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Meet Dr. Jen Doty!


Name and Position:

Dr. Jen Doty, Assistant Professor of youth development and prevention science


What will you be doing in the FYCS department?

My appointment is 60% teaching and 40% research. I am scheduled to teach FYC4622 Planning and Evaluation of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences Programs, FYC 3001 Principles of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences, and FYC 3112 Contemporary Family Problems and Interventions. I will continue my research on parent involvement in the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying, and I will begin connecting with Latino/a communities regarding the dissemination of the Padres Informados parent-based prevention program.


Where did you grow up? What did you want to be?

I grew up in “Chicagoland,” playing softball and basketball, roughhousing with my brothers, and singing on stage whenever possible. In high school, I decided that I wanted to be a motivational speaker after attending a substance use prevention program called Operation Snowball.

What was your very first job?

My dad owned a small seafood restaurant, and my first job was loading pop into the pop machine as a kid. If a fly got into the store, he would also pay me 5 cents to swat it.

What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

I have been a bookworm all my life. I love reading YA fiction, chick lit, and lately more non-fiction books (because they are easier to put down). I still like to sing in small groups and choirs. I also love camping and hiking—we are looking forward to exploring Florida!

Who is your greatest inspiration?

I have so many sources of inspiration—it’s hard to pinpoint just one. A friend named Louis Jean who fought breast cancer three times and then lost her son but managed to be optimistic and loving to everyone around her, Barb McMorris whose mentoring has been a fabulous example of promoting social justice one day at a time, my partner Matthew who cheers me on when I am exhausted or discouraged.

What is your favorite food?

Pasta! My mom’s side of the family is from Argentina and Uruguay—oh, the pasta!

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Let’s hope it never comes to that, but if it did, something by James Taylor.

What is a quirky or fun fact about you that people may not know?

I can balance three pens on my face.

If you or someone else wrote a book about your life, what do you think the title would be?

Gosh, that depends on who wrote it. If it was my dog, Kevin, he might call it, “The Woman who Never Let me Sleep on the Bed.” If it was my kids, they might call it, “Don’t Drive Like Me.”

If you could sit down with your 20 year old self, what would you tell him or her?

Trust yourself and have patience—all good things come with time.

And finally, what excites you about working in the FYCS department?

I’m looking forward to mentoring students, and the prevention science focus is super exciting too.