Karen Bierman
Evan Pugh University Professor


  • Behavior
  • Early childhood and preschool

Karen L. Bierman is a Evan Pugh University Professor and director of the Child Study Center at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research career of more than 30 years has focused on child social-emotional development and the design and evaluation of school- and community-based prevention programs that promote social-emotional learning and school readiness. She was the founding director of the Children, Youth, and Families Consortium at Penn State, and has also served as director of Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute. Currently, Bierman directs the Head Start REDI (Research-Based, Developmentally Informed) prevention trial, which evaluates the impact of enriching Head Start classroom and home visiting programs with evidence-based programming to promote school readiness. She also directs the TIES (Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists) predoctoral training program at Penn State. She has published three books and over 100 articles and chapters, and has served as an educational advisor to a number of organizations devoted to improving early education for disadvantaged children. She earned a doctorate from the University of Denver.