Karen L. Peterson, PhD '73, '74

Karen L. Peterson, PhD '73, '74

Dr. Karen L. Peterson, a distinguished professor emeritus of early childhood in the Department of Human Development at Washington State University, Vancouver, brings a wealth of experience from diverse early childhood environments. With a keen eye, she has observed the pervasive impact of stress on children and its consequential effects. Boasting an impressive 25-year tenure as a program director and child development specialist, Dr. Peterson is highly sought after as a speaker and prolific writer, exploring various aspects of early childhood development.

Having earned her B.S. in child development in 1973 and her M.S. in child development in 1974 from TWU, Dr. Peterson completed her Ph.D. in child development in 1980 at Iowa State University. Beyond her academic and professional endeavors, Dr. Peterson demonstrates her commitment to nurturing the next generation. Notably, she has established an endowed scholarship at Texas Woman’s University to support students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Child Development. This philanthropic initiative underscores her dedication to guiding the educational journey of aspiring child development professionals at TWU, highlighting her comprehensive approach to advancing the field.


Dr. Peterson created the Dr. Karen L. Peterson Scholarship Endowment to support students seeking a degree in Child Development. The recipient must be classified as a junior or senior seeking a Bachelor of Science in Child Development in the College of Professional Education. The recipient must have achieved a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on all prior academic coursework.