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College of Education > Dean Kimberly A. Lawless > Dean Kimberly A. Lawless

Dean Kimberly A. Lawless

Picture, short bio and contact information for Dean Kimberly A. Lawless.

Kim LawlessGreetings and welcome to the Penn State College of Education. As the new dean in the Penn State College of Education, I am excited to introduce myself, as well as to connect with you.

I joined the College as dean and professor of education (educational psychology) this fall after a 20-year career at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). At UIC, I served as the associate dean for research for six years, following two terms as a department chair.

As I begin the deanship here at Penn State, I have been deeply focused on connecting with the human and intellectual capital of the College. The mission of the College of Education at Penn State is to deepen and extend knowledge about the formation and utilization of human capabilities. This broad and exciting mission permits us to focus on teaching, learning and research in many different content areas and with learners of many different ages.

Our mission has given rise to numerous top-rated programs impacting all sectors of the educational ecosystem, including the preparation of future teachers, counselors, psychologists, administrators, therapists and policy analysts. A significant addition to our program portfolio is a minor in social justice that allows students across the entire University to critically examine educative practices that can improve the trajectory of our citizenry. Finally, our mission helps drive the cutting-edge research conducted by our faculty and students that endeavors to understand and address enduring issues in education.

I encourage all visitors to this site to explore the richness of the College of Education at Penn State. If you are a prospective student, I encourage you to explore the numerous residential and online programs of study we offer, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as the exciting research projects currently being explored by our faculty. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in learning more about our work or have any additional questions. We monitor the address regularly and try to respond to questions promptly. You also can reach the dean’s office at 814-865-2526.

Again, welcome and best wishes.

About the Dean

Kimberly A. Lawless is professor of education (educational psychology) and dean of the College of Education at Penn State. She earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Connecticut in 1996; her M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1994; and her B.A. in psychology from Boston College in 1991. She joined the College this fall after a 20-year career at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she most recently held the position of associate dean for research in that institution’s College of Education.

Lawless' research, which garnered more than $30 million in grants and contracts during her time at UIC, focuses on the meaningful integration of educational technology with an emphasis on seventh- and eighth-grade students’ STEM and writing skills development.

She has been recognized throughout her career with several honors and awards, which most recently include the 2018 Distinguished Researcher in the Social Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago; and the 2016 Best Paper Award from the Cognition and Engaged Learning in the Digital Age Conference (CELDA).

Contact Information

Kimberly A. Lawless, Dean
College of Education
274 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802