Ann Berghout Austin is Professor of Child Development in the Department of Family and Human Development. She received her Ph.D. in Child Development from Iowa State University in 1981 and has been at Utah State University ever since. Her leadership has focused on the development of sustainable projects, and initiatives serving women and children. In 1981 as an assistant professor, she established the infant, toddler, and after-school child development laboratories in the Department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development. The labs are still thriving. In 1988 she became a Fellow with the Kellogg National Leadership Program. In 1992 she was one of the founders of the Utah Office of Child Care, an entity established by the Utah Legislature and ongoing and thriving today. She established the Northern Utah (Bridgerland) Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) organization (now titled Care About Child Care) and has been its executive director for almost 18 years. CCR&R has a research, development, and training mission to promote quality child care for children from birth to age 8 years. In 2011 the Utah Office of Child Care established the Child Care Professional Development Institute (CCPDI) at USU with Dr. Austin as executive director. The purpose of CCPDI is to provide professional development opportunities for child care providers statewide and training programs to enhance quality child care in Utah. The CAC (CCR&R) and CCPDI grants bring more than 2 million dollars a year to USU and provide assistantships and research and travel funds for at least four graduate students each year. Her work has also been supported by the Utah State University Agriculture Experiment Station. From 1990 to 2002, she was the research director for a national infant development program in Paraguay in collaboration with Pastoral del Niño (Catholic Social Services) and U.S. Peace Corps. She was assisted by graduate students Monica Blanche and Shannon Peairson. From 2012 to 2014, with graduate students Alex T. Fronk and Krista Gurko, she directed an evaluation of the Kinamba Community School, an inner city program in Kigali. Her administrative roles at Utah State University have included Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Associate Director of the Agriculture Experiment Station.
In 2000 she received the USU’s President’s Diversity Award for Administrators. Also in 2000 she was named the Women and Gender Distinguished Professor. In 2006 she was nominated as one of the most influential professors during the freshman year. In April 2009 the USU honors students nominated her to give Last Lecture.
She is the founding director of the USU Center for Women and Gender (CWG), an academic center combining the three previously separate units of Women and Gender Studies, Women’s Center, and Women and Gender Research Institute. In March 2013 the National Council for Research on Women honored USU’s Center for Women and Gender with the “Emerging Center” award and Dr. Austin with the “Trailblazer 2013 Making a Difference for Women and Girls”. Because of her work as director of the CWG to promote understanding on gender issues, the Statesman, the campus newspaper, named her in December 2015 one of USU’s “Top Ten” influential people on campus. In December 2015 she was invited to speak at a women’s studies workshop in Ho Chi Min City.
She has served as major professor for more than 50 graduate students most of whose assistantships and travel were supported through her grants and contracts. She has served as consulting editor for Young Children and currently serves as consulting editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly. She has served as President of the Society for Research in Human Development and currently works with the American Association for University Women on their international fellowship program.
Skiing, both cross-country and downhill, is her ultimate passion, but hiking and gardening fill the outdoors’ gap in the spring, summer, and fall. She is an avocational musician, playing violin in the Cache Symphony Orchestra, participating in organ recitals on SL Temple Square, and playing in ad hoc orchestras for valley productions of The Messiah. She is very sad that Downton Abbey has ended.
- PhD, Iowa State University (Child Development), 1981
- MS, Utah State University (Child Development with Specialization in Infancy), 1977
- BS, Utah State University (Elementary Education, Elementary and Early Childhood Certification), 1971
Infancy and childhood development (birth to age 12); child development in out-of-home child care and communication between child care providers and parents to promote child development;school early mathematics preparation in out-of-home care; child development and early childhood programs in poor, rural areas of developing countries.