Education researcher receives Harshini V. de Silva Award

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Richard Lambert, professor of educational leadership in the Cato College of Education, is the 2019 recipient of the Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award. He was honored at a special ceremony Wednesday, March 13, at the Harris Alumni Center at Johnson Glen.

Lambert also is director of the Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation and editor of NHSA Dialog: The Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Education Field.

“Characteristics that distinguish Dr. Lambert from other worthy faculty include his ability to challenge students to achieve beyond their expectations and his ability to influence and positively impact his students’ academic and professional lives,” said Claudia Flowers, chair of the UNC Charlotte Department of Educational Leadership.

Lambert served as principal investigator for a four year, $1.2 million Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Education, in which he evaluated the use of Creative Curriculum in Head Start centers in Georgia and North Carolina. He has received more than $14 million in external funding for his research. Lambert also works for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and has provided training to childcare programs throughout the state since 2007.

“As my mentor, Dr. Lambert also taught me and instilled the excitement about moving the field forward through solid research,” said Denise Brewer ’06 Ph.D., chair of the Department of Family and Child Studies at Appalachian State University. “Since graduating in 2006, Dr. Lambert and I have collaborated on two national grants. This shows his willingness to continue mentoring students after they graduate.”

Lambert is a prolific researcher and generously shares his wisdom, time and enthusiasm to involve students in creating scholarly knowledge. As a mentor, he has involved students in 45 journal articles, 25 book chapters and an edited book. Lambert has served on more than 70 doctoral dissertation committees and 36 master’s thesis committees. He is committed to getting to know each of his graduate students as individuals in order to understand their goals and help them succeed.

“Dr. Lambert has challenged me to be a better learner, writer and thinker while providing the support needed to help me grow in these areas,” said C. Missy Butts, doctoral candidate in Counselor Education Supervision at UNC Charlotte. “He often offers direct, constructive feedback to help me improve my writing skills, poses questions in such a way to help me think through problems without being intimidated for not knowing the answer and frequently communicates that my work is valued throughout the process.”  

Lambert earned a doctorate in research, measurement and statistics and a master’s in counseling psychology from Georgia State University. His research interests include applied statistics, teacher stress and coping and evaluating programs for young children.

The Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award honors its namesake, an exceptional teacher, brilliant scholar and researcher and devoted servant of her profession and community. The award is given annually to the faculty member whose commitment to students, research and scholarly inquiry most closely exemplifies the spirit of de Silva.