Nancy Budwig graduated from Vassar College, and received a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she is a Professor of Psychology at Clark University, where she also has served in the Academic Administration since 2002, first as Dean of Graduate Studies, and most recently as Associate Provost and Dean of Research. In addition to overseeing graduate and research academic programming, Nancy has played a central leadership role in developing and implementing Clark’s Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) Curricular Framework. Drawing on her background in the developmental and learning sciences, she has facilitated a campus leadership process for designing, implementing and assessing integrative liberal learning in ways that deeply link traditional liberal education values to capacities of effective practice. Taking the lead in Clark’s participation in three national consortia (organized by the AAC&U and Aspen Institute) and serving as the PI on two institutional grants has supported Nancy’s efforts to address this challenge, while at the same time connecting Clark’s work to national discussions on these topics.
As a teacher and scholar, Nancy’s interests have centered on studying complex learning in informal settings to shed light on ways to improve educational outcomes for all students. A thread through her work has been the close examination of how individual agency develops best within larger ecosystems, with a variety of others (both experts and peers) playing formative roles as learning unfolds in communities of practice. Linking her scholarly interest in human development and learning with her administrative work, Nancy has begun to make the case for how higher education can better draw on the learning and developmental sciences (see The Learning Sciences and Liberal Education in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, May/June 2013). A second article, written in collaboration with colleagues at Clark that appeared in Peer Review (Winter, 2015) focuses on a process she calls guided emergence-- a method that cultivates campus leadership for integrative liberal learning that moves away from standard “top down vs. bottom up” metaphors prevalent in organizational change discussions. A national expert in the study of human development, Nancy and her colleagues Elliot Turiel and Philip David Zelazo have just edited a major handbook entitled New perspectives on human development with Cambridge University Press (due out in 2017).
In addition to her administrative and faculty work at Clark University, Nancy has enjoyed being active in a variety of other professional and civic roles. Nancy is honored to be a past President of the Jean Piaget Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Knowledge and Development and currently serves on their board. In 2015, Governor Deval Patrick appointed her to the Board of Trustees at Framingham State University where she currently chairs the academic affairs sub-committee. Nancy also is the editor of a book series entitled Interdisciplinary perspectives on knowledge and development published by Cambridge University Press, an associate editor of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, and is an editorial board member of several other journals in the area of human development and learning.