at 17th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC

Society for Prevention Research2009 Awards
May 28, 2009

The Presidential Award is given to those who have made a major lifetime contribution to prevention science research. This year we are pleased and proud to present the Presidential Award to Dr. David Olds, Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Preventive Medicine and Director of the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health at the University of Colorado, Denver. The inspiration for Dr. Olds’ career in prevention science began in Baltimore in the 1970’s, when he was an undergraduate student working in an inner-city day care center. He realized that the care he and others were providing at the center was often too little and too late – that helping parents and children much earlier in their lives was the best, and really the only, way to alter the effects of multiple generations of behavior. After pursuing graduate education, Dr. Olds’ passion to help young children and families get a better start in life led to the development of the nurse home visitation model, which involves home visits by a registered nurse for first-time, low-income women from pregnancy through the child’s second year of life. From the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s, Dr. Olds conducted three randomized, controlled trials that demonstrated the Nurse-Family Partnership program reduces the risks for early antisocial behavior and prevents problems associated with youth crime and delinquency. After the third experimental trial, Dr. Olds began a careful process of disseminating the Nurse-Family Partnership program nationwide. As of July 2008, the Nurse-Family Partnership was being implemented in 25 states. Dr. Olds’ approach to scaling up the Nurse-Family Partnership, through the development of a national non-profit organization that provides technical assistance and training and helps communities develop their capacity to implement the program, serves as a model for effective translation of evidence-based programming. Recently, Dr. Old’s impressive body of work received significant acknowledgement, putting the Nurse Family Partnership on course to becoming the most widely disseminated preventive intervention of all time. President Obama, in his 2010 budget, has called for the creation of “the Nurse Home Visitation Program,” a policy that will invest $8.6 billion over a 10-year period and serve all 570,000 new first-time mothers giving birth in the US.

The Prevention Science Award is given for the work of developing and testing prevention strategies. This year we are pleased to present the Prevention Science Award to Dr. Alex Wagenaar, Professor of Epidemiology and Health Policy at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Wagenaar has made significant contributions to the field of alcohol prevention that have received both national and international recognition. In all of his work, he has been focused primarily on one question: what works to control alcohol use and the damage it can cause to individuals and to the public’s health? He has evaluated the effects of the minimum drinking age; designed and implemented interventions such as Communities Mobilizing for Change, a unique community trial designed to reduce underage alcohol use and alcohol-related problems that became a designated model program; and conducted the Complying with the Minimum Drinking Age study, which significantly advanced our understanding of the types of interventions that are needed to prevent illegal alcohol sales to underage youth. Across all of his research on alcohol use and underage drinking, he has taken an interdisciplinary approach, applied innovative statistical methodologies, and used state-of-the-art research designs. During his distinguished career, Dr. Wagenaar has received more than 25 years of continuous extramural funding for his work, published more than 135 articles in the peer-reviewed literature, been an outstanding mentor to numerous junior colleagues and students, and received numerous honors and awards for his work. Dr. Wagenaar is widely regarded as conducting some of the most important, creative, and innovative work in alcohol abuse prevention.

The Public Service Award is given in recognition of extensive and effective advocacy for prevention science and research-based programs. This year with the Public Service Award we recognizeCongressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, who is serving his ninth term as a Member of Congress. Mr. Scott was the first African American elected to Congress from Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African American elected to Congress in Virginia’s history. Currently, he serves on the Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on Education and Labor, and Committee on the Budget. In his 16 years in Congress, Representative Scott has become known as a champion for the prevention of delinquency and youth drug use. Representative Scott is currently leading efforts to pass comprehensive delinquency prevention legislation by sponsoring the Youth PROMISE Act, which provides resources to state and local governments to prevent juvenile crime and promotes the use of evidence-based prevention and community prevention coalitions. Over the past two years, Representative Scott has held forums throughout the country to raise awareness about the benefits of prevention over incarceration, and of the effectiveness of evidence-based prevention and intervention programs. Mr. Scott’s lifetime of public service and leadership in Congress has greatly advanced the understanding of federal legislators on issues related to prevention science and evidence-based programs.

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 are pleased to present the Science and Practice Award to Mary Ellen O’Connell, Senior Program Officer of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. Ms. O’Connell served as study director for the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine Report, “Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities,” which was released in February 2009. Ms. O’Connell played a very valuable role as facilitator and co-editor of this report, which represents a significant contribution to the field of prevention science. Previously, she has served as study director for four consensus studies: on international education, housing-related health hazards involving children, assessing and improving children’s health, and reducing underage drinking.

The Nan Tobler Award for Review of the Prevention Science is given for contributions to the summarization or articulation of the empirical evidence relevant to prevention science. This year we are pleased to present the Nan Tobler Award for Review of the Prevention Science Literature to Dr. James Derzon, Senior Evaluation Specialist, Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation, for the paper entitled, “Using Correlational Evidence to Select Youth for Prevention Programming, published in the Journal of Primary Prevention in 2007. Using meta-analytic techniques, this review examined evidence regarding the strength of relationship between substance use and 29 risk and protective factors identified by the Communities that Care model. The findings have important implications for the choice of universal versus targeted prevention approaches for the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among youth.

