The prestigious National Academy of Education recently selected a UCSB faculty member to join its ranks.

Political science professor Lorraine McDonnell was chosen by the academy – which promotes education research and its use in the formation of policy – based on her numerous contributions to the field. She is currently the only UCSB scholar in the organization.

McDonnell’s election to the academy is another in a long line of impressive positions she has held throughout her career.

According to a press release announcing her election to the academy, McDonnell has not only served as an associate for the National Academy of Sciences since 2003, but is also president of the American Educational Research Institute. McDonnell is a member of the National Research Council and has served in numerous NRC committees over the course of her career, including boards dedicated to student disabilities, adult literacy and the U.S. naturalization test.

According to McDonnell, the academy is extremely involved in public policy.

“Members have study groups where they look at issues of importance,” McDonnell said. “[The academy] had a series of white papers that they prepared for the new administration to update the Obama administration on current issues in education.”

Moreover, McDonnell said the institution promotes higher education around the country.

“They have a program that provides post-doctoral fellowships for new professors to help them get started,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell said her appointment will involve a great deal of interdisciplinary study.

“We are expected to do service and volunteer work depending on what discipline we are in,” she said. “I will be working with people in other disciplines, such as sociologists and economists.”

Meanwhile, Chancellor Henry T. Yang said in a press release that the honor given to McDonnell is well deserved and a reflection of her tremendous teaching skills.

“Her election to the National Academy of Education is yet another affirmation of her excellence as a researcher, teacher and mentor, as well as her commitment to helping our society by advancing our understanding of education policy and its implications for learning and accountability,” Yang said. “Our entire campus community takes great pride in her achievements and contributions.”