Stephen W. Smith, Ph.D., is a Professor and University Term Professor in the Special Education program at the University of Florida (UF). Dr. Smith teaches graduate level courses in special education research, emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), and principles of prevention science in education. His research focuses on effective behavioral prevention strategies in educational settings, executive function, and the self-regulation of behavior (goal directed effortful control of thought, action, emotion), issues related to aggression and violence in schools, and understanding verbal aggression of students with EBD. During his time at UF, Dr. Smith and colleagues have received over $17 million dollars to conduct research and development projects related to the prevention of and effective interventions for maladaptive student behavior in school settings. Dr. Smith has also obtained over $1.5 million dollars to train pre-service students to work in special education.
Dr. Smith has been Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator of 13 federally-funded research/development grants and he is currently serving as a Principal Investigator of a four-year efficacy study of a self-regulation curriculum for middle school students who exhibit emotional and behavioral disorders (I Control) and is Co-Principal Investigator of a four-year, federally-funded research grant to study the efficacy of a theoretically based curriculum to improve self-regulatory functions of students at risk for behavior problems. He is the author of 14 professional books and book chapters, and he has presented his findings and recommendations at many state, regional, national, and international professional conferences. He has been invited to speak about educational issues in Ireland, Australia, and Taiwan. While at UF, Dr. Smith has received three teaching awards, a University Research Award, and has served twice as a UF Distinguished Research Professor. For 2013-2014, he was one of 6 recipients of a university-wide Doctoral Mentoring Award for outstanding work with doctoral students. He was the Irving & Rose Fein Endowed Professor from 2012-2015. Most recently, Dr. Smith was awarded the 2018 Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Education Research Association, Special Education special interest group. Dr. Smith is a Panel Scientist for the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, and is on the Editorial Board of numerous professional journals in education and special education. Prior to receiving his Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kansas, he was a teacher of special education students for eight years.