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I'm a professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP). I teach educational psychology, including motivation, instruction, honoring difference, and student behavior. I also teach courses in middle school methods, school leadership & reform, and media analysis. As a scientist, I primarily focus on motivation, including related human capacities such as creativity and collaboration.

As a kid, I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. When I was 12, we moved to Portland, Oregon, which I think of as my home town. I earned my Bachelor's of Arts in Chemistry from Reed College in 1998, and my Master's in Teaching from Concordia University in 1999. I taught high school for three years in Tigard, Oregon, including English language arts, speech, algebra, and business technology. I was also the assistant coach of the speech/forensics team. Next, I worked as a researcher at a federally-funded regional educational laboratory for one year, where I focused on open source software and other open models.

In 2003, I moved to Lansing, Michigan, to earn a PhD in Learning, Technology, and Culture from the College of Education at Michigan State University. My interdisciplinary studies included education, psychology, technology, and media. In 2006, I finished my dissertation and started my position at UWSP. In addition to earning tenure, I've been elected to several top leadership roles in shared governance, and I've worked part-time as a senior aide to the provost and chancellor. In January 2016, I took over as Associate Dean of our School of Education.

My recreations include video games, novels, short stories, movies, and TV. I particularly enjoy contemporary fantasy, speculative science fiction, and military science fiction. Partly because I spend a lot of time sitting in front of screens, I also prioritize diet and exercise.

My partner Jodi shares many of my interests. We met in 1994, and we were married in 1999. We have two daughters: Bayli Cadence (born 2004) and Dani Ember (born 2007). We have two cats: Xena and Wednesday.

Here are some of my favorite things:

  • Books: Pride & Prejudice; The Diamond Age; A Game of Thrones; The Dresden Files
  • Color: purple
  • Foods: chocolate & peanut butter; sweet potato fries
  • Games: System Shock/Bioshock series; Civilization series; Metroid series; many more
  • Movies: Aliens; Dead Poets Society; How to Train Your Dragon; Toy Story
  • Music: Desire (Ryan Adams); The Mission (Main Theme); Hang with Me (Robyn); Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  • Television: The West Wing; Doctor Who

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"Yet" is a very powerful word. It changes "I can't do this" into "I can't do this yet."

​Kym Buchanan

CC 2018 | Kym Buchanan

Photo of Kym by Eva Donohoo


Dr. Kym Buchanan is the Associate Dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He started his career as a high school teacher and went on to earn his PhD in Learning, Technology, and Culture. Kym's teaching, research, and outreach include motivation, positive psychology, diversity, and technology. He's currently exploring connections among mindset, creativity, and happiness. Kym has been with his partner since 1994 and they have two daughters.