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SDS Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jerry Manheimer


27 February 2017—Jerry Manheimer, Ph. D., is a Lecturer from the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences.

Tell us a little bit about yourself—educational background, work experience, etc.

My educational background is primarily in the areas of cognitive psychology, research methods and statistics. I have a B.A. from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Psychology with a minor in Applied Statistics from the University of New Mexico. Besides working in academia, I have had experience working with children with special needs. I have also worked in the high-tech field. This work mainly involved applying research findings and methods from cognitive psychology to improve the usability of software systems.  

What led you to choose Human Development and Family Sciences as your field?

I believe that my work with special needs children drew me into the human development and family sciences area. As a result of this experience, I became interested in the interplay between cognitive development and different approaches for fostering learning in children.

Tell us about a project or piece of research you have worked on while here at UT.

I collaborated with researchers in UT’s HDFS department in developing a model that predicts emotional security in adulthood based on the quality of parenting individuals were exposed to during childhood.

Who is your role model, in your current field or otherwise?

My role model is Erik Erikson, a psychologist who developed an influential theory of human development. His ideas about the challenges of identity formation in youth and crisis resolution during middle age resonate with me.

What is your favorite book or song?

My favorite book is Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. 

What is your favorite vacation destination?

I love traveling to Europe, especially Italy and France. Regarding France, I was fortunate that work gave me the opportunity to live in Paris for several months.

If you were not teaching, what would you be doing?

If I weren’t teaching, I would spend more time traveling, studying foreign languages, cooking, and going on long bike rides and walks.

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