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Associate Department Heads

Associate professor, Merilee McCurdy, and professor, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch began their new roles as associate department heads on July 1, 2017. We asked them some questions about their upcoming roles.

Merliee McCurdy

How long have you been with EPC?
I began my academic career at the University of Nebraska in 2001. In 2014, I began at UT and in the EPC department. I also coordinate the School Psychology doctoral program.


How do you feel about being chosen as one of the new associate department heads?
I really am honored to serve as an associate department head. It is a big responsibility and one that I take seriously. Our job is to make everyone else’s job easier – including the department head – and to help our department grow in productivity and national reputation. I look forward to starting this new academic year!

What are you primary functions within this role?
In many ways, we are still trying to make these decisions. Lisa will serve as the director of graduate studies for our department, which is a huge role. I will be the point person for the CRC (curriculum review committee) for the department. I will present all departmental curriculum changes to the CEHHS CRC for approval. I also will chair the department’s award committee. Our goal is to make sure we have faculty, student, and staff nominations for all eligible college and university awards. We have future plans to work with all faculty to edit and update the department bylaws and carry out the goals of the EPC strategic plan. It is definitely going to be a team approach to getting things accomplished!

What are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to getting more familiar with the entire department. Often, faculty tend to work in our own “silos” or program areas. We know our program and students very well; however, we may not know the department as well. An interesting aspect of this position is learning the strengths and goals of all programs and being able to advocate for and support those programs. I know this first year will be very challenging but I am excited by the opportunity.

Lisa Yamagata-Lynch


How long have you been with EPC?
I have been with UT since August 2011 so 6 years, when I came in as an associate professor in EPC.


How do you feel about being chosen as one of the new associate department heads?
It was an honor to be selected as an associate head. I like to be able to work in a community oriented way, so taking on a leadership position will allow me to do that in a way that being a faculty may not. I am looking forward to working for students, staff, and faculty.

What are your primary functions within this role?
I see my primary job to assist Jeff, our department head, lead our department while advocating for our students, staff, and faculty. I hope that I can contribute to the growth and development of our department in the coming years. I will also be the the Director of Graduate Studies so I am looking forward to working closely with our students.

What are you most looking forward to? Or, what are your top priorities for this position?
I am looking forward to getting to know our students, staff, and faculty in new ways that I have not had an opportunity in the past, and supporting open communication between all of them and the department leadership team.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity and hope to serve the department well.”