Bethany Willis Hepp, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Bethany Willis Hepp, Ph.D.

Contact Information

PHONE
OFFICE
College of Liberal Arts,
Room 2226
E-MAIL
HOURS
Mon: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Tues and Thurs: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Education

Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, University of Delaware

M.S., Human Development and Family Studies, University of Delaware

B.A., History and Political Science,
University of Delaware

Areas of Expertise

International perspectives on human development and family studies

The global circulation of children and transnational family formation and structure, including kinship care, foster care, domestic and international adoption, migration, immigration, human trafficking, and the intersectionality of social identities

Collaborative planning for human services

Life course and strengths-based models for family and community development

Diversity in research, teaching, curriculum, and community development

Biography

Dr. Willis Hepp is engaged in a number of teaching, service, and scholarship activities that contribute to her professional expertise. She has been teaching undergraduate courses since 2008. At Towson, she teaches FMST 101, FMST 201, FMST 301, FMST 302, FMST 303, FMST 415, FMST 485, and FMST 490, several in both face-to-face and online formats.

Dr. Willis Hepp's experience instructing is not limited to the classroom environment. She has worked with students and colleagues in international service-learning fieldwork in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Central Asia and has coordinated applied human service field-work experiences for graduate and undergraduate students. A number of different human service experiences have diversified her skill set. For example, she worked for three years as a leadership trainer for human service professionals in the field of disabilities and four years as a parent educator, conducting in-home, one-on-one and group counseling and educational programs for families at risk. Collecting and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data have furthered her understanding of research methodology and application, including needs assessments and program evaluation. She has parlayed several of these research activities into publications for community and academic use.

Selected Publications and Presentations

 Selected Publications

Willis Hepp, B., Sturm, M.R., & Doneker, K. (2015). Using music to teach theories in an introductory family studies course. Family Science Review, 20(3), 3-20.  

Doneker, K., Willis Hepp, B., Berke, D., & Settles, B. (in press). Massive open online courses: Potential implications for advancing the field of family science. Accepted to Family Science Review.

Willis Hepp, B. (2014). Grandparent adoption. In L. Ganong, M. Coleman, & G. Golson (Eds.), The social history of the American family: An Encyclopedia (pp. 23-25). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Willis Hepp, B. (2014). Greencard marriages. In L. Ganong, M. Coleman, & G. Golson (Eds.), The social history of the American family: An Encyclopedia (pp. 651 – 653). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Willis Hepp, B. (2014). Paternity testing. In L. Ganong, M. Coleman, & G. Golson (Eds.), The social history of the American family: An Encyclopedia (pp.1023 – 1024). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Quach, A.S., Todd, M.E., Willis Hepp, B., and Doneker Mancini, K.L. (2013). Conceptualizing sexual identity development: Implications for GLB Chinese international students. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 9(3), 254-272.

Ohannessian, C.M., Bradley, J., Waninger, K., Ruddy, K., Willis Hepp, B., & Hesselbrock, V. (2010). An examination of adolescent coping typologies and young adult alcohol use in a high risk sample. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 5(1), 52-65.

Trask, B., Willis Hepp, B., Settles, B., & Shabo, L. (2009). Culturally diverse elders and their families: Examining the need for culturally competent services. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 40(2), 180-192.

Selected International Presentations

Willis Hepp, B. (2016, January). “Knowing too much”: American adoptive parents’ perspectives on information-gathering for their internationally adopted children. Poster presented at the 5th International Conference on Adoption Research. Auckland, New Zealand.

Doneker, K., Settles, B., & Willis Hepp, B. (2014, July). Perceptions and experiences of the frail elderly: Definitions of family, home, and independence. Paper presented at the Biennial International Sociological Conference. Yokohama, Japan.

Willis Hepp, B. (2013, July). Conceptualizing openness in international adoption to the United States: Implications for human service, family scholarship, and public policy. Paper presented at the International Conference on Adoption Research. Bilbao, Spain.

Mancini, K.D., Willis Hepp, B., & Martin, C. (2012, June). New approaches to group projects in family studies courses: Online versus face-to-face presentations and assessments. Paper presented at the Teaching Family Science Conference. Nova Scotia, Canada.

