SPR 2005 AWARDS PRESENTATION at 13th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC

The International Collaborative Prevention Research Award is given for contributions to the field of prevention science in the area of international collaboration. This year we recognize Dr. Mary Jane Rotheram, Professor of Psychiatry in the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA with a joint appointment in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health. There she is also the Director of the Center for Community Health, the Director of the NIMH Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services and the Associate Director of Policy for the UCLA AIDS Institute. Her research interests include HIV/AIDS prevention with adolescents, suicide among adolescents, homeless youths, assessment and modification of children’s social skills, ethnic identity, group processes, and cross-ethnic interactions. She has received HIV prevention related research grants from the University-wide AIDS Research Program, the World AIDS Foundation, and the W.T. Grant Foundation. Her prevention interventions have received world-wide recognition resulting in a number of international collaborations.

The Science to Practice Award is given in recognition of continued support for the implementation of research based prevention practices in real world settings. This year we recognize Steve Aos, Associate Director of the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, an applied research group working for the Washington State legislature. He has 29 years of experience in conducting cost-benefit analyses in a wide range of public policy areas, as well as in the private sector. His current work focuses on identifying and evaluating the costs and benefits of programs and policies for reducing crime, improving educational outcomes, reducing substance abuse and tobacco, and reducing child abuse and neglect. He is the lead author of the Institute’s nationally recognized work on the benefits and costs of prevention and early intervention programs.

The Public Service Award is given in recognition of extensive and effective advocacy for prevention science and science/research-based programs. This year we recognize Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the first woman to serve in that position since the founding of the Institute. She brings to NIDA a long record of accomplishment in drug addiction research. Since coming to the institute, prevention research has been one of her priorities. She commissioned the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Health Services Research whose recommendations highlighted the role of prevention services. Under her leadership, NIDA has joined with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention to co-fund rigorous research and evaluation of CSAP’s Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant Program. This is a concrete example of a federal research institute joining with a service delivery organization to provide resources to evaluate the effectiveness of a service agency’s strategy for disseminating science based prevention approaches to states and communities. This braided funding initiative is exactly the kind of interdisciplinary, interagency collaboration required to achieve the goals of prevention science in advancing public health through rigorous research.

The Presidential Award is given to those who have made a major lifetime contribution to prevention science research. This year we recognize Dr. Richard Clayton, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Kentucky and Scientific Director in the UK Center for Prevention Research. Dick has been a leader in the substance abuse field for thirty years during which he has been instrumental in enhancing the field’s understanding about substance abuse from the perspective of the user and the community impacted by substance use. He was one of the founders of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) and has served in several leadership capacities over its early development. In 1987, he was awarded the first NIDA-funded center dedicated to multidisciplinary research in drug abuse prevention. And not to be downplayed, Dick’s mentorship, which has cut a wide swath across prevention research, may well be one of his most valuable and enduring legacies.

The Prevention Science Award is given for the work of developing and testing prevention strategies. This year we recognize Dr. Denise Gottfredson, Professor in the University of Maryland Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Some of her major contributions have been in the area of school-based crime prevention. She has not only tested specific strategies but has examined and evaluated the literature using meta-analyses. These latter efforts include a report to the U.S. Congress on what works, what doesn’t work, and what is promising in school-based prevention. Another exciting aspect of Dr. Gottfredson’s career has been in her significant efforts to develop effective collaborations between researchers and practitioners as in her direction of a project that provides research expertise to the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention in its efforts to promote effective prevention practices in Maryland.

The Community, Culture, and Prevention Science Award is given for contributions to the field of prevention science in the area of community and culture and to recognize work that enhances understanding, development and adaptation of effective prevention strategies for traditionally underserved populations. This year we recognize Dr. Felipe Gonzalez Castro, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Arizona State University. There he also served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Research Center from 1991 to 1997. Felipe is a nationally recognized leader in the area of Hispanic health research and program development. In the American Psychological Association, he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Study of Ethnic Minority Issues and as Chair of the Minority Health Committee of the Division of Health Psychology. Dr. Castro served as the principal investigator of the Hispanic Tobacco Education Coalition, a partnership project with 10 community-based organizations to promote tobacco prevention, tobacco cessation, and tobacco-free environments among Hispanic youth and pregnant and post-partum women and their partners in Maricopa County, Arizona. Dr. Castro has been a member of SPR for many years and will be the program chair for the SPR Annual Meeting next year in San Antonio.

The Service to SPR Award is given in recognition of outstanding service to the Society for Prevention Research. This year we would like to recognize, Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, Professor of Psychology at Cornell University with a joint appointment in the Departments of Public Health and Psychiatry. He is also Director of Weill Medical College’s Institute for Prevention Research. Gil has contributed significantly not only to the field of prevention science but has had and continues to have several critical roles in the ongoing success of SPR. He has served on the board for more than six years as President-elect, President (2001 – 2003), Immediate Past President, leading the organization through an important transition period of membership and conference growth and infrastructure development and exceedingly significant (and taken for granted!) as editor of the Prevention Science journal since its inception in 2000.

The Friend of ECPN Award is presented to a mid-career or senior preventionist who has supported and encouraged early career persons or issues. We are pleased to present the 2005 Friend of ECPN award to Dr. Chris Ringwalt, Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Chapel Hill Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. In his role as center director, he has shown great dedication to the development of the early careers of emerging prevention scientists. This dedication has extended beyond his work at PIRE, as he serves as a mentor for students at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Whether it be providing feedback on manuscripts and grant proposals, providing financial means and encouragement to attend conferences or complete advanced coursework, or providing support and advice about work-life balance and career decisions, he has demonstrated a devotion to facilitating the professional development of those under his mentorship. His accessibility to budding researchers and the collegial and respectful nature of his support epitomize the definition of strong mentorship.

The ECPN Early Career Award is bestowed on an early career scientist who has shown a commitment to prevention science through outstanding contributions to research, policy or practice. We are pleased to present the 2005 early career award to Dr. Melissa Stigler. Dr. Stigler earned her Master’s degree in Public Health in 1999 and her doctorate in epidemiology in 2003 from the University of Minnesota. During her work with Dr. Cheryl Perry on Project Northland, she spearheaded the use of innovative and complex methodology to examine longitudinal outcomes while taking into account the multi-level nature of their community trial data. She also expanded this work to allow for the exploration of the role of intervention dosage in outcomes. During her work on an HIV prevention program in Tanzania, she was able to share her expertise by training local researchers in mediation and outcome analyses. Her most recent endeavor has been serving as the project director for the Mobilizing Youth for Tobacco-Related Initiatives in India, funded by the Fogarty Center. The scope of this community trial is large, including 32 schools and 11,000 students. Through her role in this project, including supervision of the Minnesota and India-based staff, she has worked tirelessly to promote the importance of research-based prevention. She also has gone to great lengths to build positive international relationships with her colleagues in India, working to bridge cross-cultural understanding. Her attention to detail, together with her creativity, has resulted in high quality research, as evidenced in over 30 presentations and 15 published works. The ulmination of her work is quite impressive given the short span of her early career.

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