Dean's Corner

Meet Jeff Braden, dean of NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

He’s a psychology professor who’s called upon nationally and internationally for his expertise in how school systems can best assess students with special needs. He’s been a certified sign language interpreter, and he’s the only dean we know of who’s worked with – and been bitten by – a chimp. He is a bit of a technology geek – he loves exploring new tech devices. He relishes nothing more than sharing a good joke. And he’s the biggest booster around for NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Dean Braden has been a professor of psychology at NC State since 2003. He directed the university’s School Psychology Program from 2004 to 2007, when he became the college’s associate dean for research and graduate studies. He was named dean in 2008.

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Before he came to NC State, Dean Braden taught and directed school psychology programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, San Jose State University and the University of Florida. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Gallaudet University and Beloit College.

Braden has chaired the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessments, worked with the Research Institute for Secondary Education Reform for youth with disabilities, and conducted international research on how best to conduct educational assessments. Recently, he won an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct a randomized trial to compare an online, adaptive learning version of introductory psychology to traditional instruction.

The dean firmly believes that the humanities and social sciences are not merely important in the 21st century; he says they’re critical. “The problems we now face – economic, social, environmental, military, and international issues – cannot be solved without understanding and changing the way people think and the way people act,” he says. “The humanities capture the way people understand the world and their place in it. The social sciences address the way people interact within their social and physical contexts. Both are essential.”