Danielle Empson Named Director of McDowell Institute at Bloomsburg University

Bloomsburg, PA (06/21/2021) — (photo available by request)

Danielle Empson has been named director of the McDowell Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Empson has served as the Institute's director of school-based behavioral health since 2017.

She takes over for Tim Knoster, a professor in BU's College of Education department of exceptionality programs, who helped establish the McDowell Institute in 2012 and has been serving as its interim director since 2017.

The McDowell Institute was established to prepare educators to become fluent in comprehension and application of positive behavior interventions and supports. Specifically, the McDowell Institute cultivates excellence in professional educators by strategically infusing skills in social, emotional and behavioral wellness of students in PK-12 educational settings within pre-service educators' coursework and practicum experiences as well as in-service training across school systems.

The dean of BU's College of Education, Daryl Fridley, says the McDowell Institute is in good hands.

"Danielle's passion for, and experience with, the Institute bode well for its future success," said Fridley. "The McDowell Institute will continue to be an integral part of our college, and I look forward to seeing how Danielle's vision will color that work."

"I am excited to have the opportunity to continue expanding the impact and reach of the McDowell Institute to support educators and related human service providers to meet the needs of the children and youth they support," said Empson, a two-time graduate of BU who earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2015 and a master's degree in special education and teaching in 2017. "I also want to thank Tim (Knoster) for all his guidance and support the last few years. It has been great to work with him to grow the reach and influence of McDowell."

Fridley also noted the efforts of Knoster for his work leading the McDowell Institute.

"I thank Tim Knoster for his work with the McDowell Institute over the last several years," Fridley said. "Not only has he kept the McDowell Institute going, he has increased its regional impact, while continuing to teach and, in recent years, serving as interim chairperson of the counseling department. I am glad that Tim will continue to be heavily involved in the Institute's work. He has been an incredible asset."