2014 Award Recipients

Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award

Barbara Thompson
Office of the Deputy
Assistant Secretary of
Office of Family Policy/
Children & Youth/Special

The BoHS Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award honors a nationally recognized leader who has a significant history of promoting and advancing the Human Sciences. BoHS is delighted to award the 2014 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award to Ms. Barbara Thompson, Director of the Office of Family Policy/Children & Youth/Special Needs in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community & Family Policy. For more than 35 years, Ms. Thompson has made a remarkable number of important contributions to the lives of children, youth and families. She has repeatedly demonstrated her belief in the power of collaboration between science and practice to address issues facing Military families. Ms. Thompson has successfully made the case that supporting Service members and their families is EVERYONE’S responsibility.

Through her lifelong service and visionary commitment to the Extension-Military Partnership, she has charted a course that has significantly improved human well-being in the military and civilian context. She is truly committed to not only supporting Service members and their families, but has also been an ardent supporter of the Land-Grant Universities and their mission. Ms. Thompson is an excellent policymaker; she is thoughtful, diligent, collaborative, and methodologically sound. As Director of the Office of Family Policy/Children & Youth/Special Needs, Ms. Thompson is responsible for programs and policies that promote military families’ well-being, readiness and quality of life. In this capacity, she has oversight for the Department of Defense (DoD) child development and youth programs, which serve 700,000 children (birth-18) daily at over 300 locations worldwide. Ms. Thompson has purview over family readiness programs, including spouse career advancement, personal financial readiness, and the Joint Family Support Assistance Program, which serves geographically dispersed military members and their families. She also has policy oversight of the Family Advocacy Program and Exceptional Family Member Program. Through her leadership, Ms. Thompson and her office championed the formal interagency governmental partnership that was formed between the DoD, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Land-Grant University system in 2010.

The Extension-Military Partnership has focused on cultivating collaborations with educational institutions, non-governmental and community based organizations, and other groups and organizations with expertise in early childhood education, youth development and family studies to support the family support programs, workforce development, and child care & youth development needs of the DoD. In a recent federal news release related to this project it was noted that “this partnership builds on the strengths of the Land-grant university system, with more than 100 colleges and universities, the Cooperative Extension Service, with its reach into every county in the United States, and its youth development program, 4-H, that serves more than 6.5 million young people across our great nation.” Moreover, through this partnership programs that are mutually beneficial to both military and non-military audiences are being evaluated and expanded to meet the needs of families. There have been more than 35 different initiatives that have included DoD and various Land-grant Universities across the US increasing and strengthening community capacity in support of military families. Two examples that involve Board on Human Science member institutions include:

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness (Pennsylvania State University): Driven by research in social science, learning, and technology, the Clearinghouse works with professionals from various fields, providing critical information on programs and practices that show real evidence of having lasting success.

Military Research and Outreach for Military Families (REACH) (University of Minnesota): Utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach to integrating both Research and Outreach, Military REACH provides critical and current research needed to inform policy and programs to inform those who work with and on behalf of military families.

Moreover, Ms. Thompson has also addressed the needs related to well-trained civilian employees within family support centers, child care centers, afterschool programs, and youth programs on and off installation that serve military families. She established an on-going paid internship program as a part of the collaboration with USDA.

Military Internships (Purdue University): The Military Extension Internship Program, recruits university students from across the U.S. to gain valuable experience working with youth, school-age, and child development programs. This experience takes place on military installations across the United States with some opportunities for international placement. Interns receive living expenses and travel expenses.

This partnership has resulted in significant impacts on improving the quality of life for military families by harnessing the applied research capacity of the Land-grant research and extension faculty. Her office has provided funding support for a consortium of Land-grant Universities to develop a new evidence-based standard for early care and education that will become the curriculum used in US military child development centers worldwide (and made available in the public domain for civilian child care settings as well). This will set a new bar for early care and education curricula nationally.

Before joining the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Ms. Thompson spent 18 years with Air Force Family Programs, most recently as the Child Development Program and Youth Training and Curriculum Specialist at Air Force Headquarters. During her tenure with the Air Force, Ms. Thompson was an integral member of the team that helped over 98% of Air Force child development programs achieve accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Ms. Thompson graduated cum laude from St. Louis University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Early Education and Spanish. She received her Master’s degree in Management from Troy State University.

