Dan McAdams named interim dean of SESP

A headshot of a man in suit and glasses.

Source: Kayla Stoner

Dan McAdams. The SESP professor was named the interim dean Wednesday morning following Dean David Figlio’s announcement of his departure from the role this May.

Laya Neelakandan, Print Managing Editor

SESP Prof. Dan McAdams was named interim dean of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy, effective May 16.

McAdams, the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and a professor of human development and social policy, joined NU in 1989. He has also served as the chair of the psychology department and coordinator for SESP’s doctoral program in human development and social policy.

“We are all storytellers of the self, narrating our lives as we live them,” McAdams said in a Wednesday news release. “I look for patterns in the stories people tell about their lives, and I explore how those patterns may either enhance or undermine our psychological and social well-being.”

He has authored more than 300 scientific articles and eight books, along with a leading psychology textbook. McAdams’ research focuses on narrative psychology and human identity.

SESP Dean David Figlio announced his departure from the role earlier this month to become provost at the University of Rochester. Figlio will complete his term on May 15. 

“Northwestern profoundly shaped and influenced my research and academic identity,” Figlio said. “It’s the place where I began working on new problems, using new methods and theoretical frames, and working with colleagues from a variety of fields. It is where I truly embraced being an interdisciplinary scholar.”

Information regarding the search for Figlio’s permanent successor as SESP’s dean will be forthcoming, according to Wednesday’s announcement.

“My heart belongs to SESP because 30 years ago, SESP took a big chance in hiring me,” McAdams said. “I am honored to serve as interim dean, and I hope to advance our school’s matchless legacy of excellence in research, teaching and service to the world.”

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Twitter: @laya_neel

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