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Child and Family Science

Faculty and Staff

Faculty Stading in Front of Library


Office: FFS 205Kabeljit Atwal

Phone: 559-278-5310


Education: M.A. Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, California State University, Fresno

Experience and Research: Since 1983 Kabeljit has had numerous opportunities to experience diverse roles in the field of Early Childhood Education. She has worked for a variety of organizations such as Head Start, AB212 CARES Program, and WestEd, Center for Child Family Studies. In 2003 she began teaching part-time for the State Center Community College and California State University of Fresno (CSUF). She was hired as a full-time lecturer in 2008 for the Child, Family and Consumer Sciences Department at Fresno State.

Kabeljit has been inspired by advocating for the emotional life of a child. She is a PITC certified infant toddler specialist. She believes that exposure to character education blossoms children to be respectful and socially competent as adults. She is an advocate for understanding children's behavior through honoring the inner emotional life of a child. She is a co-author of an article that was published in the textbook, Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way, (2nd ed.) She also has extensive interest and training in the Hanna Perkins Consultation Model. In 2011 she completed the 15 month Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program (IPMHPCP), and earned a graduate certificate in infant-parent mental health from the University of Massachussetts, Boston, (satellite location in Napa, California).

Rhett Billen headshotOffice: FFS 201

Phone: 559-278-3228


Education: Ph.D. Child and Family Studies, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; M.S. Child and Family Studies, University of Tennessee-Knoxville;
B.S. Marriage, Family, and Human Development,
Brigham Young University

Experience and Research: Joining the Fresno State faculty full-time in the fall of 2016, Rhett served the previous year as a lecturer for child growth and development, family crisis, adolescent learning and development classes at Fresno State and Clovis Community College. He also taught classes at Tennessee in family stress, human sexuality, parent-child relations, and served as a graduate research assistant. At Fresno State, Rhett enjoys teaching family science courses and the upper division writing course. His research has focused on families with young children with developmental disabilities and determinants of parental involvement among families of children receiving early intervention services. In August 2017, Rhett became a provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) through the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). He is working towards collaborating with families of children with disabilities in the central valley to conduct research and develop family life education materials.

Office: FFS 214Kathleen D. Dyer

Phone: 559-278-4720


Education: Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia; M.S. Human Development and Family Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia

Experience and Research: Katie's current research explores attachment cognitions of toddlers in relation to sleep and family history. The unifying theme of Katie's research agenda is an interest in parenting practices pertaining to infant sleep, and how those strategies (such as cosleeping and sleep training) are related to attachment and emotional development. In addition, she conducts evaluation research to explore the effects of a developmental pediatric intervention called Healthy Steps at a local medical clinic.

To make an appointment click here.

Amber Hammonds

Office: FFS 214

Phone:  559-278-1158



Education:  Ph.D. Psychology, University of California, Riverside; M.A. Psychology, University of California, Riverside; B.S. Psychology, University of California, San Diego

Research Interests:
     Developmental Psychology
     Family Health
     Behavior Change
     Prevention/Intervention Programming
     Positive Psychology

Selected Publications:
Professor Hammons' publications may be accessed through her website,

 Falon Kartch


Office: FFS 203

Phone: 559-278-2878


Education: Ph.D., 2013, Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; M.A., 2009, Communication, Northern Illinois University; B.A., Communication and Political Science, 2007, Northern Illinois University

Research Interests: Family Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Dark Side of Close Relationships, Gender Communication, Menstruation Studies, and Qualitive Methods

Experience and Research:

Dr. Falon Kartch's research centers on exploring how familial bonds are formed and maintained as well as how various populations define what it means to be "family," particularly in contexts in which "family" occurs outside of social and cultural conventions. Her recent work has explored nonresidential parenting practices and nonresidential parent/child relationships. She is also interested in the application of nonviolent communication and relational justice frameworks to understand, develop, maintain, and terminate close relationships. More specifically, her recent line of inquiry explores the use of relational justice frameworks for understanding coparenting relationships. Her most current research project explores parent/child communication regarding menstruation. Her research has been competitively selected for presentation at multiple meetings of the National Communication Association as well as the International Association for Relationship Researchers and has been featured in numerous edited volumes, including Family Communication, Casing the Family: Theoretical and Applied Approaches to Understanding Family Communication, and the SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. She is currently co-editing an interdisciplinary, edited volume titled Gandhi's Global Legacy: Lessons from Our Modern Times and Moral Challenges, under contract with Lexington Books. 