Ms. Thompson has been a visible and effective national and international leader in her unwavering dedication and support of military families, Land-grant Universities, and the Human Sciences. Caroline Crocoll Ph.D., Director-Division of Family & Consumer Sciences at the Department of Agriculture captured the essence of why Ms. Thompson is an excellent recipient of the BoHS Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award, when she stated, “Barbara Thompson is a cherished public servant and leader who brings wisdom, vision, insight and expertise to the advancement of the Human Sciences.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. David Edgell
East Carolina University
School of Hospitality
Leadership, College of
Human Ecology

The BoHS Lifetime Achievement Award honors a nationally recognized leader in the Human Sciences who has a significant history of promoting and advancing the Human Sciences in higher education. BoHS is honored to award Dr. David Edgell, Professor of Hospitality Leadership in the College of Human Ecology at East Carolina University, with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Edgell’s nominator Dr. Judy Siguaw, Dean of the College of Human Ecology at East Carolina University, eloquently stated, “I believe that very few individuals within the academic community have had the broad impact on humanity that Dr. Edgell has had and continues to have.” Dr. Edgell’s philosophy has been and continues to be that it is in all our interest to help fellow beings to protect this planet, which is our only home and in so doing make this world a better place for ourselves and ensure that it remains intact for future generations to enjoy. His background and experience in promoting positive tourism policies and programs include an explicit concern for poverty reduction and for the sustaining of natural and built resources throughout the world. His interdisciplinary approach in teaching, his research into the principles and practices of tourism through the medium of economics, sustainability, history, heritage, and culture has helped Human Science academicians and practitioners to better understand the impact the tourism industry has on global welfare, including the tourism-poverty nexus.

Dr. Edgell has devoted much of his career toward strengthening and promulgating the benefits of tourism as an economic and social development tool for communities and nations throughout the world. He has more than 40 years involvement at all levels – global, national and local – in labor economics and in the tourism policy and planning arena. Dr. Edgell has had a distinguished research and policy career in the U.S. Government, serving at one point as the Director, Office of Research, Legislation and Program Policies in the U.S. Department of Labor and later as the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism in the U.S. Department of Commerce. He also represented the U.S. Government as head of delegation to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Organization of American States, the Asia-Pacific Economic Council, the Caribbean Tourism Organization and as Executive Director of World’s Fairs and Expositions.

Dr. Edgell has worked on many projects aimed at improving social and cultural aspects of human life and conserving natural resources. Tourism is often the only industry that can generate revenues more quickly than most other economic sectors in many of the lesser developed countries of the world. As a result, the UN has designated the tourism industry as a most effective means of combating poverty in the world’s poorest countries. In response, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) created the “Sustainable Tourism-Eliminating Poverty Initiative.” UNWTO is the global forum for tourism policy issues and provides leadership and practical sources of tourism information for the world. It is vested by the UN in all matters of tourism policy and is a key organization working toward poverty alleviation, and peace through sustainable tourism. Dr. Edgell has been associated with UNWTO since its founding in 1976 and has influenced areas of policy formulation of this prestigious organization. For many years Dr. Edgell has been working with the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, and the improved quality of the environment, the preservation of heritage, and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world. A primary goal of IIPT is to mobilize the travel and tourism industry as a leading force for poverty reduction. In 2013 The President of IIPT noted in a tribute to Dr. Edgell that “…I have found David to be a dedicated futurist who saw early on the broad benefits of utilizing sustainable tourism as an avenue for a balanced and healthy economy while protecting and enhancing a destination’s social, cultural, historical, natural and built resources for the well-being of both visitors and residents.” From 2001-2010 Dr. Edgell served on the Board of Trustees of People to People International (PTPI), founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The goal of PTPI is “…to advance international understanding and friendship, tolerance and world peace between people of all nations through direct people-to-people contacts.” In 2012, Dr. Edgell, as a nonpaid academic volunteer expert on ecotourism (Dr. Edgell is a member of the International Ecotourism Society), traveled to the Commonwealth of Dominica with an expatriate Carib Indian and a business person willing to fund a project to help the Carib Indians. Their purpose was to help develop an ecotourism project in the Carib Indian Territory (reservation) of Dominica where 3,000 Carib Indians live in poverty and survive through subsistence agriculture and fishing. The three partners developed a plan of action for the construction of the ecotourism project. The construction phase of the project was just recently completed and currently other phases of the plan are moving ahead. The hope is that this venture is successful, and can be replicated elsewhere within the Carib Indian Territory; it could help lead to poverty alleviation for many of the Carib Indians.

