Stephen Hooper, PhD, began serving as interim director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute on January 1, 2018, as former director Sam Odom, PhD, stepped down after 11 years of serving in that position.
Dr. Hooper has been with the University for over 30 years and currently serves as the chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences, associate dean for Allied Health Sciences in the School of Medicine, and professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Education. He is an international expert in child neuropsychology and has dedicated his research, community outreach, and clinical service activities to developmental disabilities, genetic disorders in children, and pediatric chronic illnesses. He currently maintains federal funding with a variety of agencies including the Institute for Educational Science and the National Institutes of Health.
As Interim Director of FPG, Dr. Hooper will provide overall administrative oversight. He will also work with the FPG leadership team, investigative groups, and staff to facilitate ongoing projects that advance the Institute’s research, provide technical assistance and consultation, and facilitate community outreach.
Dr. Odom will continue to serve FPG as a senior research scientist and as an integral part of FPG’s formidable team of autism experts — a team he built as director.
During Dr. Odom’s tenure, he oversaw the generation of more than 600 peer-reviewed publications and hundreds of book chapters, reports, and policy briefs produced by FPG scientists and specialists. He also buttressed FPG’s work to bring research to real-world solutions, supporting projects that impact programs, practices, and systems that serve young children. These include FPG’s Early Technical Assistance Center, the National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute, and evaluations of pre-kindergarten and early learning programs, to name a few.
While the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research continues to work with the FPG Director Search Committee to identify a permanent director, please join me in supporting Stephen in his new role, and in sending best wishes to Sam on his future endeavors.
-From Terry Magnuson, Vice Chancellor for Research, UNC-Chapel Hill