Lehigh University
Lehigh University


DuPaul earns prestigious Senior Scientist Award from American Psychological Association

George DuPaul joins an elite group of researchers to receive the Senior Scientist Award.

When George DuPaul takes a look at his former students, he sees a handful of professionals who, in a relatively short amount of time, have already begun to make their mark on school psychology.

After all, more than one-third of the school psychology program’s alumni have gone on to seek professorships at universities across the country. Four have been honored with the Lightner Witmer Award, a recognition of the field’s most promising young researchers.

It’s an impressive record for the program and a testament to its commitment to research. And it’s a measure of the strength of its faculty, who’ve consistently been ranked among the nation’s most productive and research-active in the school psychology community.

The highly-touted success of the program is one that DuPaul, chair of the department of education and human services in Lehigh’s College of Education, has helped fashion during his fifteen-year tenure on Mountaintop Campus.

For that effort, along with his research that is changing the way we think about childhood issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), DuPaul was recognized by his peers in the American Psychological Association (APA) this past weekend. He was honored for his scholarly contributions and pioneering research, earning the prestigious 2008 Senior Scientist Award by the APA’s Division of School Psychology.

The Senior Scientist Award is given to school psychologists who have consistently demonstrated exceptional scholarship that merits special recognition.

“This is an incredible honor and one that I may not have realized if it weren’t for the passion and dedication of my colleagues and our graduate students,” says DuPaul. “I’ve had the good fortune to be able to work with some of the most talented professionals in the field today.”

According to the APA, “Dr. George DuPaul has sustained a highly impressive record of programmatic research targeting individuals with ADHD. He has distinguished himself as an international leader in school-based interventions for ADHD.”

In particular, the association highlights his work on interventions for children, adolescents and young adults with ADHD, including peer-meditated, computer-assisted and teacher-directed strategies.

Just as important, the APA says that DuPaul has been a “wonderful mentor” who has launched many successful careers.

“A consummate professional”

“George’s peers in the school psychology field couldn’t have found a more deserving recipient for this award,” says Gary M. Sasso, dean of the College of Education. “Not only is he a pioneer for his work in behavioral disorders, but he is a consummate professional who is truly dedicated to his students. We’re proud to have him as a colleague and a mentor for the next generation of school psychologists.”

The Division of School Psychology of the APA represents those involved with children, families and the schooling process. Demonstrating that his work has an impact beyond the school environment, DuPaul was also named as a Fellow of the APA’s Society of Pediatric Psychology.

Like the Senior Scientist Award, the Fellow status was bestowed by DuPaul’s peers. He now joins a small and highly-regarded contingent of pediatric psychologists whose body of distinctive research has had a national impact on the field.

There are a little more than 60 practitioners and scholars who have attained the honor. DuPaul has previously been accorded Fellow status by APA’s Division of School Psychology and Division of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

DuPaul’s contributions to school psychology have been noteworthy for many reasons, but his focus on early interventions for children pre-disposed to, or diagnosed with, ADHD has garnered international attention.

Within the past 18 months, DuPaul and colleagues Lee Kern, professor of special education, and Asha Jitendra, professor of special education now at the University of Minnesota, have concluded groundbreaking, multi-year studies on children who display the symptoms of ADHD. Although both were funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and focused on non-medicinal intervention strategies, one grant studied the pre-school population, and the other reported on academic interventions for elementary-aged children.

“Dr. DuPaul exemplifies a primary goal of Division 16—to expand scientific and scholarly knowledge in the specialty. He is unequivocally one of the most prolific and influential scholars in the field of school psychology,” says Dr. Tammy Hughes, associate professor of school psychology at Duquesne University and president of the APA’s Division of School Psychology.

“His contributions in the area of ADHD have real-time impact on the quality and direction of service to children and will for years to come,” she says.

It’s the second time in four years that College of Education faculty has been honored with the award. Edward S. Shapiro, director of the college’s Center for Promoting Research to Practice, won the award in 2006.

The school psychology program, under the tutelage of Chris Cole, professor and program coordinator, is small compared to most of their counterparts: Five tenure-track faculty work closely with about 60 graduate students, two-thirds of whom are doctoral candidates. Together, faculty and students have written more than 80 publications and presentations during past five years.

”To be recognized by my peers with this prestigious award is one of the highlights of my career,” says DuPaul. “I am truly humbled to follow in the footsteps of Ed Shapiro and others who have won this award before me.”

DuPaul discussed his recent research and, particularly, the use of academic, behavior and social interventions when working with children during a special one-hour broadcast of Take Charge of Your Life that aired on WDIY, the Lehigh Valley’s National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, on Aug. 20.

--Tom Yencho

Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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