College of Education > News and Publications > 2016: 07-09 news > Lee named acting department head in EPCSE

Lee named acting department head in EPCSE

David Lee will serve as the acting head of the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education (EPCSE) in the College of Education through June 30, 2017.

David LeeDavid Lee will serve as the acting head of the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education (EPCSE) in the College of Education through June 30, 2017. He accepted the role effective July 1 to fill the vacancy created when former Department Head Kathy Bieschke was named interim dean of the Schreyer Honors College.

“Dr. Bieschke has provided strong leadership for EPCSE over the past few years. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve our faculty, staff, and students as Acting Department Head.”

Lee, who also is professor of education (special education), started his Penn State career as assistant professor of special education at Penn State Great Valley. He became program coordinator of special education at the campus in 2002. In 2004, Lee was named assistant professor of education at University park. He was promoted to associate professor in 2005, and was professor-in-charge of the special education graduate program from 2005-2008. Also in 2005 he became academic director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Program. He was promoted to professor of education (special education) in 2014.

Lee's research focuses on strategies to help students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD), or at risk for EBD, overcome academic performance deficits. The overarching question asked in his research is, “How can we help children/adolescents, who typically do not engage in academic tasks, begin and engage in those tasks for longer periods of time in order to produce more fluent performance?” Students who refuse to engage in academic or social activities are at risk for failure. In order to learn any skill, whether it be reading, math, or playing a musical instrument, one must first make contact with the relevant materials and then remain at high levels of engagement as they practice the skill. Unfortunately, many students with EBD fail to engage in academic activities, which leads to a continuous cycle of frustration, lack of engagement, and ultimately academic failure. His research aim is to break this cycle.

By Annemarie Mountz (August 2016)