SPR 2006 AWARDS PRESENTATION at 14th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX

Prevention Science Award
This year we are pleased to honor Dr. Cheryl Perry as the recipient of the Prevention Science Award. Cheryl’s career has been distinguished by numerous contributions to prevention science. Together with colleagues on the Stanford Heart Disease Prevention Project she developed one of the first smoking prevention programs. She has also developed and evaluated interventions for preventing adolescent alcohol use and her general school-based health promotion approach constituted the frame-work for the national Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH) funded by NHLBI in 1986, the largest school-based intervention study to reduce cardiovascular risk through diet, activity and tobacco prevention. Cheryl has a gift for creating programs that are engaging to children and teenagers. She has created programs that get parents and their children to interact in ways that encourage healthy eating and discourage tobacco and alcohol use. She has also contributed to tobacco control through her work as an expert witness in the State of Minnesota’s lawsuit against the major tobacco companies. One article referred to her as “Big Tobacco’s Worst Nightmare – little Cheryl Perry”.

International Collaborative Prevention Research Award
This year we are pleased to present the International Collaborative Prevention Research Award to Dr. John Winston Toumbourou, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Melbourne and a Senior Researchers at the Center for Adolescent Health, within the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. John is a founding member and the past Chair of the College of Health Psychologists within the Australian Psychological Society and is a Principal Investigator on a number of studies investigating healthy youth development. John is a leading Australian prevention scientist who has contributed to policies for reducing harmful youth substance use by conducting collaborative international research exploring the similarities and differences for children and adolescents growing up in Australia and the USA. His research collaboration with Richard Catalano and the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington has enabled the Communities adaptation and implementation of American-developed programs in Australian communities and the cross-national testing of student survey research instruments through the International Youth Development Study.

Science to Practice Award
This year we are pleased to present the Science to Practice Award to Dr. Dennis Embry, President/CEO of PAXIS Institute in Tucson, Arizona, an organization he founded to encourage the extensive collaboration between the science and practice of prevention in the United States and internationally. Dennis has been described as the premier prevention practitioner in the nation. He created the Peacebuilder’s program, which has translated what was known about school wide behavior management into a program that has been shown to have a significant benefit in reducing aggressive behavior in children. He single-handedly led the State of Wyoming through a process of reviewing the evidence about what influences adolescent problem development, wrote the legislation to create research-based interventions in Wyoming, and then facilitated the implementation of those interventions. He implemented a reward and reminder program to reduce tobacco sales to adolescents in Wyoming and Wisconsin and reduced sales rates to below 10%, where they have stayed. He evaluated the intervention in a multiple baseline design across to states. He is a model for how entrepreneurial practitioners can use and disseminate research-based practices.

Public Service Award
This year we are pleased to honor, Jon Baron, Esq. as the recipient of the Public Service Award. Jon founded the nonprofit, nonpartisan Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy in fall 2001, and currently serves as its Executive Director. The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote government policymaking based on rigorous evidence of program effectiveness. Since its founding, the Coalition has built a strong track record of success in working with top Executive Branch and Congressional policymakers to advance evidence-based reforms in major U.S. social programs. Jon and his group have worked with key Senators that have yielded concrete advances in Congressional support for randomized controlled trials in education and poverty reduction. More recently, the Coalition has worked with SPR to advance braided funding, coordinating meetings with leaders of ACF and other federal research agencies and have partnered with us to help put forward a strategy to advance SPR’s advocacy efforts.

Presidential Award
This year we are pleased and proud to present the Presidential Award to Dr. Eugene Oetting, a founding member of SPR and currently Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University. His distinguished research career focused on the prevention of substance abuse and other social problems for over forty years with special attention to minority groups. He was one of the original mentors who helped develop NIDA’s program for fostering minority researchers and those he mentored have themselves developed notable careers such as our own Felipe Castro, this year’s program chair. Gene had one of the first grants given by NlDA in 1974 to study the epidemiology of drug use among Native American reservation youth and he subsequently created the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research focusing on research on social problems affecting rural and minority communities. Not to be ignored, however, was the many contributions to theory and instrument development that he and his colleagues at the Tri-Ethnic Center have produced.

