The Barbara Emily Knudson Chair in Family Policy

In 1991, a gift from Barbara Emily Knudson '39 made possible the establishment of the nation's first endowed chair in family policy. Her philanthropy, combined with the completion of the Family Study Center, affords OSU and its College of Public Health and Human Sciences the opportunity to become the national leader in the study of family issues.

In making her gift, Mrs. Knudson said: "Families are the basis of our entire world, and in the modern situation, with single parent families and so forth, I thought they needed more help and assistance."

Barbara Knudson continued the OSU tradition established by her father, Joel Emily, who was a member of the Oregon State Pacific Coast Championship football team in 1906. Following her graduation, she taught high school in Junction City for several years, eventually becoming dean of girls. She then married and moved to Portland where she did occasional substitute teaching. She was also active in the American Association of University Women and served on the board of the Christie School. Mrs. Knudson passed away in September 2009.

The holder of the Barbara Emily Knudson Chair in Family Policy serves as a resource in family policy issues to help prepare graduate students for service in a variety of public policy and community service capacities. The chair adds public policy analysis to the already strong family sciences undergraduate instruction, research, and community services programs in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.


Gloria Krahn

Gloria KrahnGloria Krahn became the Knudson Chair holder in 2013. She came to Oregon State from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, where she served as the director of the Division of Human Development and Disability in the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. She previously held positions as a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh, and several positions at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland including professor of pediatrics in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, director of the Oregon Institute on Disability & Development/University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, director of Rehabilitations and Research Center on Health of People with Long Term Disabilities, and associate director of the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center.

Krahn earned a master's degree and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Manitoba, Canada, and a master's of public health from the University of California, Berkeley; she also completed a postdoctoral residency at OHSU. Her work is grounded in intellectual and developmental disabilities, and she has found that health disparities provide a valuable lens for a public health approach to disabilities.

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