Sternberg, Robert J.

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Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development at Cornell University.  Before coming to Cornell, he held a variety of administrative positions, including President of the University of Wyoming, Provost and Senior Vice President of Oklahoma State University, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, President of the American Psychological Association, President of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, President of the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology, and Treasurer of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Sternberg received his BA summa cum laude from Yale in psychology and his PhD from Stanford, also in psychology.  He also holds 13 honorary doctorates.  He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Association, and Association for Psychological Science.  Sternberg spent most of his career at Yale University, where he ended up as IBM Professor of Psychology and Education, Professor of Management, and Director of the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise.

In the administrative realm, Sternberg is particularly well known for his work in college and university admissions.   He has undertaken a number of university-based admissions projects, including the “Rainbow Project” when he was at Yale, the “Kaleidoscope” Project at Tufts, and the “Panorama Project” at Oklahoma State.  These projects are designed to provide access to colleges and universities for students who have the knowledge and skills to succeed, but whose abilities do not necessarily shine through on standardized tests or, in some cases, even through their high school GPA.  These projects have shown that it is possible substantially to increase prediction of college GPA, decrease ethnic-group differences, and increase satisfaction of applicants with the college-application process.

Sternberg is also very well known for his work on the teaching/learning process.  He has shown that by teaching to the ways students learn, rather than merely to the teaching-style preferences of professors, it is possible substantially to improve student academic performance.

Finally, Sternberg is very well known for his work on organizational change.  His model of organizational change predicts how modifiable organizations are, and he works with colleges and universities to effect constructive change.