Susan Swearer named chair of educational psychology

EDPS department chair graphic

Susan Swearer named chair of educational psychology

27 May 2021    

Susan Swearer has been named chair of the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She will assume the position on July 1. 

“With her work in the field and on campus, Susan brings excellent leadership experience to the department,” said Sherri Jones, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “I look forward to working with her to support and elevate the work of the passionate community of students, faculty and staff in educational psychology.”

Swearer, Willa Cather Professor of Educational Psychology, has been at Nebraska since 1997. She also serves as the university’s Director of Faculty Development, a role that involves creating and promoting faculty professional development and enhancement initiatives for over 1,700 faculty and instructors.

“I am thrilled to be selected as the next chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, which has such a rich history at UNL,” Swearer said. “Supporting and expanding our research, course offerings, departmental impact, and outreach to the community and the state of Nebraska is my number one priority.”

A licensed psychologist and nationally recognized anti-bullying expert, Swearer has spent more than two decades researching the motivations behind bullying, developing ways to change the behavior and outlining effective strategies for children who are bullied. She has advised the anti-bullying and mental wellness work of Born This Way Foundation since it was launched by Lady Gaga in 2012. Her expertise has also been called upon by the White House and she’s consulted with Facebook on anti-bullying measures.

More recently, Swearer has consulted with @SocialThatSupports, a new social media initiative addressing coronavirus pandemic-related mental health conditions. The initiative combines the enormous reach of prominent social media influencers with psychology experts to connect young people, particularly those from traditionally marginalized communities, with science-based information and services about mental health.

Swearer earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Swarthmore College and a master of science degree in special education from Pennsylvania State University. She earned master of arts and doctoral degrees in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

The Department of Educational Psychology seeks to enhance human functioning and support diversity in educational, individual and social contexts through the application of psychological science. Created in 1908, the department was one of the founding departments in Teachers College, now the College of Education and Human Sciences. Graduates of the department are leaders in educational psychology, educational neuroscience, learning, cognition, and quantitative and qualitative methodologies who hold positions in university settings, industry, schools, hospitals, community mental health clinics and private practice. 

To learn more about the Department of Educational Psychology, visit

College of Education and Human Sciences
Educational Psychology