STEM educator named Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education

July 16, 2015

MSU science education professor Joseph Krajcik has been named a Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education at Michigan State University (MSU).

Krajcik is the director of the CREATE for STEM Institute, a collaboration between the College of Natural Science and the College of Education that seeks to improve teaching and learning of science and mathematics through innovation and research.

“Named faculty positions at MSU are awarded to only the most outstanding faculty and are meant to recognize exceptional leadership and research productivity, and to provide support to maintain research programs at the highest national and international levels,” said R. James Kirkpatrick, College of Natural Science dean. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Joe’s standing to occupy this important position. He is a creative educator and is an internationally recognized expert in designing and assessing curriculum materials, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Among his many sponsored projects, Krajcik currently is the principal investigator and co-principal investigator for two National Science Foundation grants to design assessments and curriculum materials aligned with the next Generation of Science Standards. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in 2010, Krajcik was recognized for his distinguished contributions to science education through research by the National Association of Research in Sciences Teaching, and in 2014, he received the George G. Mallinson Award from the Michigan Science Teachers Association for lifetime achievement in the field of science education.

“Joe is a tremendous asset to CREATE, the college, the university and students throughout the nation who will benefit from his work to transform the way science is taught and learned,” said Donald Heller, dean of the College of Education.

Krajcik said that the professorship will serve to advance his work and provide a significant boost to the projects underway at CREATE.

“I am honored by this recognition of my work so far, and by the opportunity to do even more to help all students succeed in science,” he said.

Krajcik taught high school chemistry and physical sciences in Milwaukee for eight years before earning his Ph.D. in science education from the University of Iowa. Krajcik then spent 21 years at the University of Michigan, where he was recognized for his commitment to graduate student education. He came to MSU in 2011.

Support for the Lappan-Phillips professorship comes from the Connected Mathematics Project 2 (CMP2) Fund at MSU. The fund was created with royalties received from the Connected Mathematics 2 textbook, the single most widely used mathematics textbook in America for students in grades 6-8, which was developed by MSU mathematics educators Glenda Lappan and Elizabeth Phillips. Lappan and Phillips gifted their portion of the royalties to establish the fund. For more information on the Connected Mathematics Project, visit

The investiture ceremony for Krajcik will take place Sept. 30.