Texas Tech University

Sara L. Dodd, Ph.D.

Executive Director for Center of Adolescent Resiliency, Associate Professor
Human Development and Family Sciences

Email: sara.dodd@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-2291

Office: HS 308

Currently accepting graduate students for Fall 2022

Sara L. Dodd, Ph.D.

Research Focus

Dr. Dodd's research interests include youth leadership development and mentoring, adolescent health and wellness, service-learning, and community engagement.

My research focus is transdisciplinary, reflecting my interests and beliefs about the complexity of human behavior, particularly with regard to adolescents and their well-being.  As the Director of the Center for Adolescent Resiliency, I work collaboratively with scientists and practitioners from many academic disciplines (e.g. communication, human development, counseling, education, human nutrition, family & consumer science, health).  Our work looks at contexts and individual factors from socioecological and developmental perspectives, always seeking to understand how and why individuals can be equipped, motivated, and supported to adopt behaviors that promote and sustain health across multiple life domains.   I value working collaboratively in order to identify and enlist expertise, experience, and methodology to best answer diverse research questions and test new models.  Consequently, most of my research projects utilize mixed methods.

During the past decade, I have worked closely with a variety of community partners to support Texas Tech University's strategic commitment to engaged scholarship, including United Supermarkets, the Talkington Foundation, Lubbock Independent School District and other area school districts, TTU Early Head Start, Communities in Schools, Lubbock County juvenile justice programs, Texas AgriLife Extension/4-H, and many other community organizations. I firmly believe that community-based research and engagement is necessary to the growth of Texas Tech University and to the overall well-being of young people and families across Texas.

Areas of Expertise

  • Youth development and youth leadership
  • Leadership theory and development; mentoring
  • Comprehensive wellness; health behavior
  • Food competence/dietary behavior
  • Mixed methods and research design

Selected Publications

Follmer-Reece, H. E., Velez-Gomez, P., Moratto-Vásquez, N. M., & Dodd, S. L. (2021). On the right path: Youth development amidst Colombia's sociocultural transition. Journal of Youth Development, 16(2-3), 175-196. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2021.1034

Saha, S., Dawson, J., Murimi, M., Dodd, S. L., & Oldewage, W. (2020). Effects of a nutrition education intervention to promote fruit and vegetable knowledge, preference, cooking, and consumption self-efficacy among Title I elementary school children. Published online July 31, 2020, Health Education Journal, 79, 963-973. doi.org/10.1177/0017896920944421

Dodd, S. L., Long, J. D., Hou, J., O'Boyle, M., & Kahathuduwa, C.N. (2020). Brain activation and affective judgement in response to personal dietary images: An fMRI preliminary study. Appetite, 148, 1 May 2020, 104561.  doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2019.104561

Dodd, S. L., Follmer-Reece, H., Gonzales, G., Nunez, C., & Cude, K. (2020). Integrated Service Learning Strategies for Student Engagement. In A. Zimmerman, (Ed.), Preparing Students for Community-Engaged Scholarship in Higher Education. Hershey, Pennsylvania:  IGI Global.

Long, J. D., Dodd, S. L., Doumit, R., Boswell, C., O'Boyle, M., & Rogers, T. (2020). Integrative Review of Evidence Related to Dietary Choice Revealed by fMRI: Considerations for Obesity and Weight Loss Education.  Worldviews on Evidence Based Nursing, 17, 151-157.  doi.org/10.1111/wvn.12424

Sherman, K., Gonzales, G., Dodd, S. L., & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2017). United Future Leaders Ambassadors: How do we engage young leaders in community service? The Journal of Leadership Education, 16(3), 9-23. DOI:1012806/V16/I3/A2.

Kostina-Ritchey, E., Velez-Gomez, P., & Dodd, S. L.  (2017). Student assets and commitment to learning in an afterschool leadership development program: Looking beyond the myths. Middle Grades Research Journal, 11(2), 49-60.

Sherman, K., Gonzales, G., Kostina-Ritchey, E., & Dodd, S. L. (2016). Mentoring the mentors:  A systematic approach to formal and informal training of collegiate leaders. In F. Salamone & M. Snipes, (Eds.), Passing the Torch: Mentoring the Next Generation. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom:  Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Dodd, S., Follmer-Reece, H., & Ritchey, E. R. (2015).  Food Challenge: Cultivating Food Competence among Adolescents. Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 5(4), 71-84.