Community, Culture and Prevention Science Award
This year we are pleased to give the Community, Culture and Prevention Award to Dr. Norweeta Milburn, Associate Research Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA. An active member of the American Psychological Association Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues), she serves as an associate editor of its journal, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, is the elected African-American member-at-large and chair of the Division’s newly constituted Science Task Force. Dr. Milburn’s research is in the areas of mental health and drug abuse, and has most often focused on racial/ethic minority populations and marginalized groups, including homeless people. She has consistently drawn upon her expertise in conducting applied research in community settings, using collaborative community participation in research designs, and working with racial/ethnic minority groups, primarily African Americans. She has a clear understanding of the diversity that exists within communities of color, and has always sought to address this diversity in her work. Her work with ethnically diverse populations spans nearly 30 years, and she has made a significant impact on the well-being of several underserved populations. Please welcome Norweeta Milburn.

Service to SPR
We are pleased to present the Service to SPR award this year to Dr. Deborah Gorman-Smith, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Chicago at Illinois. Her professional work focuses on families living in urban poor communities, looking at the relationship between the community and family violence and the connection between delinquency and antisocial behavior. Her research involves understanding how the family tasks of raising and protecting children are affected by the social context in which they live. However, the Service to SPR award is provided to an individual or a team of individuals in recognition of outstanding service to the organization. And Debbie has sometimes, given her energy and commitment, seemed to be a team. She has been the treasurer for the past three years, sponsorship fund chair for the past two years, and an active member of SPR for at least the past 8 years. It is said she became an active board member because she believes SPR is a critical organization for Prevention Science and for development of future prevention scientists. Debbie recently received a W. T. Grant Faculty award to focus on evaluating the impact of community structural and neighborhood social organization characteristics on family functioning and child development. She is spending her two-year fellowship with the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy at the Council for Excellence in Government, and will be involved in the coalition’s work with federal and congressional policymakers to reform social programs affecting youth as well as be the liaison between the Coalition and SPR. Let’s give a rousing welcome to someone who helps keep SPR alive and well.

Friend of ECPN Award
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 2006 Friend of ECPN award to Dr. Tracy Harachi, Research Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work. As an active member of the Society for Prevention Research, including her past role as a board member, she championed the NIDA intern program, which gives young scholars the opportunity to experience the annual SPR conference under the mentorship of early career preventionists. In her role as professor, she has freely given of her time and wisdom by providing mentorship to early career individuals, providing guidance on both personal and professional issues, while maintaining a busy and impressive career path. In the words of one former mentee, “I’m not sure that I would have made it without her…Dr. Harachi did not have an abundance of time…with her work, research, travel, and teaching, but she never made me feel like a burden; if anything, she made me feel like she was honored to help me on my path.”

ECPN Early Career Award
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 2006 early career award to Dr. Ty Ridenour. Dr. Ridenour earned his Master’s degree and doctorate in Educational Psychology from Ball State University, completing his work there in 1996. He then earned a Master’s degree in psychiatric epidemiology from Washington University School of Medicine in 1998. Though he completed his doctoral work just 10 years ago, Dr. Ridenour has an impressive record of receiving federal funding. He was a post-doctoral fellow with the National Institute on Mental Health, and subsequently was awarded a B-Start, a K award, and a major research grant (RO1). He currently serves as a research associate professor at Penn State University, where his work centers on substance use prevention and the identification of early psychopathology. He pioneered the development of the ALEXSA, a computer based tool for the Assessment of Liability and Exposure to Substance Use and Antisocial Behavior in children. This tool includes approximately 150 measures of problem behavior risks and protectors as well as positive youth development measures. The ALEXSA is in the process of being translated into three versions of Spanish (Mexican, Peruvian, and Puerto Rican), and Dr. Ridenour has complete extensive psychometric work with his novel instrument. He also serves as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous journals, as a member of the methodology training committee for SPR, and has been an author on over 15 peer reviewed manuscripts. We are pleased to honor his impressive career beginning with this presentation of this award.