Ann S. Masten

Regents Professor

Institute of Child Development, College of Education and Human Development, 2014

Ann S. Masten, Irving B. Harris Professor in Child Development, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Institute of Child Development, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), is a world-renowned scholar in the study of resilience in children facing trauma and adversity. Masten received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1982. Her record in research, teaching, and service is exceptional. Masten’s research pursues a broad range of topics including practical and pressing issues in schooling, risk and resilience (homelessness, parental bereavement, vulnerability and stress, disaster, war, and terrorism), and behavioral pediatrics (asthma, alcohol use, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood trauma, and injury). In addition, her research covers other diverse topics in development, civic engagement, competence, and humor. Masten has become one of the two or three international scholars most identified with the field of resilience research. Masten’s 20- year longitudinal study of child development, Project Competence, has provided the field with original constructs and concepts such as “developmental cascades” that are now used widely by psychologists, educators, and social workers to guide work with those facing risks to successful development. Project Competence is widely recognized for its scientific contributions to current understanding of protective factors and resilience and is among the most cited.

A prolific scholar, Masten has influenced science through her many publications in some of the most prestigious journals in her field. Her publications have received a Hirsch Index of 30, demonstrating that her work is being read and quoted in leading international journals and scientific networks. Her most recent chapter in the Annual Review of Psychology in 2012 is considered to be a classic. Masten has edited several books and special issues, and she has published over 80 refereed journal articles. In addition, she has received grants for her principal lines of research by many different NIH Institutes, the National Science Foundation, and several private foundations.

Masten is described as a world-class teacher and a superb mentor. She has mentored over 30 Ph.D. students and is currently advising or co-advising ten. Four of her current students hold NSF Graduate Fellowships, one of the highest rates in the University, and some of her doctoral and postdoctoral fellows have gone on to be leaders in the field. Masten also has a remarkable record in attracting and matriculating students of color. She is the recipient of several teaching awards including the Horace T. Morse Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education (1999). One of her former doctoral students wrote, “Ann’s commitment to nurturing young scholars is truly rare. She is an inspiring role model, a patient teacher, a supportive mentor, an energetic cheerleader, a committed colleague, and a compassionate friend to her students. She played a crucial role in launching my and many other young scholar’s career. Every day, I strive to emulate her in my own interactions with students, and to continue her legacy of extraordinary scholarship and mentorship.”

Masten’s service to her department, college, the University, and professional societies is outstanding. She has served as the Associate Director and the Director of the Institute of Child Development, a University Senator for two terms, and a member of the search committee for the first Vice President for Research at the University. She also served on the committee that established the guidelines for selecting McKnight Distinguished University Professorships. Masten has chaired the Regents Professors Selection Advisory Committee, and she has served on the Science and Scholarly Advisory Board and the Scholarly Panel for the Office of the Vice President for Research. Presently, she serves on the Graduate Education Council. Her service to the University was recognized in 2012 with the President’s Award for Outstanding Service.

Her service to the profession is equally as impressive. She was the President of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), the leading international developmental science organization (2013), and a past-president of the developmental division of the American Psychological Association. Currently, she serves on the U.S. National Academies’ Board of Children, Youth, and Families. She also serves on the boards or advisory committees of many local and national organizations concerned with child and youth development. In addition, Masten is frequently called on to provide her expertise on situations of national and international significance regarding children.

Her intellectual leadership in her field is reflected in the numerous awards she has received. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association, which is one of only three lifetime awards available for researchers in developmental psychology; and named co-chair of the new Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally by the Institute of Medicine and the Irving B. Harris Professorship in Child Development. Professor Masten’s career is exemplary, and we are fortunate to have her as part of our intellectual community. (Updated, 2014)

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