Dorothy Espelage
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
William C. Friday Disting Term Professor

Year Elected


Membership status

Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D., is William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of North Carolina. She is the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science, the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, 2023 Bully Research Network Lifetime Achievement Award in Bully Prevention, and is a Fellow of APS, APA, and AERA. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Education, awarded the SPR Prevention Science Award in 2020, and received a lifetime mentoring award from the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1997. Over the last 30 years, she has authored over 300 peer- reviewed articles, eight edited books, and 80 chapters on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, dating violence, social-emotional learning interventions, and adolescent suicide. Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming and she has secured over 20 million dollars of external funding. She advises members of Congress and Senate on bully prevention legislation. She conducts regular webinars for CDC, NIH, and NIJ to disseminate research. She has conducted randomized clinical trials to evaluate K-12 social-emotional learning programs to reduce youth aggression, peer-led interventions to address sexual violence and suicidal behaviors, and virtual reality-based bully prevention programs. Findings of her research are guiding state, national, and international efforts to prevent youth violence and promote positive school climates. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011, and has been a consultant on the website and consultant to the National Anti-bullying Campaign, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She has presented multiple times at the Federal Partnership to End Bullying Summit and Conference. She is a consultant to the National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Initiative to address bullying and youth suicide. Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson, Anderson 360 and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Her dedicated team of undergraduate and graduate students are committed to the dissemination of the research through various mechanisms.

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