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Get to know your professor: Blake Hansen (SPED)

Updated: Apr 3

I have been a professor at BYU since 2010, but since there was a hiring freeze, I was part-time for 2 years. I got hired into the CPSE department in 2012 and became a tenured, associate professor in 2018. I am one of the few professors I know who was never a BYU student. I went to Snow College, Salt Lake Community College (Associates Degree in History), U of U (Bachelor's degree in History and French teaching), then Utah State University for my Special Education license. I returned to the U of U to get my master's in Special Education Research, and University of Kansas for my PhD in Behavioral Psychology. I've attended a lot of universities, and I love BYU! I am from Salt Lake City, and most of my friends and family are U of U fans, so I didn't picture myself working here, but a non-member professor of mine in Kansas told me to consider coming here, and I have no regrets in taking his advice.

Since being at BYU, I have gone on 6 international research trips with students to Europe and Eastern Europe, and 3 international humanitarian trips to Eastern Europe with other professionals. I am licensed as a professional behavior analyst, and I do behavior therapy with children with autism and I am heavily involved in research and practice on parenting children with developmental differences. I served my mission in Albania at a time there was a refugee crisis and after my mission, I spent time working for Catholic Community Services on Refugee Resettlement in Salt Lake City.

I have four kids and in my spare time I do music (guitar, bass, and production with electronic instruments). I started out my college experience on a music scholarship, but my mission to Albania changed my mind about my future plans. My favorite music styles are Jazz, Hip-Hop, Funk, Soul, and 60s-70s Rock. I also like skiing (snow and water), camping, hiking, etc.

Advice I give my students includes: while you are a student, take advantage of all of the possible opportunities to learn by doing new things. Travel and get experience in diverse areas such as big cities, international humanitarian work, people with disabilities, etc. You never know what you'll find as your passion if you never try new things. My life has been one where one experience led to another, until I found things I'm very passionate about. In high school, I wanted to be a professional musician. Within 10 years, I found myself getting a PhD in Psychology and working with kids in inner city schools in Kansas City. 10 years after that, I found myself at BYU, getting tenure, doing international work, and loving what I do and the students who make all of this possible.

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