Dr. Kathleen Hughes is the faculty supervisor of the Sea Lab and Assistant Professor (Teaching) in Psychology at the University of Calgary specializing in Social Development. Her current research focuses positive factors that can influence development from early childhood to emerging adulthood. Topics include: 1) Socioemotional factors (shyness, anxiety, personality, social emotional learning, peers, parenting, motivation); and 2) Educational outcomes (engagement, teacher-student relationships, classroom climate, and achievement).

Dr. Hughes’ career trajectory has weaved in and out of academia and includes working in the private, non-profit, and governmental sectors. Her record of productivity includes academic peer-reviewed articles along with many high-stakes government documents that required multi-tiered reviews.

At Carleton University, Dr. Hughes completed her MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology specializing in shyness, social anxiety, teacher-child relationships, peer relationships, and academic engagement in childhood. At The Learning Bar / Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy (CRISP), Dr. Hughes worked as a Research Analyst studying early childhood assessments, literacy development and school engagement. As a limited-term faculty member at the University of New Brunswick and adjunct at St. Thomas University, Dr. Hughes collaborated on research concerning sexual and romantic well-being in adolescents and young adults. As a Policy & Research Analyst with the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC), Dr. Hughes investigated post-secondary students’ educational trajectories and satisfaction with university.

In addition, Dr. Hughes has worked with children and youth in a variety of professional contexts. These include serving as a children’s library coordinator for Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, a mentor in the Pathways to Education, liaison work with the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre and the Multifaith Youth Core, consultant work with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, and serving on the Board of Directors as Curriculum Coordinator for the Bright Beginning Early Learning Centre. Currently, Dr. Hughes enjoy volunteering for the Calgary Public Library, Calgary Women’s Run, and the Children’s Cottage Society.