College of Education > News and Publications > 2017: 07-09 news > Associate dean Knight named dean at Southern Methodist University

Associate dean Knight named dean at Southern Methodist University

Stephanie Knight, associate dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in Penn State's College of Education, will step down on Aug. 1 to become the next dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The College has launched an internal search for her successor.

Stephanie KnightStephanie Knight, associate dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in Penn State's College of Education, will step down on Aug. 1 to become the next dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The College has launched an internal search for her successor.

"Stephanie Knight has played key leadership roles during her tenure as associate dean in the College," said Dean David H. Monk. "She has streamlined our curriculum and made great progress at strengthening relations with the Graduate School and the University Senate. She is a dependable source of knowledgeable and thoughtful advice on wide-ranging issues, and I will miss her day-to-day presence in the Dean’s Office. At the same time, I am glad to see her career progress and look forward to staying closely connected to her in her new role at SMU."

Knight joined the College of Education faculty in 2009 as professor of education in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education, and became associate dean in 2013.

"My fondest memories are the interactions I have had with the many talented faculty, staff, students and administrators I have worked with over the past nine years," Knight said. "My friends and colleagues have taught me so much and I have them to thank for the desire, skills and knowledge that will contribute to the next phase of my professional life."

Knight teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on educational psychology; integrated teaching methods for special education and English Language Learners; and research methods in teacher education. Her areas of research expertise include the relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes, particularly in U.S. urban and international settings; preservice and in-service teacher professional development; and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes.

Her scholarly interests demonstrate a dedication to bringing the results of evidence-based research to the K-12 classroom. Her research into relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes; teacher professional development, and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes has been published in hundreds of professional journal articles, book chapters and books and presented at numerous professional conferences.

Knight began her education career as a classroom teacher of Spanish and French in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor's degree in romance languages and literature at the University of Kentucky; her master's and certification in secondary education at Lehigh University; and her doctorate in educational curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston. She began a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M University, where she was professor of educational psychology and teaching, learning and culture. In addition, she held the Houston Endowment Inc. Chair in Urban Education at Texas A&M, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was named a University Faculty Fellow.

Knight has directed university and national research centers, including serving as associate director of research into practice for the National Science Foundation Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning and director of evaluation and assessment for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C.  

She recently concluded five years as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and also served from 2004 to 2006 as co-editor of the Teaching, Learning and Human Development section of the American Educational Research Journal. She currently serves as associate editor of the Review of Educational Research.

"I hope faculty, staff, and students remember me for the enthusiasm and commitment I tried to bring to my work here – and for how appreciative I was for the opportunities given me in the College and University," Knight said. "Penn State, and particularly the College of Education, made the roles of both faculty member and administrator particularly enjoyable and memorable."

By Annemarie Mountz (July 2017)