for teaching and building relationships. Most of my presentations to adult audiences involve a great deal of storytelling. I also enjoy conducting storytelling concerts for families (in libraries, shopping malls, churches). School assemblies are also fun to do, involving children in themes of self-esteem, courage, compassion and other critical human values through the context of stories. At one point in my career, a colleague and I produced a television show for children involving puppets for our Topeka NBC Affiliate. Butterberry Hill's two-year run employed a combination of Kukla Fran and Ollie, Howdy Doody, and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.
Writing is a craft I have worked hard to nurture. I am indebted to those who have served as editors to my work, especially Myrna Daly, former editor with Extension Publications here at K-State.
I have written (or edited) the following significant publications....