Renee McDonald is Interim Dean of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. As the Provost’s Fellow for Research Excellence and Scholarly Impact since 2020, she has worked closely with the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and the Office of Research to advance SMU in strengthening its impact in graduate education and research. She has held leadership roles pertaining to graduate education and research in various areas of the university and was integrally involved in the conceptualization and creation of the Moody School.
A professor of psychology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, McDonald joined the SMU faculty in 2003. She became associate dean for research and academic affairs in Dedman College in 2011.
McDonald’s research focuses on understanding how children’s exposure to family conflict and violence contribute to child psychological maladjustment, and on developing interventions for children exposed to violence. In recent years, she has also developed and evaluated sexual assault prevention and teen dating violence prevention programs for use on high school and college campuses. McDonald’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, and the Department of Justice, and she has consulted with state, national, and foreign governments on selection, implementation, and evaluation of programs to reduce relationship violence in families and in schools.
She received her B.S in psychology from the University of Houston in 1988, and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Houston in 1994.