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April 16, 2007 

CONTACT: Adela de la Torre: (202) 994-6424;


Nationally Recognized Psychologist Brings Extensive Research, Teaching, Fund-raising, and Management Experience to University's Largest School

WASHINGTON - The George Washington University announced today that Dr. Marguerite Barratt, M. Phil. '78, will become dean of GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences August 1, 2007. Barratt, currently the deputy director of clinical research policy analysis and coordination at the National Institutes of Health, is an accomplished expert on developmental psychology. Barratt will succeed Interim Dean Diana Lipscomb, who currently serves in this leadership role for the college.

"The Columbian College is the intellectual cornerstone of the University and represents a unique growth opportunity for GW in both the liberal arts and the sciences," said Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, GW president. "Barratt's extensive experience in the field and classroom and her commitment to public service will allow the school to continue to grow in prominence in its research and education mission for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as capitalize on GW's numerous academic strengths with the arts and sciences."

Barratt said, "GW's prominence as a magnet for public policy learning and research and its record of training students for professional work, along with its notable faculty, are among the reasons I am eager to join this preeminent institution. I hope to work with faculty, students, staff, and alumni to build upon the solid foundation my predecessors had made in developing the Columbian College into one of the nation's best schools."

Prior to her post at the National Institutes of Health, Barratt became division director for behavioral and cognitive sciences at the National Science Foundation in 2004, where she also served as the human subjects research officer for four years. Earlier at Michigan State University, Barratt was director of the Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, a professor of family and child ecology, and professor of psychology.  At the multi-disciplinary institute, she was responsible for building the funding base, and she secured federal, foundation, and state money for research, training, policy, and outreach projects involving several faculty partners.

Donald R. Lehman, executive vice president for academic affairs, said, "We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Peg Barratt to GW. She brings a solid vision for the role of the college of arts and sciences in a major research university. This vision, combined with her broad leadership and management experience within the academy and government service, positions her to be a major force towards GW realizing its academic aim of becoming a preeminent research university." Lehman also indicated that the success of this search is a tribute to the diligent work of the members of the search committee. He conveyed that he is grateful for the commitment and diligence they put into the search. 

Barratt brings 30 years of research and teaching experience in the parent-child interaction area with a focus on naturalistic field work and attention to specialized populations, including single and teen mothers, parents of children with Down syndrome and pre-term infants, and families in Japan. Her research has been published in the American Journal on Mental Retardation, Infant Behavior and Development, Family Relations, Developmental Psychology, among others, and she served as an associate editor of Developmental Psychology.  Recently, she has written several papers on developing community-university partnerships and models of engagement for this type of collaboration and service learning.

Barratt also has extensive experience inside the classroom and has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in developmental psychology at research institutions. In 1998, she received the University of Wisconsin-Madison Distinguished Teaching Award, where she was a faculty member for 19 years. Barratt earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.Phil. from The George Washington University, and an M.A. from Michigan State University, each in developmental psychology.

Located four blocks from the White House, The George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the nation's capital. The University offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business, and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 120 countries.

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