The Community, Culture, & Prevention Science Award is given for contributions to the field of prevention science in the area of community and culture. This year we are pleased to present the Community, Culture, and Prevention Science Award to Dr. Laurie Miller Brotman, Corzine Family Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and founding and current Director of the Institute for Prevention Science and Harris Obesity Prevention Effort at the New York University Child Study Center. Over the past ten years, Dr. Brotman has developed and tested culturally-informed family and school interventions for the prevention of conduct disorders in preschoolers from low-income, urban communities. To date, she has adapted existing evidence-based programs and developed and tested new program strategies for urban families, which has involved making culturally-sensitive changes to program content and delivery strategies while maintaining key evidence-based program elements. During the past nine years, Dr. Brotman has developed and tested a new program known as ParentCorps, which has shown recently showcased in the media based on its preventive effects on aggressive behaviors and achievement test scores. Her research has had a significant influence on our understanding of risk factors and the important targets for intervention among minority, low-income families. Dr. Brotman’s work has demonstrated the importance of carefully considering the cultural norms and values of families who are the target of prevention programs. Her interventions have demonstrated high rates of engagement and satisfaction among participants, success that comes from her dedication to tackling the complicated issues of culture directly.

The International Collaborative Prevention Research Award recognizes contributions to the field of prevention science in the area of international collaboration. This year we are pleased to present the International Collaborative Prevention Research Award to Dr. John Lochman, Professor and Doddridge Saxon Chair holder in Clinical Psychology and Director of the Center for Prevention of Youth Problem Behavior at the University of Alabama. Dr. Lochman’s research has focused on risk factors, social cognitive processes, and intervention and prevention research with aggressive children, and he has more than 260 publications in this area. During the past decade, he has collaborated with colleagues at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands to conduct work on aggressive behaviors and substance use disorders, supported by two international supplements to NIH research grants. One of these studies was an experimental trial of a Dutch version of Coping Power, an intervention program based on a contextual social-cognitive model of childhood aggression that involves skills training for both parents and children. A second study examined affective decision-making as a potential mediator of program effects on adolescents’ tobacco and marijuana use. He and his Dutch colleagues have several research papers and a forthcoming book on this work. Since 2007, Dr. Lochman has been a Special Visiting Professor in Interdisciplinary Behavioral Research (Department of Social Sciences), and in the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Utrecht, and in 2004 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands for his prevention research. His international work has also included providing intervention training in Poland, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and Puerto Rico.

The Service to SPR Award is given in recognition of outstanding service to the organization. This year we are please to present the Service to SPR Award to Dr. Kathy Etz, Program Officer at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Etz has made numerous contributions to SPR. She served on the Board of Directors from 2002 to 2005. While she was on the Board, she revitalized the Training Committee and served as its chair for six years. She served on the SPR Awards Committee from 2006 to 2008, and she has served on the Knowledge Task Force for the past three years. Dr. Etz has organized and chaired three pre-conference workshops and she served on the Conference Planning committee in 2008. Each year, she reviews abstracts for the annual conference and is a regular reviewer for Prevention Science. Dr. Etz serves as a mentor for the Early Career Preventionists Network.


The Early Career Prevention Network (ECPN) Early Career Award is given to a person early in their career in prevention who has shown a commitment to prevention science through outstanding research, policy or practice. This year we are pleased to present the ECPN Early Career Award to Dr. Mildred Maldonado-Molina. After completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Mildred Maldonado-Molina’s graduate studies concentrated on methodology in Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University under the tutelage of Dr. Linda Collins. Dr. Maldonado-Molina is an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research at the Institute for Child Health Policy. Her research foci include longitudinal methods, substance abuse, health policy, and health disparities related to Hispanic populations. Currently, Dr. Maldonado-Molina is a Co-Principal Investigator of a project examining the effects of alcohol tax policies on risky behaviors and health outcomes. She is also an investigator in projects examining the etiology of alcohol use among racially diverse and economically disadvantaged urban youth, testing the effects of DUI penalties in reducing underage drinking, and evaluating patterns of substance progression among Hispanic adolescents. Dr. Maldonado-Molina’s most recent research funding was a K-Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism titled, “Alcohol Contextual Influences: Effects on Health Disparities and Mortality.”

The Friend of ECPN Award is presented to a mid-career or senior preventionist who has supported and encouraged early career person or issuesThe recipient of the Friend of ECPN Award will have been active in supporting early career activities, either by helping ECPN as an organization; promoting training, funding, or early career involvement in prevention efforts; or encouraging early Preventionists in their work. This year we are pleased to present The Friend of ECPN Award to Dr. J. Mark Eddy, research scientist and licensed psychologist at the Oregon Social Learning Center. It is extremely fitting to honor Dr. Eddy as he was the founder of the Early Career Preventionists Network. The ECPN was established in 1994 as a web-based organization and in 2003 it became a standing committee of SPR. The article A survey of prevention science training: Implications for educating the next generation (Eddy, J. M., Smith, P., Brown, C. H., & Reid, J. B. (2005). Prevention Science, 6 (01), 59-71) is a seminal reference for prevention science training. Dr. Eddy continues to be very active in supporting early career activities. He and Dr. Charles Martinez, Jr. established the very successful annual Sloboda and Bukoski SPR Cup competition now in its fourth year. The SPR Cup provides a unique and exciting opportunity for early career researchers to experience the collaborative process in the prevention research field. As a member of the SPR board of directors, co-chair of the SPR training committee, and participant in ECPN seminars, Dr. Eddy continues to promote training and mentoring opportunities.