College of Education > News and Publications > 2015 January–March news > Morgan named Distinguished Researcher Award recipient

Morgan named Distinguished Researcher Award recipient

Paul L. Morgan, associate professor of education and director of the Educational Risk Initiative, was honored recently with a 2015 Distinguished Researcher Award.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Paul L. Morgan, associate professor of education and director of the Educational Risk Initiative, was honored recently with a 2015 Distinguished Researcher Award. The award, presented by the Special Education Research Special Interest Group (SER SIG) of the American Educational Research Association, recognizes a researcher for his or her significant contribution to special education research.

“I am truly honored to have received this award,” Morgan said. “I am very grateful to my colleagues and the members of SER SIG for their recognition and appreciation of these research efforts. My hope is that our findings result in better policies and practices for children with disabilities.”

According to SER SIG, the award is given to a researcher “whose body of research has made significant and sustained contributions to research, policy and/or practice in the field of special education.”

Morgan has excelled as a researcher since joining Penn State’s College of Education faculty in 2004. He has published 39 peer-reviewed studies and three book chapters, and has presented his research at national educational, public health, sociology and developmental psychology research conferences. His work has been published in Pediatrics, Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Educational Researcher, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Exceptional Children and other high-impact, peer-reviewed journals. He also has been the recipient of nearly 20 competitive grant awards, including most recently being named one of six inaugural awardees for the Spencer Foundation’s Midcareer Grant Program.

Findings from Morgan’s investigations have been reported by CBS News, CNN, U.S. News and World Report, Education Week, Fox News, The Australian, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Reuters. His recent study on instructional practices provided to first-grade children with and without mathematics difficulties was the third-most read study published last year across any of AERA’s six peer-reviewed journals and was identified as a “top lesson” from educational research by NPR. He has been previously recognized with the Distinguished Early Career Award by the Council of Educational Children’s Division of Research and the Outstanding Senior Researcher Award by Penn State’s College of Education.

Founded in 1916, The American Educational Research Association is a national research society that “strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.” In addition to awards presented by its special interest groups, AERA’s main organization also presents awards for excellence in education research. This year, David Baker, professor of education and sociology, was honored with the Outstanding Book Award for “The Schooled Society: The Educational Transformation of Global Culture.”

By Jessica Buterbaugh (March 2015)