University of South Florida

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences


Get to know the new chair of CFS: Q&A with Lise Fox

Lise Fox, PhD

Lise Fox, PhD, new chair of the Department of Child & Family Studies (CFS), is a familiar face within the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. While she began her role as chair this month, she has served the department in many ways over the past 27 years. If you haven't had a chance to get to know her yet, read our interview below to learn more about Fox, her insights on the department and field, and her plans for the future.

What has kept you at USF for 27 years?
I love my work and USF has been an incredibly supportive environment for doing it. I came here from the University of Florida where I was in a department in the College of Education on soft money. While I had many great colleagues, the environment felt uncomfortably competitive … with each faculty member and their team siloed from the others. In addition, soft money faculty were treated differently than tenure-earning. My experience in the USF Department of Child & Family Studies was completely different. It was collaborative, mission-driven, and we collectively pursued innovation. In addition, we had fun while doing the work.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in this field?
I started as a teacher of children with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities when they first received the right to public education. It was exciting to be doing work that was socially significant and important for children and families. While teaching I received my master’s degree and then went immediately into a doctoral program. At that time, there was so much we were learning in the field about instruction, inclusion, and early intervention. I get my energy from thinking about what can be done differently and how we can influence programs, schools, and systems to do better by children and families.

How have you seen the department change over the years and what do you hope the future will look like?
The Department of Child & Family Studies has grown significantly in size, diversity of programs we offer, and our academic programs. When I started, we were a part of Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute … now we are within a college. I think the growth has strengthened the work of all of us, created new possibilities for collaboration, and has led to innovative programs and research. I want to see that trajectory continue. We have a lot of talent in our department and everyone is highly productive. I would like to see more visibility for our work within the university and nationally.

What professional achievement are you most proud of?
For the last 22 years, I have worked with a group of colleagues from multiple universities to develop a promotion, prevention, and intervention framework for the implementation of evidence-based practices that will promote the social-emotional development of young children and address challenging behavior. In this work, we have designed and disseminated training materials, state implementation and scale-up guidance, a widely used approach for practitioner coaching, practice fidelity tools, and data systems. We currently have thirty-five states actively engaged in scaling up this approach across their early childhood and public preschool programs.

What do you like to do in your free time?
There is not a lot of free time, but I love to travel, garden, hang out with my family, and hike.

Lise Fox presents at conference

In April 2022, Fox welcomed 700 attendees at the 17th annual conference that is focused on her work – National Training Institute on Addressing the Challenging Behavior: Promoting Young Children’s Social-Emotional Development.

Lise Fox and colleagues hike.

Fox says meetings with her Denver colleagues always include a hike. Pictured: Phil Strain (University of Denver), Barbara Smith (University of Denver), Mary Louise Hemmeter (Vanderblit University), Fox, and Fox' spouse, Brian Schatz.


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About College of Behavioral & Community Sciences News

The Mission of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS) is to advance knowledge through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service that improves the capacity of individuals, families, and diverse communities to promote productive, satisfying, healthy, and safe lives across the lifespan. CBCS envisions the college as a globally recognized leader that creates innovative solutions to complex conditions that affect the behavior and well-being of individuals, families, and diverse communities.