Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia named AERA Fellow

February 15, 2024

Michigan State University Professor Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia, a leading scholar on student motivation in the college’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education (CEPSE), has been named an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow.

Each year, individuals are acknowledged for their outstanding scientific or scholarly endeavors in educational research, or for their contributions to the field by creating research opportunities and environments.

Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia headshot. Lisa wears a camel blazer over a dark blue blouse. Her hair falls around her shoulders. She wears tortoise-rimmed glasses.

“I am both humbled and honored to be recognized as a fellow for this organization that has been so important to me throughout every stage of my career,” said Linnenbrink-Garcia, who began her Spartan journey in 2014. “Since first attending AERA in 1995 as an undergraduate, AERA has been critical for advancing my research and professional development. I am also grateful to the many people who have supported me and for my collaborators, who are key partners in my research.”

Linnenbrink-Garcia explores the development of achievement motivation in school settings, focusing on the interplay between motivation, emotions, engagement and learning, particularly in science and engineering domains. Her research aims to inform educational policy and support the persistence of students, especially those historically underrepresented in STEM fields.


Linnenbrink-Garcia’s research includes over 80 publications with notable funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), which has resulted in over $10 million in federal grants as a co-principal or principal investigator. Her contributions have garnered widespread recognition, with an impressive citation count exceeding 18,000. In 2014, she co-edited the first edition of the International Handbook of Emotions in Education, the first publication to recognize the significant role of emotions in educational settings.

In 2023, Educational Psychology Review listed Linnenbrink-Garcia as the #2 top-producing woman scholar in her field. She is also a fellow of American Psychological Association and serves as co-editor of Educational Psychologistthe top theoretical journal in the field.

Her dedication to advancing education extends beyond borders. In Dec. 2023, she began serving as a K-CLUB Adjunct Professor in the Department of Education and the Brain & Motivation Research Institute (bMRI) at Korea University. Recently, she served as principal investigator on the M-PLANS Project, where she partnered with science education experts and middle school science teachers to enhance students’ interest and involvement in science. Other current NSF and NIH-funded projects include Persistence in Undergraduate Engineering and LEAP and Pathways to Science.

Key partners for Linnenbrink-Garcia include CEPSE students, who have frequently collaborated with her on research projects as part of her collaborative research lab Michigan State Motivate, which she co-directs with several other departmental faculty.

Linnenbrink-Garcia also has long-standing partnerships with faculty in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University as well as partnerships with faculty at Old Dominion University, Duke University, University of Las Vegas Nevada and WestEd – a Bay Area education non-profit.

“Patricia Edwards, Jerlando Jackson and Lisa Linnenbrink-Gracia are distinguished, creative, and impactful scholars,” said Ann E. Austin. Austin is a University Distinguished Professor and an AERA Fellow. “Through their work as researchers and leaders, each is making significant contributions in advancing more effective, inclusive, and equitable educational experiences for children, young people, and adults. The faculty, staff, and students in the MSU College of Education are very proud of Pat, Jerlando, and Lisa and applaud this exciting honor they have received.”

In April, she will be recognized at the 2024 AERA Annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA alongside Spartans University Distinguished Professor Patricia Edwards and Dean and MSU Research Foundation Professor Jerlando F. L. Jackson who were also named AERA Fellows.