University of Illinois at Chicago administrator Kimberly Lawless has been appointed dean of Penn State’s College of Education and will officially begin her tenure Sept. 1. She replaces David Monk, who announced last October that he would step down.
“I am honored and delighted to be selected as the new dean of the College of Education at Penn State,” Lawless said in a release. “Together, we are poised to address the critically important and serious challenges that face education in our state and across the nation.”
Lawless currently serves as associate dean for research of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her time in the role, research productivity in the college increased by more than 40 percent in four years. She is also a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and served as department chair from 2009 to 2013. She held a faculty position at Utah State University before launching a 20-year career at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lawless’ current research focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and analyzing how teachers can use technology and real-life examples to keep students engaged in STEM fields.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College, a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut, and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut.
Lawless is a member of the American Educational Research Association, Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education, Eastern Educational Research Association, and the American Psychological Society. Lawless currently serves on the editorial boards of Review of Educational Research, Reading Research Quarterly, and the International Journal of Instructional Media.
“A robust search process yielded a strong pool of candidates, but Kim emerged as the ideal person to lead the College of Education,” Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones said. “She brings passion and energy to her work, a clear excitement to roll up her sleeves and engage with the college community, and a strong strategic direction that will build on the college’s excellence in teaching and research.”