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Dr. Lizanne DeStefano


Lizanne DeStefanoDirector

Lizanne DeStefano is the director of the I-STEM Educational Initiative, which seeks to increase the number and quality of science, technology, engineering, and math teachers who graduate from the Urbana campus, along with improving student recruitment and retention rates in science and technology-affiliated programs.

Currently, besides being the director of I-STEM, she is the P-20 Council Coordinator, a Fox Family Professor, and Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education. She has also recently served as Executive Associate Dean for Research and Administration and Director of the Bureau of Educational Research in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. DeStefano’s research interests include the evaluation and sustainability of innovative programs, multi-site initiatives, and programs serving special populations such as students with disabilities or those at risk for academic failure. Her work has been funded by numerous agencies and foundations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Education, the Joyce Foundation, the Lilly Foundation, Chicago Community Trust and Illinois State Board of Education. She has conducted many large-scale evaluations of programs serving children and youth, including evaluations of the implementation of IDEA, Illinois Learning Standards and early literacy professional development initiatives such as the Reading Excellence Act in Illinois and the Reading First Evaluation.

Lizanne DeStefano received her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1986.  A former special education teacher, Dr. DeStefano trained and practiced as a clinical and school psychologist.

Email: destefan@illinois.edu