College of Education and Human Development
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5229 USA
- Ph.D. University of Miami, 2006, Applied Developmental Psychology
- M.S. University of Miami, 2003, Applied Developmental Psychology
- B.A. Florida International University, 2000, Psychology
Laura Dinehart, Ph.D. serves as the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University. Dr. Dinehart earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Miami and began her academic career as an assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at Florida International University in 2006. Before arriving at WMU, Dr. Dinehart served as the Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at Florida International University, where she oversaw a 400% increase in external funding and as of 2023 and was the country’s second fastest rising unit on US News and World Report’s Graduate Education Schools. Under her leadership, the school launched several new programs critical to supporting public partnerships with local school districts and community stakeholders.
Dr. Dinehart’s research, which has appeared in multiple top-tier journals and at numerous international conferences, focuses primarily on the developmental and early academic outcomes of young children within the context of the early care and education environment. Her work on fine motor skills and its effects on later academic achievement gained national media attention in 2012 and featured as a front-page story of the Sun-Sentinel, a special section on education in The Miami Herald, and on several online outlets including, State Impact/NPR, CNN’s Schools of Thought and Education Week. More recently, Dr. Dinehart’s work has expanded to focus on the business and leadership practices of early learning center directors.