In 2003, Dr. Edgell accepted a professorship at East Carolina University (ECU) to develop a Center for Sustainable Tourism. He completed this work in 2005 and ECU now has the largest university program in sustainable tourism in the U.S. and has a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Tourism. Currently, Dr. Edgell is a full time professor of international commerce, tourism and economic development in the School of Hospitality Leadership in the College of Human Ecology at East Carolina University. He is an outstanding research scholar and a highly recognized teaching professor in tourism policy, planning, and marketing and in the development and management of sustainable tourism. Dr. Edgell has authored ten books and over 100 articles on tourism, trade, and economic development. He has had a long career as a nationally-recognized leader in the Human Science principles and practices in the fields of travel and tourism, international commerce, and economic development aimed toward contributions to the welfare of the human race. His unique contributions in advancing Human Science principles, his extraordinary services aimed at global poverty alleviation, and his impact through the medium of his international leadership on the socioeconomic benefits of international commerce, tourism, and economic development have been a gift to the Human Science community. Dr. Edgell subscribes to the ancient proverb (author unknown): “We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors; we have only borrowed it from our children.”

Outstanding Engagement Award

Dr. David Riley
University of Wisconsin,
Human Development and
Family Studies,
Cooperative Extension

The BoHS Outstanding Engagement Award recognizes an individual “campus based” or “state level faculty member” for exceptional creativity and scholarship in the development, application, and evaluation of outreach, extension, and public service programs. BoHS is proud to announce that Dr. David Riley, professor in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension, is the 2014 Outstanding Engagement Award recipient. Dr. Riley has made exceptional contributions to the fields of early childhood and parenting, particularly by producing a measurable, positive impact on issues of concern to Wisconsin citizens, by working with them in their own communities to use the tools of research to address these issues, and for doing this with extraordinarily large numbers of citizens and communities across our state (as well as within other states and nations). Dr. Riley’s exemplary contributions are noted in the following way: (1) Demonstrated impacts across a large population, particularly in the area of child care supply, parenting competence and child care quality, and (2) A novel approach that has created a bridge between the state and the University, disseminating not just our research-based knowledge, but the research process itself to over 100 localities across the state. The demonstrated impacts across large populations include:

Child Care Supply: For a 3 year period in the 1990’s Professor Riley’s work led to one business start every two weeks, a better record of economic development than any other part of the state government for those years and a highly unusual impact for a professor of child development. The Societal issue he was addressing was the “latchkey” child phenomenon. Riley’s approach was to engage the county Extension offices and local organizations in doing local research on the topic, followed by a community development process. Of the 85 local projects researched, the most surprising impact was the creation of 92 after-school child care programs, creating 406 new jobs and over 47,000 families receiving education on teaching their children to be sage when home alone. Professor Moncrieff Cochran of Cornell University is quoted as saying, “In seven years Wisconsin has gone from providing virtually no organized after school programs for its school-aged children to providing a model for the nation…” Extending this project to other states, Riley conducted regional trainings to help other states learn to replicate this project: for example, the project was completed in 50 communities by Dr. Georgia Stevens, an Extension Specialist in Oklahoma. He also helped 4-H programs in 13 states conduct research and issue statewide reports on the impacts of their after-school programs upon children’s development and school performance.

