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The Undergraduate Program in Human Development

SHIN Receives Benenson Award in the Arts!

Jay ShinJaewook (Jay) Shin (T 16, HDV 16) has received the prestigious Benenson Award in the Arts from the Benenson Award Committee. The title of Shin’s project is Music as Medicine –Bringing Music to Residents at Durham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. During his postgraduate year (2016-17) while he is also working on a master’s degree, Shin will be working with a local nursing home—Durham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center—to introduce targeted music to the residents there. According to his Benenson Award Recommendation, Shin, “…strongly believes that the long-term care residents at the DNRC have significant holes in their lives that can be filled with music, and that they can benefit psychologically and socially from this intervention. His ideas are supported by a growing literature that shows the remarkable impact of personalized music on older adults with dementia.” Shin will be developing personalized music interventions to see if there is an impact on quality of life.

Congratulations, Jay!

EMERY Publishes Thesis in Yale Publication

Eric Emery (T 13, HDV 13) has just had his senior thesis accepted for publication by the Yale Review of Undergraduate Research in Psychology. This annual publication selects the best and most original psychology research from undergraduates around the world. Emery’s Human Development/Senior Honors Thesis work was supervised by his faculty mentor Sharron L. Docherty, PhD, PNP-BC, FAAN, an Associate Professor in Duke’s School of Nursing. Emery is currently a Research Assistant at the National Institutes of Health.

Eric Emery

Sharron L. Docherty, PhD, PNP-BC, FAAN


Duke University offers an undergraduate certificate in human development which involves the following:

  • A curriculum emphasizing the complimentarity of biological, biomedical, psychological and sociological disciplinary perspectives.
  • A research apprenticeship with a Duke faculty member.
  • A senior seminar.
  • Advice for curriculum planning.
  • Skills in the conceptualization, implementation, evaluation and communication of developmental research.

Note: The Undergraduate Program in Human Development offers a certificate. It does not offer a major.

Sponsored for Trinity College by the
University Council on Aging and Development

Click here to read our Mission Statement

Click here to read our Learning Objectives

Click here to read our Assessment Goals


A total of six (6) courses is required to complete the curriculum for the Certificate in Human Development. These courses are described in the Undergraduate Bulletin and are listed below as well.

  1. HDV 224: Human Development (also listed as SOC 224)
  2. One of the following two courses:
    HDV 260: Psychosocial Aspects of Human Development (also listed as SOC 260 and Psy 236)
    PSY 474S: Biological Psychology of Human Development
  3. HDV 401: Research Apprenticeship in Human Development
  4. HDV 450S: Senior Seminar in Human Development (to be taken during the student’s final semester)
  5. Two (2) elective courses from the list of biological, psychological, and sociological courses affiliated with the HDV Program and listed below.

For more information, download and complete the application available at the following link: Information Request


Program Director
Deborah T. Gold, Ph.D.
Professor of Medical Sociology
Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, and Psychology and Neuroscience
Box 3003, Duke University Medical Center
Room 1507, Blue Zone, Hospital South
Phone: 919-660-7530
Fax: 919-668-0453
E-Mail: deborah.gold@duke.edu

Faculty Steering Committee
Linda K. George, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Departments of Sociology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Psychology and Neuroscience
Associate Director, Duke Aging Center
Box 3003, Duke University Medical Center
Room 253, Soc-Psych Building
Phone: 919-660-7530 OR 919-660-5605
Fax: 919-668-0453 OR 919-660-5623
E-Mail: linda.george@duke.edu

Kathryn E. Gustafson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Box 2739 Duke University Medical Center
2424 Erwin Rd, Suite 504
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-684-8148
Fax: 919-681-4836
E-Mail: katie.gustafson@duke.edu

Robert J. Thompson, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Room 236 Soc Psych
Box 90086 Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
Phone: 919- 681-9655
Fax: 919-660-5726
E-Mail: robert.thompson@duke.edu


The research apprenticeship provides an unusual opportunity for students to develop skills and participate in a research experience. The HDV Program identifies and matches students and mentors. Research findings are reported in the Senior Seminar.

Pre-medical and pre-law students as well as majors in the social and behavioral sciences have worked successfully on developmental research in labs, clinics, and programs at Duke and elsewhere. Previous topics include the following: abortion, addiction, adult cognitive styles, aging, cell change, depression, divorce, health services, immune system change, moral judgment, premature infants, retirement, self-concept, sickle cell anemia, and talented youth.

