Gale Morrison is a Professor and Acting Dean Emeritus in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, where she worked from 1980 to 2014.
Dr. Morrison also served as Dean, Graduate Division. She taught and mentored graduate students in a National Association of School Psychologists-approved school psychology credential program and an American Psychological Association-approved Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology Program. During her career at UCSB, she served as Chair of the Graduate Council, Director of the Research Office in the Graduate School of Education, President of School Psychology Educators of California, and Newsletter editor for the American Educational Research Association Division of Counseling and Development, among other appointments. UC Riverside Alumni Association honored her with a Public Service Award in 1998.
She received a B.A. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of California, Riverside. After a postdoctoral year at the University of California, Los Angeles, she came to UCSB's graduate school of education in 1980. In 1987, she earned a credential in Pupil Personnel Services--School Counseling and School Psychology.
She completed research funded by a Field-initiated Research Award from the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. This three-year research project examined the risk and resilience patterns for upper elementary students with and without disabilities who were experiencing discipline problems at school. The study documented the schooling trajectories of students as they transitioned to middle or junior high schools. The project afforded an opportunity to study school discipline practices, zero-tolerance policies, and schools as a context for antisocial student behavior.
Dr. Morrison is one of the few professionals in the nation to publish information about suspension/expulsion disciplinary processes as they affect special education students. She has also published work on resiliency with special-needs children, as well as work on school safety and violence. Her focus is on role and resilience models in explaining the growth and development of children in the contexts of school and home.
Dr. Morrison served as lead evaluator for the Healthy Start and A-OK After-School Programs in the Santa Barbara School District for 10 years. She was affiliated with the Center for School-based Youth Development at the Gevirtz School. This center was founded in order to facilitate research and development in the area of school engagement, recognizing that this concept applies to ALL students -- those with leaning and behavior challenges as well as others.