Two Faculty Members Honored for Education Research

Two Faculty Members Honored for Education Research

Headshots of Carol Lee and Megan BangCarol Lee (left) and Megan Bang were honored by the American Educational Research Association

Northwestern University professors Carol D. Lee and Megan Bang (PhD09) were honored by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for their cutting-edge education research, scholarship, and service to the field.

Lee, Professor Emeritus (the former Edwina S. Tarry Professor) of Education at the School of Education and Social Policy, received the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award, the premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research.

Bang, (Ojibwe and Italian), professor of learning sciences and psychology, received the Scholars of Color Mid-Career Contribution Award, which recognizes scholars who have made significant contributions to our understanding of issues that disproportionately impacts minority populations.

She is the second School of Education and Social Policy faculty member to receive the award; Lee was the first in 2008. Both Lee and Bang are members of the National Academy of Education.

"Carol and Megan both exemplify the fact that there is no trade-off between doing great research and doing good in the world,” said School of Education and Social Policy Dean David Figlio. “Both scholars are making our society better -- and making SESP better too, in every sense of the word."

Lee, the incoming president of the National Academy of Education, is best known in academia for her work helping underrepresented students excel in an environment of low expectations and other "whirlwinds," including poverty and negative stereotypes. 

She was among the early scholars to explore ways to build on childrens' everyday experiences as a resource for learning in school. Today her sophisticated ideas behind “cultural modeling" and structured support are a standard approach in the field. 

Among her many awards and honors, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a past president of AERA.

Bang is currently serving as the Senior Vice President at the Spencer Foundation. Her scholarship focuses on culture, families, and STEM education and the design of transformative learning environments. She studies how to create systems of education that can cultivate just, sustainable, and thriving communities.

“I became deeply interested in how education, instead of being a source of trauma, had the potential to heal Native communities—and all communities, really,” she told SESP Magazine. “For me, this is always tied to relations with land and water, and I believe the 21st century is the time when all human communities need to learn sustainable and just ways of living.”

AERA will honor the recipients at a virtual awards celebration from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 7.


By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 8/31/21