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lori  simons, phd, lpc, ccdp-d, cac-d professor of psychology

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Lori Simons PhD, LPC, CCDP-D, CAC-D

Professor

  • PhD Educational Psychology 2001

    Temple University (PA)

  • MS Experimental Psychology 1994

    St. Joseph's University (PA)

  • BA Psychology 1991

    Neumann University (PA)

  • PSY/ED 202 Educational Psychology: Early Learners

  • PSY 215 Multicultural Psychology

  • PSY 375 Counseling and Psychotherapy

As an educational psychologist, I believe that research is an integral part of the study of teaching and learning. Research is meaningful when it is used to improve teaching strategies and student learning. My research approach is rooted in a continual assessment of student learning using a feedback loop for ongoing improvement. I use quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative methods are used to measure changes in student learning from the beginning to the end of the course while qualitative methods are used to detect information about the learning process that occurs in the course and service context. Qualitative data are used to refine, explain, and extend quantitative findings. The use of this mixed-method approach contributes to a deeper, more complete understanding of student development and learning. My research agenda is divided into two broad areas: pedagogical scholarship and program evaluation. In the area of pedagogical scholarship, my work has focused on the impact of academic- and cultural-based service-learning on student learning and to evaluate the contributions that student service activities make in the community. I also include community partners in the development and implementation phases of assessment. In this context research serves a dual purpose. It enhances the educational experiences of students and enriches students' contributions to the community. Assessment efforts are used to refine pedagogical methods and to most effectively tailor teaching practices to both students' and partners' needs. In the area of program evaluation, I have worked with organizations and programs to evaluate the effectiveness of community interventions and make recommendations for improvement. In a recent study, I assessed addiction professionals' views in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Certification Board. I devote my research efforts on projects that have value for undergraduate students and community partners. My recent work with community partners, as well as my scholarship on service-learning cultivates a climate of student engagement in research among students who collaborate with me on research. This is particularly important to me because it provides students with an opportunity to put their knowledge of psychological research into practice and strengthens the university-community partnership.

Selected Awards

  • CASE's Professor of the Year Award Nominee, 2013

  • Widener University, Faculty Award for Civic Engagement, 2012

  • Arts and Sciences Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008

Selected Publications

  • Simons, L., Fehr, L., Blank, N., Fernandez, D., Georganas, D., Padro, J., & Peterson, V. (2013). A comparative analysis of experiential education and student development: Does the type of service matter?. World Journal of Education, 3(3), 63–74.

  • Simons, L., Fehr, L., Blank, N., Connell, H., Fernandez, D., Georganas, D., Padro, J., & Peterson, V. (2012). Lessons learned from experiential learning: What do students learn from a practicum/internship. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 24(3), 325–334.

  • Simons, L., Fehr, L., Blank, N., Hogerwerff, F., Georganas, D., & Russell, B. (2011). The application of the racial identity development in academic-based service-learning. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 23(1), 72–83.

APA/Division 2, PCB, American Counseling Association (ACA), International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE)