Dr. Lee Anne Thompson is the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and is a professor of psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She received her bachelor of arts degree from CWRU in psychology and sociology and her master’s and PhD degrees from University of Colorado Boulder in psychology.

As interim dean, Thompson leads 21 departments across the college, along with major centers including the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the Schubert Center for Child Studies, the Emerging Scholars Program, the Dittrick Medical History Center and the Leonard Gelfand STEM Center (K-12 programming).

She joined the faculty in 1987 and has held many leadership positions at the college and university level including serving as the inaugural department chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences when the Departments of Psychology and Communication Sciences merged in 2011. Thompson most recently served as the senior associate dean for faculty affairs in the college.

A developmental psychologist, Thompson’s research program has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2002 where she has focused on understanding how children acquire reading skills, comprehend what they read and acquire mathematical skills. She along with her colleagues and students have published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.

As an award-winning teacher, she received the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005 and received the McGraw-Hill Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminars in 2013. She has been nominated for the Bruce Jackson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring as well as for the Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.   

A strong believer in partnering with local communities, Thompson has served as a mentor in the Provost Scholars Program since 2015 and as the associate director of the program since 2019. The program is a partnership between CWRU and East Cleveland City Schools and Cleveland Metropolitan School District that provides mentoring and tutoring for middle and high school students.  

Thompson and her husband Paul Appelbaum, a retired high school physics teacher, are the proud parents of Drew (CWR ’12; GRS ‘13, Civil Engineering) and Ian (CWR ‘15, sociology). She enjoys hiking with her dogs, cycling through the Cleveland Metroparks, camping and cooking.