Kansas State University


Personal Financial Planning

Welcome our newest professor-Derek Lawson

Derek R. Lawson, Ph.D., CFP®, defended his dissertation in early September and will officially graduate this December. Derek is also active in providing financial planning services to clients, serving as a Partner and financial planner for Priority Financial Partners, based in Durango, CO. They serve clients nationally via virtual financial planning. Prior to pursuing a doctorate, he worked for a small, fee-only firm, Sonas Financial, based in Kansas City, MO. He has an extensive background in the industry, having served as Secretary for the National FPA NexGen group, Treasurer of the Financial Therapy Association, and as the Social Media & Marketing Strategist for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors Genesis group.

After a year of teaching at Texas Tech University’s renown Personal Financial Planning program, Derek is excited to be able to bring his network of financial planning professionals and his industry experience back to the K-State classroom to provide practical activities to help the students connect the textbook to real world applications, as well as arrange more opportunities for students to connect to industry professionals.

Derek’s doctoral research focuses on relationship dynamics, physiological stressors, financial therapy, behavioral finance and consumption decisions. His work has been published in the Journal of Financial Planning, Financial Services Review, the Journal of Financial Therapy, and the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, and he has co-authored a chapter on Money Scripts in the book Financial Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, as well as a chapter on property and casualty insurance in the CFP Board Financial Planning Competency Handbook (2nd ed.). He earned his M.S. in Family Studies and Human Services with an emphasis in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University and completed the Financial Therapy Certificate program.

When Derek isn’t pursuing his passion of teaching the next generation of great financial planners or helping young professionals better understand the world of personal finance, he enjoys playing ice hockey and being outdoors with his wife, Ashley, and their two dogs. They are expecting their first child in February 2020!