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MORGANTOWN, WV -

M. Cecil Smith has joined West Virginia University's College of Education and Human Services as its new associate dean for research. 

He will begin his duties July 1.

Smith, a nationally known expert on adult literacy assessment, joins WVU from Northern Illinois University, where he served for 25 years as a professor of educational psychology.

At Northern Illinois, he was the recipient of several national grants for his research, including support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the American Educational Research Association, the International Reading Association and the NEA Foundation. 

He was co-principal investigator on two NSF grants, including Science in the Moment, a project that studied high school students' perceptions of their daily experiences during science instruction, focusing on the instructional conditions that foster student engagement. 

The second project involved the development of an online cognitive tutor that assists students in applied social science fields in learning about research methodologies. Smith's research has been published in numerous academic journals.

His goal is to grow research and research funding at CEHS by strategizing with faculty and department chairs on the best way to leverage their research interests with funding opportunities. He also will seek direct collaborations with faculty on projects.

Smith earned a doctorate in educational psychology, with an emphasis in lifespan human development, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Smith's research has investigated the ways in which literacy contributes to adult development. His teaching interests include adult and adolescent development, learning and motivation and research methods. Smith has edited four books on adult development and/or adult literacy, including the Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development.