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Washington State University

Deborah Handy

Deborah Handy

Interim Chair and Scholarly Professor 509-335-2935 Johnson Tower 518, Pullman 305 NE TROY MALL

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


  • Ph.D. Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology, Washington State University
    Research regarding the use of technology for collaborative learning.
  • M.A. Department of Apparel, Merchandising, and Interior Design, Washington State University
    Research in the area of apparel purchasing practices of adolescents.
  • B.S. Home Economics Education, Minor – Speech Education, University of Wisconsin-Stout

Courses Taught

  • HD 101 Lifespan Human Development
  • HD 204 Family Systems
  • HD 302 Parent-Child Relationships
  • HD 407 Supervise Teaching in Family and Consumer Sciences
  • HD 479 Program Planning
  • HD 480 Instructional Strategies

Current Research

Debbie Handy is currently analyzing data from four studies. The research topics include school violence, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher recruitment processes, and student success in distance education. The data have been collected over the past couple of years. Dr. Handy has worked on the collection of two sets of data regarding school violence. One study looks at students’ exposure to violence in the schools, homes, and communities. The second, spearheaded by a graduate student, examines the preferences high school students report for specified safety measures in their schools. The teacher recruitment project identifies the strategies current teachers use to encourage the pursuit of family and consumer sciences education as a career. The growth of distance education prompted the last area of study, comparing success of students who are campus-based and those who are distance students enrolled in a distance course.

Advising/Student Organizations

My primary advising responsibility is to work with students who wish to be Family and Consumer Sciences teachers. I also advise two student organizations: Kappa Omicron Nu, the Family and Consumer Sciences Honor Society, and the WSU State Officers of the Washington Association for Family and Consumer Sciences Student Unit.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Debbie Handy is the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher educator in the Department of Human Development. She began her career in Wisconsin as a junior and senior high home economics teacher and adviser for Future Homemakers of America. Her love for the content and student interaction led her to new, but related, opportunities after moving to Washington. She completed a Master’s degree in Clothing and Textiles and a Ph. D. in curriculum development and supervision. She assumed leadership roles through professional organizations and on departmental and campus committees. Dr. Handy was selected as the Executive Director for Washington’s affiliate of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America in 2000. She served in this role for 18 years. Dr. Handy values the time she spends with students in class and through student leadership. She stays abreast of classroom issues through active involvement with the family and consumer sciences teachers and teacher educator associations. Her research focuses on providing high quality instructional environments. She has studied school safety; engaged and collaborative learning; bullying; student leadership; and teachers’ roles as FCCLA advisers and collaborators in the learning environment. She is actively engaged in curriculum development and assessment through departmental and university committees. She leads the Washington State efforts to recruit family and consumer sciences professionals through Say Yes to FCS. She has been honored by her students and colleagues for collaboration, teaching, and advising.

Select Publications

Handy, D. J. & Lindbloom, L. FCS programs prepare students for the world of work, Techniques, April 2019, 10-11.

Handy, D. (2017, Fall/Winter). We are saying Yes to FCS in WA! WAFCS Connections, 82(2).

Handy, D. J. (2016, Spring). Are you saying YES to FCS? FACSE Newsletter, March 1, 2016

Handy, D. J. (2015, Spring). We find strength in working together. WAFCS Connections, 80(1), 2.

Handy, D. J. (2014, Fall/Winter). Together we are…Making a difference for families! WAFCS Connections, 79(2), 2.

Handy, D. (2014). Gateway to healthy & sustainable families. WAFCS Connections, 79(2), 9.

Booren, L.M., Handy, D.J., & Power, T. (2011). Examining perceptions of school safety strategies, school climate, and violence.  Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 9(2), 171-187.

Handy, D.J., Rodgers, K.B., & Schweiterman, T.A. (2011). Youth Asset Mapping: Showcasing Youth Empowerment and Positive Adult-Youth Partnerships.  Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences.  103(1), 9-15.

Booren, L.M., Handy, D.J., & Power, T. (2010, August). Examining perceptions of school safety strategies, school climate, and violence.  Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

Booren, L. M. & Handy, D. J. (2009). Students’ perceptions of the importance of school safety strategies: An introduction to the IPSS survey. Journal of School Violence, 8(3), 233-250.

Ancich, A., Boyden, D, Hahn, K, Ward, S, Handy, D.  (2006). Safety resources for the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher.  Ellensburg, WA:  Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association.

Handy, D. J. & Wyatt, M.  (2005). Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum:  Learning a new process collaboratively.  Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 97(1), pg. 45-50.

Handy, D. J. (2004).  Developing student autonomy through technology.  In M. Pickard & C. Wright (Eds.), Education and Technology Division e-yearbook (23rd ed.): Using Technology in FCS Programs.  Alexandria, VA:  American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.