Bradford Wiles

Bradford Wiles

Associate Professor
Extension Specialist

Contact Information

319 Justin Hall
(785) 532-1939


  • Ph.D. in Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (2013)
  • Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (2013)
  • M.S. in Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (2008)
  • B.S. in Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (1997)

Credentials or Certifications

Master Trainer – Better Brains for Babies

Areas of Specialization

  • Health, Risk, and Resilience in Rural Families
  • Parent-Child Interaction
  • Access to Quality, Affordable Child Care
  • Family Smart Phone and Tablet Screen Time
  • Brain Development in Early Childhood
  • Multilevel Statistical Modeling (e.g. SEM / HLM)

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Endeavors

Dr. Wiles’ program of research focuses on building health and resilience in vulnerable families. Specifically, he leverages the strengths of the Extension system’s multi-state research project, Rural Families Speak about Resilience (NC1171), focusing his efforts on understanding resilience in rural, low-income, ethnically, and racially diverse families with young children.

Through his programmatic Extension work, he collaborates with Extension Agents in their local communities to provide community-based trainings to enhance knowledge, skills, and decision-making strategies to make a difference in the lives and communities in Kansans. His Extension vision is to reach all families with young children and assist them in applying research-based practices in the domains of, early childhood brain development, emergent literacy, physical health and activity.

Bradford’s main area of Extension activity is helping local communities to build their capacity for access to quality, affordable child care. In collaboration with community-based child care coalitions, Bradford conducts in-depth needs assessments for communities across Kansas to identify and strategically invest in locally-driven solutions to their early care and education needs.

Professional Biography

Originally from Noblesville, Indiana, Dr. Wiles grew up on the small farm where his parents still live, and was a ten-year 4-H member. After graduating from Noblesville High School, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Indiana University, Bloomington in 1997. After working in Silicon Valley developing emerging technologies at a genomics/biotechnology company, he returned to school and earned his master's degree in Human Development from Virginia Tech in 2008. During his doctoral training, he also earned a graduate certificate in Gerontology under the guidance of the Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor Dr. Rosemary Blieszner, awarded in 2013.

Dr. Wiles enjoys mentoring students as they become the next generation of scholars and practitioners, as well as collaborating with colleagues from other disciplines to create multi- and transdisciplinary research teams to effectively solve the complex and multifaceted challenges facing families Bradford is most proud of his collaborations with researchers and practitioners across the spectrum of scholarship.

Personal Information

Bradford enjoys all manner of outdoor activities, including fishing, hiking, canoeing and kayaking, flying kites, astronomy, fossil hunting, and playing any sport he can, especially golf. He is happiest when spending time with his daughter, Hannah Rose, his son, Hunter James, and his wife, Danielle Skurka.

In addition to his love of the outdoors, Bradford loves all things involving music. As a multi-instrumentalist, he loves playing just about any kind of music. He currently is proficient in guitar (acoustic, electric, and resonator), bass, drums, harmonica, ukulele, and all sorts of percussion instruments. Bradford also has a small recording studio where he serves as recording engineer, mixer, masterer, equipment modification and repair technician, and even as the talent. Few things beyond his family make him as happy as he is when playing, recording, or listening to music. An avid Indycar fan, Bradford has not missed an Indy 500 since he began attending with his father in 1983.

* Note that the 2020 Indy 500 did not count against this streak

Vita (pdf)