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Michelle Toews

Michelle Toews

Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship
Endowed Human Ecology Faculty Fellow

Contact Information

119C Justin Hall


  • Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science, Ohio State University
  • M.S. in Human Development and Family Science, Ohio State University
  • B.A. in Psychology, Ohio Dominican College

Area(s) of Specialization

  • Healthy Adolescent Relationships
  • Relationship Education
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Adolescent Parents' Co-Parenting Relationships

Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

Dr. Toews' program of research focuses on healthy relationships, with particular interest in relationship education and violence prevention programming with adolescents. Dr. Toews and her colleagues recently received a three year grant to modify, implement, and evaluate a relationship education program for 7th and 9th graders in Junction City. In addition, Dr. Toews has co-directed a relationship education program for pregnant and parenting adolescents in Central Texas for over 10 years and has funding to continue that program through 2020. Please contact Dr. Toews if you are interested in becoming part of her Healthy Adolescent Relationships Research Team (HARRT).

Professional Biography

Michelle Toews is the Associate Dean of Research and Scholarship in the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science from The Ohio State University. Her main research interests include healthy adolescent relationships, relationship education, dating violence, violence prevention, and adolescent parents' co-parenting relationships. She has published and presented numerous papers in these areas. In addition, Dr. Toews has received over $11 million from the Administration for Children and Families to develop, implement, and evaluate relationship education programs for vulnerable youth. Prior to joining K-State, she taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses, including family relationships, family diversity, cultural diversity, working with families under stress, sexuality across the lifespan, family life education, and research methods to name a few.

Personal Information

Outside of work, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and hiking. She is excited to be part of the K-State family because of their focus on students. She hopes she can continue to work with students and encourage both undergraduate and graduate students to become involved in research.

Vita (pdf)

Most Recent Publications

  • Reflecting on international educative experiences: Developing cultural competence in preservice early childhood educators (Journal Article), in Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education (2018).
  • Preschool children’s biophilia and attitudes toward nature: The effect of personal experiences (Journal Article), in The International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education (2017).
  • Preschool Daily Patterns of Physical Activity Driven by Location and Social Context. (Journal Article), in The Journal of school health (2017).
  • The impact of participation in creative drama on empathy levels in emerging adulthood: A pilot study (Journal Article), in Drama Therapy Review (2016).
  • Toddler activity intensity during indoor free-play: stand and watch (Journal Article), in Journal of nutrition education and behavior (2015).


See the Vita for a complete list of publications.

Most Recent Presentations

  • Parental involvement, peer relationships, and adult mentor's impact on adolescent's character development, at the (2015).
  • The Impact of Parental Involvement, Peer Relationships, and Adult Mentors on the Character Development of Adolescences, at the Society for Research in Child Development annual meeting (2015).
  • The impact of Parental Involvement, Peer Relationships, and Adult Mentors on the Character Development of Adolescents, at the Promoting Character Development among Diverse Children and Adolescence: The Role of Family, Schools and Out-of-School-Time Youth Development Programs (2015).
  • Early Care and Education - Education Abroad Study Tour 2018, at the quarterly meeting (2015).
  • Finding Common Ground in Higher Education, at the Annual Meeting (2015).


See the Vita for a complete list of presentations.

Most Recent Awards

  • Women of Distinction , Kansas State University (2015)
  • HERS Summer Institute, HERS (2015)


See the Vita for a complete list of awards and honors.

Most Recent Grants

  • Early Childhood Workforce Development Grant; Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc (2016)
  • KCCTO - Statewide Infant - Toddler Specialist Network; Kansas Department for Children and Families (2016)
  • Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities; Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc (2014)
  • Playing naturally: an exploratory study of the impact of a specially selected outdoor play space on arousal, attention and task completion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders; Kansas State University (2013)
  • Kansas Child Care and Youth Training and Technical Assistance Project - State (Extension) Coordinators; US Department of Agriculture (2012)