College of Education and Human Services

Amy Root

Amy Root with chickens.
Amy Root at a pride parade.

Our program offers hands-on experiences early in the program, which is helpful in allowing students to get their feet wet in the field. This is often when students realize they have a passion for this area of study.

“I was a first-generation college student, so I was a little lost when I started,” she says. “As a psychology undergraduate, I volunteered in a child development research lab at the University of Maryland and fell in love with research and the field of human development.

“From there, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in human development.”

Amy tries to foster a collaborative learning environment in her classes, through discussions and group work.

“I also want students to get to know me, so I offer video announcements and weekly messages, which seem to help, even when we don’t have synchronous meetings,” she says. “I also schedule individual check-ins with students throughout the semester, especially in the upper-level courses.”

She says Child Development and Family Studies (CDFS) is an interdisciplinary field, as well as an applied field.

“I really think students who want to help others in direct or indirect ways, will find CDFS a good fit for their career goals.

“Our program offers hands-on experiences early in the program, which is helpful in allowing students to get their feet wet in the field. This is often when students realize they have a passion for this area of study.”

Technology She Utilizes in the Classroom
I have started to think about ways to use clickers or other in-class survey-type technology (e.g., Top Hat or Kahoot!). In online classes, I try to mix the content with video (e.g., TED Talks), audio correspondence, and written correspondence.

About Her Students
I feel really fortunate to work with students who are caring, dedicated, bright, and driven. I am so impressed with their resilience and ability to navigate challenges.

Pedagogical Changes on the Horizon
With COVID-19, we’ve needed to find new ways to facilitate field work. If we can eventually offer virtual or simulated field hours for some of the courses, this may open possibilities for more students.

Work or Publication Most Proud of
One is a paper I worked on as a graduate student at the University of Maryland:
Kennedy, A.E., Rubin, K.H., Hastings, P.D., & Maisel, B.A. (2004). The longitudinal relations between child vagal tone and parenting behavior: 2 to 4 years. Developmental Psychobiology, 45, 10-21.

The other was written with two undergraduate students from WVU; it was data I collected from my first research study here at WVU: Root, A.E., Byrne, R., & Watson, S.M. (2015). The regulation of fear: The contribution of inhibition and emotion socialization. Early Child Development & Care, 185, 647-657.

Book(s) Currently Reading
I’m reading Stamped from the Beginning by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, and also re-reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I tend to read fiction when I have the opportunity. My son reads graphic novels, so I’ve been exploring those and really enjoy them.