Dr. Karyn Purvis is the Director of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas. During the past decade, she and her colleagues at the Institute have invested their efforts towards developing research-based interventions for at-risk children. Throughout her life, Karyn’s personal and professional calling has been to create a welcoming, loving environment for children who come from "hard places". Foster and adoption issues have always been at the heart of her work, and when her own children were small, she served as foster mother to many children. She serves as expert witness in court cases of child abuse, testifies for state and national legislation, and speaks frequently to national and international groups. Recent trips have taken her to varied national groups from trainings for judges and CPS workers, to international trainings for parents and professionals in England, Iceland, Scotland, Romania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.
Dr. Purvis received her undergraduate degree at TCU and continued on to receive her masters and doctorate in Developmental Psychology from TCU as well. During her time at TCU Dr. Purvis developed and directed (1999 – present) the Hope Connection, a research and intervention summer day camp for adopted children. She and her colleague, Dr. David Cross write for scientific journals, parents magazines, and have co-authored a feature book for McGraw-Hill titled, The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to your Adoptive Family, which was released Spring 2007. Within six months of publication, The Connected Child has earned rank as a best-seller in adoption books. She and her colleague, Dr. David Cross were recently honored with the Dallas business journal Heroes of Healthcare Award. Dr. Purvis was awarded the T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award, a state-wide award for child advocacy and has been given the title of Distinguished Fellow in Adoption and Child Development by the National Council for Adoption. Karyn was appointed Presiding Officer of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Committee on Licensing Standards by Governor Rick Perry.
David is the Associate Director of the Institute of Child Development, where his primary responsibilities are to assist the Director, Dr. Karyn Purvis, and to supervise the research activities of the Institute. He is also Director of the Developmental Research Laboratory, which includes three doctoral students, 3 honors students, and ten undergraduate research assistants. And he is Professor in the Psychology Department, where he teaches courses such as Principles of Behavior, Child Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Graduate Developmental Psychology, and Multivariate Analysis.
David earned his B.S. from California State University Fresno with a major in Psychology, and then attended The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for graduate study, beginning in 1980. He earned an M.A. Psychology and an M.A. in Statistics, and then earned a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology. In 1985, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor in TCU's Department of Psychology. David's wife, Trudy, is a Kindergarten teacher with the Fort Worth Independent School District. His daughter, Jennifer, graduated from TCU and is a practicing geologist. His son, Nathan, also graduated from TCU and is a 2nd Lieutenant in United States Marine Corps. Please visit David's website at www.davidcross.us.