Carol Lee Named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Carol Lee Named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Carol Lee


SESP professor Carol Lee was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers.

Membership in the Academy is awarded to innovative thinkers from various fields and professions, as the Academy convenes accomplished leaders to address critical challenges facing society. The organization sponsors lectures, discussions, publications and policy studies.

Lee is the Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern and a former president of the American Education Research Association. She is also the author of two books, Culture, Literacy and Learning and Signifying as a Scaffold for Literary Interpretation. Her research addresses cultural supports for learning that include a broad ecological focus, with attention to language and literacy and African-American youth.

She is a member of the National Academy of Education in the United States, as well as a member of its board of directors. She is also a fellow of the American Educational Research Association, a fellow of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy, and a former fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. 

Lee is widely known for her research showing the importance of drawing on students’ cultural knowledge to support rigorous learning. A former elementary and high school teacher, she is the co-founder of four African-centered schools with a 40-year history. These include three charter schools under the umbrella of the Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools, where she serves as chair of the board of directors.

Several major awards have recognized Lee’s outstanding contributions to education. These include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence, the National Council of Teachers of English Distinguished Service Award, and the AERA Scholars of Color Distinguished Scholar Award. She has been a member of the faculty of the School of Education and Social Policy and African American Studies at Northwestern University since 1991. 

At the School of Education and Social Policy, Lee teaches a course on Race in Education in the undergraduate program as well as courses on teaching reading and writing for both undergraduates and graduate students.

The Academy of Arts and Sciences invited Lee to participate in an induction ceremony at the House of the Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in October. “This honor signifies the high regard in which you are held by leaders in your field and members throughout the nation,” Don Randel, chair of the Academy's board, and president Jonathan Fanton wrote in their letter to Lee.

In addition to Lee, other SESP professors who are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences are Larry Hedges and Douglas Medin.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 4/20/16