The School of Human Environmental Sciences and the Department of Family Sciences welcome Dr. Alexander Vazsonyi to the John I. and Patricia J. Buster Endowed Professorship. Dr. Vazsonyi comes to the University of Kentucky after spending 15 years as a faculty member at Auburn University where he developed a strong national and international reputation as a researcher studying the etiology of adolescent problem behaviors.
Born in Michigan to first-generation immigrant parents, Vazsonyi spent his childhood and adolescent years in Switzerland. He returned to the United States to pursue his college education. After earning a Master of Science and doctoral degree in family studies and human development from The University of Arizona, Dr. Vazsonyi joined the faculty at Auburn. He embarked upon a cross-cultural/cross-national research study that has grown and expanded over the past 15 years and now includes a dataset with data collected in 12 different countries. The most recent additions to the study were the Czech Republic and mainland China.
The focus of Dr. Vazsonyi's research is using a comparative method to understand adolescent development and how factors including family, school, neighborhood and the larger culture impact problem behaviors. In part based on these data, more than 65 peer reviewed publications and 15 book chapters have resulted from his work, along with numerous invited national and international presentations.
Dr. Vazsonyi holds the position as editor-in-chief for the Journal of Early Adolescence. The editorial team for this peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary publication includes three associate editors and an editorial board. Vazsonyi also serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and the International Journal of Comparative & Applied Criminal Justice.
In 2004, Dr. Vazsonyi was selected as a Fulbright Fellow and spent one semester teaching and conducting research at the University of Maribor in Slovenia. In 2010, he was selected for a prestigious Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award. He spent one semester teaching and conducting research at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.
As a member of the faculty at UK, Dr. Vazsonyi will be teaching the doctoral research methods course and a graduate-level course on adolescent development. He looks forward to conducting his research in Kentucky, and is eager to continue as a mentor to graduate students.
Dr. Ronald Werner-Wilson, chair of the Department of Family Sciences stated, "We are very excited to have Dr. Vazsonyi join our faculty. He is an accomplished scholar who will make invaluable contributions to family sciences. He will be a great mentor and role model."