Mary Katherine Duncan, Ph.D.


Mary Katherine Waibel-Duncan
Professor of Psychology, Joan and Fred Miller Distinguished Professor of Good Work

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

M.S., Vanderbilt University

B.A., Bryn Mawr College

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“I chose to major in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in the Neural and Behavioral Sciences at the end of my freshman year. My coursework, fieldwork, and research experiences helped me to appreciate how psychological theories and research translated into best practices for promoting positive youth development.”

“My advice to students is to get to know your faculty. The opportunity to spend time with purposeful people was one of the greatest gifts of my undergraduate and graduate educations. Surround yourself with people who love what they do, do it exceptionally well, and find meaning in doing it for the benefit of others.”


PSYCH 160 Applied Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
PSYCH 211 Early Child Development
PSYCH 327 Positive Psychology
PSYCH 337 Developmental Psychopathology
PSYCH 390 Special Topics in Applied Psychology
PSYCH 466 Independent Study

Joan and Fred Miller Distinguished Professor of Good Work

Duncan from the Department of Psychology received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and her master’s and doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Duncan’s academic areas include applied statistics for the behavioral sciences, child development, developmental psychopathology, child maltreatment, and positive psychology. Duncan’s research interests include positive youth development and the pursuit of academic Good Work in higher education. Duncan is the founder and director of the BU Toy Library: Language and Literacy Resource Center. Its mission is to support the academic and professional development of students who work with individuals of all developmental ages and abilities through their coursework, clinic work, student teaching, practicum experiences, and community outreach.