Willa Cather Professor
UNL Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies
Child Development and Early Education Specialist
Helen H. Raikes, Ph.D., is Willa Cather Professor Emeritus of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her area of study has been early childhood education, largely focused on using research to improve outcomes and opportunities for low-income children before school begins and on optimizing growth trajectories of children’s early emotional, language and physiological development. She has received awards for research, teaching and mentoring and is author of two books and over a hundred scholarly articles. She is a frequent presenter on early childhood, Head Start and child care research projects, and provided leadership for the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, begun when she was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Policy Fellow at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and years beyond the fellowship. Recently, she completed a cross cultural study of low-income children’s self-regulation with collaborators in Ankara, Turkey, and is involved in projects in Colombia, and Rwanda that focuses on water quality and child stunting. In Nebraska, she serves on boards of directors for Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, Sixpence Early Childhood Partnership, Lincoln Community Foundation and the Buffett Early Childhood Fund. She practices yoga. She lives on a family farm that has been in her husband’s family for generations. She is running for the Nebraska Legislature in a rural district.