Dr. Taylor is Associate Professor and Chair of the Academic Program of Family Studies and Human Development. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University, her M.S. in Psychology (with certification in School Psychology) from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (with an emphasis in Human Development) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She joined the faculty in 1991. Dr. Taylor teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on child development and conducts research on children’s social-emotional development and early school adjustment.
She is particularly interested in the role of children’s interpersonal relationships in facilitating the early transition to school. Her work also addresses ethnic and cultural influences on children’s social development. Dr. Taylor’s success in obtaining funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Head Start Bureau, attests to her national standing as a scholar in the area of University-Head Start collaborative research. Her previous work on the Head Start Child Resilience Project involved a prospective, longitudinal study of the influences of parental involvement, teacher-child and peer relationships on low-income children’s social adjustment in preschool and at the transition to kindergarten.
Dr. Taylor is currently Co-Principal Investigator on the Parenting and Children's Emotions Project (PACE), a study of parental socialization of emotional competence in low-income, Mexican American and European American families. Dr. Taylor is an excellent teacher. Students consistently rate her courses very high. She is known among her peers as a teacher who is dedicated to quality education. She spends inordinate amounts of time helping students benefit from her classes. She has received high praise from members of her faculty for her excellent leadership. Dr. Taylor is thoughtful in her planning and effective in implementing the goals of the Academic Program.