Willis Hepp, B. (2010, July). Adopting internationally into the United States: Connecting motivation to adopt and parental ambivalence in adoptive parents. Poster presented at the International Conference on Adoption Research. Leiden, the Netherlands.

Trask, B., Willis Hepp, B., Sturm, M., & Knights, M. (2007, June). Developing cross-cultural competence when working with diverse families: Three case studies. Session presented at the Teaching Family Science Conference. Prince Edward Island, Canada.

 

Selected National Presentations

Willis Hepp, B. (2014, November). Building transnational families: Conceptualizing communicative openness about birth families abroad in international adoption. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. Baltimore, MD.

Breneman, C., & Willis Hepp, B. (2014, November). Using nonfiction to enhance learning outcomes: An innovative teaching method. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. Baltimore, MD.

Willis Hepp, B., Doneker, K., & Settles, B. (2014, June). Integrating family policy across family studies curriculum. Paper presented at the Teaching Family Science Conference. Honolulu, HI.

Hepp, B.W. (2013, November). Parents’ misinterpretations of adoption policy: Implications for post-adoption contact and child and family well-being in international adoption. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Mancini, K.D., Hepp, B.W., & Settles, B.H. (2013, November). Integrating family policy into the curriculum. Round-table presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Quach, A., Todd, M., Mancini, K.D., & Hepp, B.W. (2013, November). Sexual identity development among Chinese international students: Implications for individual and family well-being. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Hepp, B.W., & Mancini, K.D. (2013, June). Massive open online courses: What they are and what they mean for family scholarship. Paper presented at the Teaching Family Science Conference. Annapolis, MD.

Hepp, B.W. (2011, November). Emotional and financial costs of openness in international adoption. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. Orlando, FL.

Bailey, C., Hepp, B.W., Sturm, M., Perkins, K., Mancini, K.D., & Rich, A. (2011, November). HDFS undergraduate trajectories: Perspectives on the current economy. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. Orlando, FL.

Cheeseman, K.A., & Hepp, B.W. (2010, March). Differential relations between specific anxiety disorders and substance use during adolescence. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Adolescence. Philadelphia, PA.

Trask, B., Settles, B., & Hepp, B.W. (2009, November). Internationalizing the study of families through cross-cultural research opportunities. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. San Francisco, CA.

Hepp, B.W., & Ohannessian, C.M. (2009, April). Perceptions of family functioning and sibling relationship characteristics as predictors of adolescent self-competence. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development’s Biennial Meeting. Denver, CO.

Dozier, M., Lynch, A., Farber, A., Peloso, E., Hepp, B.W., Bernard, K. (2009, April). Effects of parenting intervention on cortisol production among children adopted internationally: Preliminary results. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development’s Biennial Meeting. Denver, CO.

Hepp, B.W., Sturm, M., Trask, B.S., Brady, L.T., Qiu, W., & Radnai-Griffin, D. (2008, November). From the inside out: How instructors develop the cultural lenses of undergraduate and graduate students. Round-table presentation at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. Little Rock, AR.

Hepp, B.W., Sturm, M.R., & Rosle, M.M. (2008, June). “Own it!”: Facilitating the processing and integration of service-learning experiences. Session presented at the Teaching Family Science Conference. Savannah, GA.

Trask, B.S., Hepp, B.W., & Settles, B. (2008, May). Culturally diverse elders and their families: Implications for research and practice. Paper presented at the Committee on Family Research of the International Sociological Association. Boston, MA.

Hepp, B.W., & Trask, B.S. (2007, November). Motivation to adopt internationally: Implications for parental perceptions and well-being. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. Pittsburgh, PA.

Trask, B., Shabo, L., Rosle, M., Hepp, B.W., & Sturm, M. (2007, November). The role of culturally-based family support organizations: Bridging the divide between families and the delivery of services. Round-table discussion presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference. Pittsburgh, PA.

Memberships/Affiliations

The Family Science Association

The National Council on Family Relations

Courses Taught

  • FMST 102 - Honors Introduction to Family Studies
  • FMST 201 - Family Resources
  • FMST 301 - Family Relationships
  • FMST 302 - Family Theories
  • FMST 485 - Research Methods in Family Studies
  • FMST 490 - Family and Human Service Capstone: Methods in Family Life Education