Lesaux Named Professor of EducationBy Jill Anderson
Nonie Lesaux, a developmental psychologist focused on cognitive and linguistic factors in children’s and adolescents’ reading, has been named a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education effective July 1, 2012. Lesaux joined the HGSE faculty as an assistant professor in 2003.
“Nonie Lesaux is an extraordinary scholar dedicated to improving education opportunities for students from diverse linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. She has a rigorous and influential research program, and is deeply committed to translating her research findings into successful interventions and substantive policies,” said Dean Kathleen McCartney. “Nonie is frequently asked to share her expertise as an advisory board member to organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute for Education Sciences, further increasing her impact in the field. At HGSE, students’ praise Nonie’s teaching and mentorship, and she has been a strong institutional citizen, most recently spearheading an effort to formalize professional development for our many doctoral teaching fellows.”
Lesaux leads a research program that focuses on increasing learning opportunities for students from diverse linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds in today’s classrooms. Her research on reading and vocabulary development, and instructional strategies to prevent reading difficulties has implications for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. She is the principal investigator on several large research projects, including a randomized controlled trial of a language intervention she and her colleagues designed. In 2008, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to scholars in the early stages of their careers.
“I am deeply honored to be promoted to the rank of full professor, and to have the opportunity to continue my teaching and program of research at HGSE,” Lesaux said. “This is a vibrant and inspiring community, a place where the effort to advance children’s education and well-being is at the forefront of the collective agenda. Here, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with esteemed colleagues and talented students, conducting research to inform setting-level interventions and public policy to support academically vulnerable populations.”
Lesaux holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in educational psychology and special education from the University of British Columbia and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Mount Allison University.