The College of Health and Human Development celebrates Peter Molenaar, who is retiring at the end of the fall 2021 semester. Peter, a remarkable scholar, teacher, mentor, and friend, joined the faculty of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in 2005, coming from the University of Amsterdam. Peter has made field-altering, transformational contributions to the fields of cognitive science, behavioral and quantitative genetics, source modeling of EEG data, and the analysis of psychological processes.
His work instituted what many characterize as a paradigm-shift in the analysis of psychological processes, demonstrating that analyses that yield results best representative of participants in any given sample require a characterization of intra-, rather than inter-individual variation, and he developed innovative statistical techniques, such as dynamic factor modeling, to address this concern.
Peter has received many prestigious awards and honors for his work during his time at Penn State, including the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award from the College of Health and Human Development and the Aston Gottesman Lecture Award from the University of Virginia, both in 2010. He was awarded the rank of distinguished professor in 2011, the Sells Award for Distinguished Mulitvariate Research from the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP) in 2013, and the Tanaka Award from SMEP in 2017. Even considering his stellar contributions, Peter has embraced and devoted significant amounts of time to teaching and mentoring. He has prepared four widely acclaimed graduate methods courses in HDFS that have been attended not just by HDFS students, but by students (and faculty) from a wide array of disciplines across campus.
Peter’s presence in HDFS influenced a number of faculty to accept faculty positions in HDFS. The department’s Quantitative Developmental Systems faculty group is unique to the field of quantitative methods, with Peter serving as its inaugural director.
A Festschrift in Peter’s honor is being planned for Feb. 11-12.
The hybrid conference will be held in the Living Center, 110 Henderson on Friday, February 11, 2022 from 9 am-4 pm and on Saturday, February 12 from 9:30 am-12:30. There will be live stream on Zoom for those who prefer to join us virtually.
In honor of Peter's leading contributions across a broad range of methodological, developmental, and substantive areas, we plan to fill the day and a half celebration with both scientific presentations and personal stories by Dr. Molenaar’s students, colleagues, and collaborators.
This event is co-sponsored by the Quantitative Developments Systems group, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and the Social Science Research Institute.
We request that you kindly RSVP January 17 to Carolyn Scott firstname.lastname@example.org Please let us know if you plan to attend in person or virtually.
Best regards from the Planning Committee,
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Director, Quantitative Development Systems Methodology Core
Professor of Longitudinal Data Analysis
Universiteit Utrecht, NL
Professor of Communication and Psychology