Social Work Alumnus Elected to National Academy of Education

February 22, 2013
by Dan-Dorian Druhora
Robert Rueda. Photo by Philip Channing.

USC School of Social Work alumnus Robert Rueda, who is now the Stephen H. Crocker Professor in Education and a professor of educational psychology at the USC Rossier School of Education, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Education (NAEd).

As an honorific society, the academy consists of up to 200 U.S. members and up to 25 international associates who are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship or outstanding contributions to education.

Founded in 1965, the mission of NAEd is to advance the highest quality education research and its use in policy formulation and practice.

The NAEd has sponsored numerous commissions and study panels, including NAEd members and other scholars from the world’s most prominent research institutions. It also awards postdoctoral and dissertation fellowships while undertaking collaborative research initiatives.

When the academy convenes in April in Washington, D.C., Rueda, MSW ’74, will be welcomed as the first USC School of Social Work MSW graduate—and first Rossier professor—ever to be vested by the academy.

“Robert finished his MSW in our school and sees it as part of his passion, ecological orientation and roots that led him to this path in education for all students, including immigrant, poor and urban students,” said Ron Avi Astor, the Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor of Urban Social Development at the School of Social Work and a professor in educational psychology at Rossier. “His passion for social action and elevating groups by increasing literacy and doing great research is strong.”

Rueda focuses his research on sociocultural factors in learning and motivation. He is currently engaged in work on several research and writing projects, including short-term motivational interventions in developmental mathematics settings; cognitive and motivational factors in academic achievement with urban high school students; examining friendship and peer relationships as factors in bullying; and examining research on motivational interventions in school settings.

Rueda played a leadership role in the redesign of Rossier’s education doctorate (EdD) program, building it into a national model for practitioner-based programs, according to the The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.

He continues to advise and mentor EdD and PhD students, who have gone on to become professors, deans and leaders in education. This year, he will travel to Hong Kong to teach an international cohort of students as part of Rossier’s recently launched Global Executive EdD program.

As an internationally recognized expert in literacy and language minority students in special education, Rueda has served on several national panels, including the National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children and Youth. He was also a member of the editorial boards of multiple education journals.

Rueda is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association. He has been affiliated with two national research centers (the Center for Excellence, Diversity and Education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement at the University of Michigan), and he has served on the advisory board of the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Rueda earned his PhD in educational psychology, with a specialization in educational psychology and special education, and his BA in psychology from UCLA.