Lorraine E. Maxwell, Ph.D. is an environmental psychologist and associate professor emerita in the department of Design and Environmental Analysis. Her research focuses on the role of the physical environment in children’s and adolescents’ cognitive development, well-being, self-identity and behavior. Her research looks closely at the physical environment of schools and early childhood facilities and its role in student outcomes and child development. She is also interested in the role of neighborhood design and quality in adolescent development and self-identity.
Professor Maxwell taught the design programming course for the department, a course looking at the role of ability/disability, stage in the life cycle, culture and gender in facility design, as well as a graduate seminar in theories of human-environment relations. She also taught a course in strategic planning for educational and long-term care facilities. She publishes in Environmental Psychology journals and participates in national and international professional organizations dealing with human-environment interactions, including EDRA and IAPS. She has given radio interviews on the Canadian Broadcasting Company, the British Broadcasting Company and National Public Radio. She was a Public Voices Fellow in 2016.
Professor Maxwell served as president of the North East Regional chapter of the Council of Educational Facility Planners, International (new name – Association for Learning Environments) and was a frequent contributor to the regional and national conferences. Prior to her position at Cornell, she was a project manager in a NYC architectural firm where her responsibilities included programming different building types including educational facilities such as early childhood centers, K-12 schools and post-secondary facilities.
Professor Maxwell continues her research related to children and adolescents and their environments and working with organizations to promote healthy building environments for children and youth.