Students should register for HDV 124 during their sophomore year and begin planning for their apprenticeships at that time as well. Research papers from the apprenticeship are sometimes revised for presentation at scholarly meetings or publication in scientific journals.


EVANTH 101/101D Intro to EVANTH
EVANTH 220 Human Evolution
EVANTH 246 Sociobiology
Biology 154 AIDS / Emerging Disease
Education 243S Children, Schools, and Society
Education 321S Infancy/Early Childhood Educational Program
Psychology Non-Majors Only
Psychology 103 Developmental Psychology
Psychology 106 Biological Bases of Behavior
Psychology 239 Adolescence
Psychology 325 Social Development
Psychology 339S Life Span Analysis
Public Policy 243S Children, Schools, and Society
Sociology Non-Majors Only
Sociology 349 Sexuality and Society
Sociology 350 Changing American Family
Sociology 263 Aging and Health
Sociology 264 Death and Dying


**NOTE: Students may count ONLY two (2) courses toward both their major and their Human Development Certificate.


Miryea R. Ayala
Sara Couch
Tara Gavcovich (Distinction in Human Development)
Traci King
Caitlin Plaut
Miray Seward
Kyler Shumway (Distinction in Human Development)
Johanna Silbersack
Yvette Vasquez


Alixandra Katz
Eric Emery
Joshua Foromera
Lorelei Phillip (Distinction in Human Development)


Deborah Arnold
Sarah Brubaker
Stephen Clark
Beatriz Collada
Conor Irwin
Kimberly Solow
Leigh Spivey
Ziwei Wang (Distinction)


Julie Bishop
Kendra Hinton
Phoebe Kahn
Bernice Ponce de Leon
Kyle Rountree
Mark Schissler
Sarah Schoffstall
Junyang Wang
Helen Zhang


Charles Chen
Ashley Chilton
Catherine Doswell
Jesse Huddleston
Erin Landis
Whitney Lane
Jessie O’Connor
Margaret Potter
Lindsay Roach
Elizabeth Rojas
Ashley Tyler


Gregory Akinbiyi
David Berendes
Stacey Blasé
Jessica Chang
Samir Derisavifard
Whitney Dickinson
Wei Gan
Breanna Gawrys
Kelly Henderson
Cassandra Kisby
Deborah Leech
Marvin Marcelin
Lauren Marx
Channing Matthews
Leigh Ann Samsa
Jasmine Swaniker
Teddi Thornhill


Joycelyne Absolu
Laura Douglas
Lien Nguyen
Elizabeth Park
Danielle Spearman
Courtney Stull
Ramsey Wehbe


Laura Fuhrman
Toni Grace
Brandi Oakley
Shaylar Padgett
Angel Qin
Bette Ann Schlossberg
Theresa Viglizzo
Amanda Way
Razaan Yassin


Patrick Cacchio
Claire DeChant
Rebecca Eells
Tracy Egharevba
Beth Garber
Kaitlin Hancock
Sally Heckathorn
Carla Hermida
Jenny Heydemann
Elizabeth Levine
Gina Mattei
Rebecca Parrish
Sarah Rock
Alexis Sheaffer
Yaolin Zhou


Patricia Kuo (Psychology, 05; Human Development Certificate, 05) was recently awarded the American Society on Aging’s Undergraduate Paper Award.

Patricia, under the guidance of Professor Judith C. Hays of the School of Nursing and the Aging Center, did research using the Duke EPESE data and submitted her paper, Life satisfaction and depressive symptoms among highly religious and non-affiliated elderly persons of the North Carolina community. Her award was presented at the 2005 Joint Conference of the American Society on Aging and The National Council on the Aging in Philadelphia in March 2005.



Regi Holman (Sociology, 05; Human development certificate, 05) won the Ida Harper Simpson Undergraduate Writing Award from the Department of Sociology for 2005. Regi’s paper was entitled, My Daddy Wants Tenure: Academic Family Men, the Normative Expectations of Today’s Family, and Implications for Current University Family Policy. Regi completed her human development research with Professor M.E. Hughes of the Sociology Department, and her research apprenticeship paper was entitled, the rich get richer: a study of education differentials in marriage.