Faculty Name

Karen Brakke, Ph.D.


Co-director of Teaching Resource & Research Center, Professor





Office Location

Giles Hall 324


Ph.D., M.A., Georgia State University
B.A., Carleton College


Karen Brakke, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology. She has also served as chair of psychology (2008-2014) and as special assistant to the Provost (2014-2015).

A developmental psychologist by training, Dr. Brakke’s research focuses on the development of manual skill during infancy and toddlerhood. She is also active in the national teaching and learning community and has authored or co-authored several publications on the teaching of psychology. 

Dr. Brakke recently served as president of the Southeastern Psychological Association and has been engaged in several capacities with the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Psychological Association. Additionally, Dr. Brakke has been heavily involved with undergraduate research training programs throughout her career, serving as an instructor or co-director for the NIH-funded U*MARC, NIMH-COR, and BP-ENDURE programs. She has mentored dozens of research students and several postdoctoral teaching fellows, and enjoys helping others thrive in their professional pursuits.  

Courses Taught

PSY 217 Statistics I
PSY 306 Developmental Psychology
PSY 360 Learning and Behavior
PSY 409/410 Research Seminar
PSY 414 Independent Study
PSY 417 Statistics II
PSY 418 Theories of Psychometric Instruments
PSY 450 Senior Seminar
PSY 492 Honors Thesis Research

Research Interests

Motor and cognitive development in early childhood
Scholarship of teaching and learning


Walker, E. R. & Brakke, K. (2017). "Undergraduate psychology students’ efficacy and attitudes across introductory and advanced statistics." Scholarship of Teaching & Learning in Psychology, 3, 132-140.

Patterson, S. S., Guillory, J., & Brakke, K. (2017). "Strategies for student success through living, learning, and knowing self." Network: A Journal of Faculty Development.

Fragaszy, D. M., Simpson, K., Cummins-Sebree, S., & Brakke, K. (2016). "Ontogeny of tool use:  How do toddlers use hammers?" Developmental Psychobiology, 58, 759-772. DOI: 10.1002/dev.21416  3.16 Impact Factor

Brakke, K. & Houska, J. A. (Eds). (2015). "Telling Stories: The Art and Science of Storytelling as an Instructional Strategy." Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website:  ISBN: 978-1-941804-41-4

Brakke, K. (2015). "Story and history in fetal behavior research [Commentary on J. DiPietro et al.]." Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 80(3), 114-123.  DOI:10.1111/mono.12186 · 5.50 Impact Factor

Brakke, K., Hite, M.S., Mbughuni, A., Moore, O., Wade, B. H. & Phillips, M.  (2015).  "Our Beloved journey: Using storytelling to foster faculty community." Peer Review, 16(4)/17(1), 7-9.  .  Washington, DC: APA Books.  ISBN: 978-1-4338-1086-2

Landrum, R. E., Beins, B. C., Bhalla, M., Brakke, K., Briihl, D. S., Curl-Langager, R. M., Pusateri, T. P., & Van Kirk, J. J.  (2009). "Desired outcomes of an undergraduate education in psychology from departmental, student, and societal perspectives."  In Halpern, D. F. (Ed.). Undergraduate education in psychology: A blueprint for the future of the discipline, pp. 145-160. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ISBN: 978-1-4338-0545-5.

+Brakke, K., Fragaszy, D.M., Simpson, K., Hoy, E., & Cummins-Sebree, S. (2007). "The production of bimanual percussion in 12-to 24-month-old children." Infant Behavior and Development, 30, 2-15. DOI:10.1016/j.infbeh.2005.08.001 · 1.34 Impact Factor