Kimberlee Spencer, Ph.D.

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Clinical Assistant Professor and Child Life Coordinator

206 Family Science Center (House A)
403 Sanford Dr.
Athens, GA 30602


workOffice Phone: 706-542-9038

Curriculum Vitae

Current Classes

HDFS 2950 - Child Development

HDFS 4810-6810- Hospitalized Child and Family

HDFS 6830- Death, Dying, and Bereavement


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
PhD Child Development Texas Woman's University 2011
MA Early Childhood Education Concordia University 2005
BA Education Columbia College 2001


Dr. Spencer is interested in the emotional well-being of children in hospital settings and how to support children through death, dying, and bereavement. She is currently devleoping research on family satisfaction with child life services in Regional medical centers. 

Current Research

My focus is on evaluating the efficacy of Child Life services on patient and family coping during chronic and acute illness as well as patient death. This information is used to develop resources for Certified Child Life Specialists in clinical practice as well as students preparing for certification. 


Child Development, Professional Development, Therapeutic Benefits of Play, Working with Hospitalized Children and Families, Death, Dying, and Bereavement,  Practicum and Internship


Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children Board Member 2017- present

Little Lives Matter Faculty Advisor 2016-present

Southern Early Childhood Association Editiorial Reviewer 2015-present

National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference Proposal Reviewer 2014-present

Areas of Expertise

Child Life

Stress and Coping in Childhood

Children's understanding of death, dying, and bereavement

Social and emotional devleopment in children

Prior Professional Positions

Organization / Department Title Years of Service
US Navy Administrator of Child and Youth Programs 5
Tarleton State University Assistant Professor 3

Journal Articles

Spencer, K. (Summer 2014). On second thought…Why some families don’t seem involved. Texas Child Care Quarterly.


Spencer, K. & Petty, K. (Summer 2007). How do they do it? Second language acquisition in

         pre-k. Texas Child Care Quarterly.


Stephens, E. & Spencer, K. (winter 2013). Supporting children’s literacy development: A collection of authentic tools. Texas Child Care Quarterly.


Wise, B.A. (2015). Little Investigators Play and Grow Curriculum. Chicago: Robert-Leslie Publishing.