UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Barry Lee, director of the graduate program in sociology in the College of the Liberal Arts, is the 2013 recipient of the Graduate School Alumni Society Graduate Program Chair Leadership Award.
The award honors faculty members for exemplary leadership that benefits graduate students and faculty in an existing graduate program at the University.
Lee has served twice as graduate program chair in the Sociology Department, first from 1991 to 1996 and then from 2009 to the present. During his first tenure, he grew the graduate program from approximately 35 to 45 students and shifted the emphasis from a regional to a national recruiting base. He also increased the program’s diversity by recruiting 15 minority students. Doctoral degree alumni who entered the program during this period are now tenured faculty members at the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, Ohio State University and Rice University. Others are in administrative or research positions at the National Institutes of Health, the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Research Triangle Institute.
During his current tenure, Lee’s accomplishments include developing an in-house National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship workshop; four students have won NSF fellowships during the past four years. He has enhanced recruiting efforts through mass e-mailings and participation in poster sessions at national conferences, and he has recruited 13 students from ethnic and racial minorities. Recent placements of Ph.D. students include faculty and postdoctoral positions at Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Washington and Tulane.
“Barry works hard and has accomplished so much over the years because he sincerely cares about graduate student education,” one nominator said. “His overarching goal is to see that our students are well trained, obtain the best possible positions on graduation and find their time at Penn State to be productive and rewarding.”