About the Dean

Gary M. Sasso, Ph.D.

Gary M. Sasso, Ph.D.
Dean Gary M. Sasso

Gary M. Sasso, Ph.D. is the 7th Dean of the College of Education at Lehigh University. Lehigh, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a premier medium-sized private research intensive university in the United States. Lehigh is an innovative, research to practice institution with global distinction in the Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, and Business. The university is a leading example of the modern private university. The college of education is ranked 49th by U.S. News and World Report as a top graduate college of education in the country.

Dr. Sasso’s career spans more than a 30-year period as a classroom teacher, researcher, professor, and skilled administrator. He has published extensively in the areas of education, psychology, behavior analysis, human development, and the philosophy of education. He has lectured and presented at over 200 conferences, seminars, and other educational meetings and professional development events both within the United States and internationally. 

Dr. Sasso served as the Chairperson of the Teaching and Learning Department in the University of Iowa College of Education from July 2001 until June of 2008. Prior to his administrative role at the University of Iowa, he was a member of the faculty of both the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at Iowa. Before joining the University of Iowa, Dr. Sasso held the position of professor at the University of Northern Colorado where he developed the first academic and research program in Colorado for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

He is the former editor of Behavioral Disorders, one of the most respected special education journals, as well as a member of the editorial boards Exceptional Children, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Special Education, Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Focus of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. He has also served as guest Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Dr. Sasso completed his master’s degree in 1978 and his doctoral degree in 1984 at the University of Kansas in special education and applied behavior analysis. During that time, he conducted research at the Juniper Garden’s School Research Unit as well as a number of federal grants in the area of autism, behavior disorders, and mental illness.

He is married to Christine Novak, Professor in the School Psychology Program at Lehigh University. They have one grown child, Spencer, who currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa.