Paul Springer has been named the new head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Human Development and Family Science.

Since 2007, Springer has been a faculty member in the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he also serves as associate dean for student success. He will start at Virginia Tech on July 1.

“I have long admired Virginia Tech’s human development and family science program since it is one of the most established, strongest doctoral programs in the U.S.,” said Springer. "I am privileged to work with such a diverse faculty who are engaged in research that is making a difference in the field, disseminating research to impact and better families, relationships, and communities across the world. 

“It also doesn’t hurt that VT is located in the heart of the most beautiful place in the country,” he added.

Springer’s main research focus is on improving mental health services in rural and underserved populations. He has partnered with communities in Nebraska and internationally to provide accessible mental health treatment that meets the needs of the local population.

There has never been more of a need for the contributions of human development and family science researchers than now, he said. "Many people are in need of guidance and support post-pandemic.”

“I am so pleased that Dr. Springer will be joining the CLAHS Executive Council, and I look forward to working with him as he leads HDFS,” said Laura Belmonte, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS).

Springer looks forward to collaborating with faculty to grow the department’s academic programs, which include undergraduate majors in human development and childhood pre-education and four focus areas of graduate study.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with these incredible faculty,” he said. “My goal is to provide support and consistent leadership so the faculty can focus on elevating their work to make an impact throughout Virginia and nationally.”

Springer received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his master’s degree from Auburn University. He holds a Ph.D in marriage and family therapy from Texas Tech University.

Written by Mary Crawford