Jaehoon (Jason) Lee received a 2022 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Award.
In February, the Texas Tech University System announced its 2022 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards to honor outstanding faculty members who provide exceptional opportunities for students both in and out of the classroom. . We spotlight the eight Texas Tech University faculty members who have been recognized.
Jaehoon (Jason) Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Leadership and Counseling (EPLC) at the College of Education, where he coordinates the degree programs in Educational Psychology (EPSY) for graduate students. Additionally, he is an Associate Professor at the Center of Excellence for Integrative Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.
Prior to joining Texas Tech, Lee received his Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2009, his Master’s in Experimental Psychology from Western Illinois University in 2003, and his Bachelor’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea in 2001.
Lee’s statistical and psychological research has been widely published in scientific and medical journals, and his advances in research methodology may change the way we approach and understand scientific research. For his far-reaching contributions to the scientific community, Lee has been honored with a 2022 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Award.
The Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards are given to individuals who exemplify excellence in teaching or research and who have significantly advanced teaching or research endeavors and are recognized as leaders among their colleagues and in their respective fields. Established in 2001, these are the highest honors given to faculty members of the Texas Tech University System.
Can you describe your research and its impact, both in academia and in society?
I believe that methodology and applied research are symbiotic efforts. Methodological advances are of limited value unless they are routinely used by expert scientists and educators. Thus, my research consists of evaluating search methods for their performance in complex or “less favorable” data environments. Another line of research involves adapting advanced modeling techniques to real-life questions in a variety of fields, including education, psychology, humanities and social sciences, special populations, public and mental health, science medicine, brain imaging and biomechanics. I believe that my research activities make contributions not only to the methodology, measurement and data science communities by introducing innovative modeling approaches and readily available utilities, but also to other fields by offering practical guidelines that help applied scientists and practitioners to use the state of the art. -artistic techniques to solve their questions in real situations.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am currently leading a series of Monte Carlo simulation studies on Propensity Score Methods (PSM) and multilevel/Bayesian latent variable modeling. For example, I have developed and evaluated PSM-based principal component scores that would improve the efficiency and sensitivity of PSM, especially when there are a large number of potential covariates.
What areas are you interested in for future research?
I hope to design algorithms that efficiently extract and analyze psychological and biomedical information from virtual reality (VR) machines. My lab and I collaborated with colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Connecticut for this project.
What rewards do you get from teaching?
Of the many rewards I get from teaching, my favorite is being able to celebrate my students’ milestones – big and small accomplishments throughout the school day and year. I am happy to watch my current and former students grow, and I am proud to be part of the process that brings them to where they are today.
What motivated you to pursue a career in academia?
When I was in my undergraduate program in Korea, there was a course, factor analysis, that I loved so much. I couldn’t resist asking the professor, Dr. Soonmook Lee, for additional material – not for grading, really, just for my own pleasure. Later, the professor helped me apply for graduate programs in the United States and finally I was offered a scholarship. It was my childhood dream to be paid to go to higher education.
How has Texas Tech helped you advance your research and teaching?
Texas Tech has helped me in many ways, including financial support for research and equipment, a flexible teaching schedule, great colleagues, leadership, collegiality, and great students.
Who has had the most impact on you and your career, and why?
Todd D. Little, professor of educational psychology at Texas Tech. He was my graduate advisor, supervisor at my first job at the University of Kansas, and is now my mentor and colleague at Texas Tech. He gives me unwavering support and confidence as I pursue my academic career. He always cares about my comfort and happiness.