Dr. Kartch teaches Undergraduate and Graduate courses in social and personal relationships including Family Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Conflict and Communication, and the Dark Side of Close Relationships, as well as Communication Theory and Gender Communication. Dr. Kartch has also presented invited lecturers, at both the Undergraduate and Graduate level, on qualitative inquiry and data analysis.

Dr. Kartch is particularly interested in the use of service-learning as a means of promoting student engagement with the local community and has worked with local community partners, most notably the grassroots initiative Better Period, to address menstrual stigma and period poverty in the Central Valley through her Gender Communication course.  She has completed several trainings in service-learning and was a recipient of the 2019-2020 Service-Learning Development Grant from the Jan & Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Fresno State.


Office: FFS 302

Phone: 559.278.1659



Education: Ph.D., 2014, Psychology, Clark University; M.A., 2011, Psychology, Clark University; B.A., 2006, Psychology, Miami University

Experience and Research: Jessica bridges developmental and cultural perspectives to examine how people make sense of themselves across the life course, and the role of culture and cultural change in sense-making processes. Employing qualitative and quantitative methods, Jessica has studied the beliefs (about divinity, morality, self) and practices (religious, linguistic, dietary, media) of adolescents and parents in Thailand, and of children, adolescents, and adults in the United States. Her ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in northern Thailand has contributed to the developmental science of globalization, and her work in the U.S. has contributed to the scientific understanding of the cultural nature of moral development.

Students in Jessica’s Human Development and Culture Research Lab have published empirical articles in leading journals in the discipline and have presented the results of their research internationally, nationally, and locally. HD&C lab members have studied a range of topics, including: the transformation and maintenance of moral values in contexts of rapid sociocultural change, adolescent orientations toward religion in globalizing Northern Thailand, dyadic perspectives of media use in rural and urban Thailand, and globalization-based cultural brokerage among urban Thai adolescent—parent dyads. Additional information on the research in which Jessica and her students are engaged can be found here.

Megan PronovostOffice: FFS 301

Phone: 559-278-5323


Education: Ph.D. Psychological Sciences, University of California, Merced

Experience and Research: Megan joined the Fresno State faculty in 2019 after receiving a Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences with an emphasis in Developmental Psychology from UC Merced. Her research is primarily related to the development of social cognition from infancy to early childhood.

Broadly, her research investigates the origins and nature of social-group based inferences, and how environmental factors shape these inferences throughout early childhood. Specifically, she investigates the types of characteristics that infants expect members of a social group to share, such as food preferences and social behaviors.

Additionally, her research investigates how environmental influences such as how parents discuss social groups with their children, as well as the other environmental factors, impact the beliefs and inferences that children form about social groups.

Andrea RoachOffice: FFS 305

Phone: 559-278-5141


Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Education: Ph.D. Human Development and Family Science, University of Missouri - Columbia; M.A., Child and Family Studies, Fontbonne University, St. Louis, MO; B.A., Vocational Family and Consumer Sciences, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO

Experience and Research: Joining the Fresno State faculty in the fall of 2016, Andrea received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri with an emphasis on domestic violence and family relations. Her research interests include intimate partner violence, parent-child relationships, adolescence and emerging adulthood, sibling relationships, divorce and remarriage, and sexuality. She has been an active member of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) since 2011, is a member of the Journal of Family Theory and Review Inaugural Digital Scholarship Board, and is the Students and New Professionals Representative-Elect for the NCFR Board.

At the University of Missouri, she was a graduate instructor and teaching assistant. She taught classes in family studies, intimate relationships and marriage, human sexuality, human development, adolescence and young adulthood. She also served as a postdoctoral research assistant for the Family Services Department of the State of Missouri in a comparative analysis for child support collection techniques. She also taught Family and Consumer Sciences at McCluer South-Berkeley High School while she was a graduate student at Fontbonne University. Courses she taught included child care and development, housing, fashion design, nutrition and wellness, food science and senior survival.



Office: FFS 312


Davey Jones

Office: FFS 312


Beth Franson

Office: FFS 312



Office: FFS 312



Office: FFS 312

Phone: 559-259-4254


LInda DeKruif

Office: FFS 206

Phone: 559-696-4425



Office: FFS 312

Phone: 559-273-5958



Office: FFS 206

Phone: 559-349-9159


Kacey Medellin   Office: FFS 312


Celeste Naik

Office: FFS 312

Phone: 559-903-3732



Office: FFS 312

Phone: 559-259-2596



Administrative Support Coordinator

Office: FFS 214

Phone: 559-278-1601



Emeriti Faculty

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