Parenting Competence: Just as impressive has been Prof. Riley’s work to help parents do a better job of raising their children, and in particular to prevent child maltreatment. Riley’s “Parenting the First Year” project used a very old method, monthly age-paced newsletters for parents, but updated it to become the first publication of UW-Extension available on the internet, the first publication available in Spanish, and the first available for licensing to other organizations (in 15 states and 2 countries). As with the project described above, Riley’s main method of reaching the state has been by working with 80 separate distribution networks throughout the state, which have included 70 (out of 72) county Extension offices, 77 maternity hospitals, 22 city or county health departments, and 214 service clubs. This project reached as many as half of all families giving birth in Wisconsin each year since 1990, so that today approximately 10% of Wisconsin citizens have been raised by a parent who received this learn-at-home publication. Counting both the children and adults (averaging two readers per issue) directly affected by the project, this outreach project has directly touched over one-quarter of Wisconsin citizens. we know of no other faculty member who has ever been able to make such a claim.

More importantly, these efforts have led to demonstrated impacts. Both his experimental trial and a randomized controlled trial conducted by another research team reported significant improvements in parental beliefs and stress levels, and improvements in self-reported parenting practices, in studies published in top journals. Parents who receive his monthly learn-at-home publication, compared to control parents who do not, have beliefs significantly less like those of child abusing parents, report spanking their babies significantly fewer times in the previous week, and experience significantly lower levels of stress in response to the daily hassles of raising a baby. For this work, Riley was recognized with the annual awards of Wisconsin’s two top organizations addressing child abuse prevention.

Child Care Quality: After advising state government on its child care policies for many years, Prof. Riley led the technical assistance and evaluation components of a large scale demonstration project for the state beginning in 1999. Conducting a statewide treatment-and-comparison group experiment, with direct observation of classrooms from the Menominee Tribal Child Care program to Multicultural Child Care in Milwaukee, Riley’s team was able to show that state government had the ability to quickly and significantly raise the quality of child care provided to Wisconsin’s low income working families, in ways that should raise the school and life outcomes of the children from those families. This project also led to his publication of 3 textbooks for the training of early childhood professionals, one of which was selected for distribution to 30,000 members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. His team also proposed the development of a second new policy of Wisconsin state government, the YoungStar program that rates Wisconsin child care programs on a 5-star system. Riley and his colleagues began promoting this kind of consumer-based system of quality improvement for Wisconsin child care in the 1990’s. In 2005 they published a paper demonstrating its feasibility for Wisconsin, using existing institutional data of state government. They also delivered a series of presentations to state government leaders on the options for such a program. YoungStar was eventually passed into law and launched in 2011, and the state’s data suggest that better-informed consumers are already driving the state’s child care programs to improve their quality.

Riley has always described his approach as the application of an older tradition –the agricultural seed test– to the realm of social and behavior sciences, generating knowledge that is specific to the local ecology (whether the natural or social ecology). He has produced 179 reports of local research, partnering with over 370 non-profit organizations, businesses, and public agencies. In each of these organizations, spanning every county in Wisconsin, citizens have gained a sense that their state university in Madison cares about them and their local issues. Professor Riley is an exemplar of our land grant mission. Prof. Martha Minow from Harvard Law School, stated, “Dr. Riley is an outstanding scholar and, in the best sense of the word, public servant.”

Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

Dr. Matthew
​Iowa State University
Assistant Professor
Food Science and Human
Nutrition, College of Human

The Board on Human Sciences Undergraduate Research Mentor Award recognizes a faculty member in the Human Sciences for exceptional performance as a research mentor for undergraduate students. BoHS is proud to announce that Dr. Matthew Rowling, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University, is the 2014 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award recipient. Dr. Rowling is truly exceptional in his creativity and scholarship in the development, application, and evaluation of undergraduate research programs.

He conducts research in the area of vitamin D balance as a function of specific disease pathogenesis. Since entering academia, Rowling has authored or co-authored 11 articles for top-tier publications such as the Journal of Nutrition. In addition, he has amassed $312,000 in the last 6 years to support exploration of the understanding the role of vitamin D plays in diabetes and cancer. This has allowed him to provide research opportunities to a countless number of undergraduates, both those working towards their BS degree in dietetics and/or nutritional sciences, as well as those in a 5-year BS/MS degree in diet and exercise. The undergraduates that conduct research under his supervision address nutrition and its role in disease from the whole animal, to specific cell types, to understanding the mechanistic basis at the molecular level. Undergraduates do not simply “chip-in” on a project, but truly have ownership of their own project and are involved with conducting it at all levels, including experimental design, execution, analysis, and preparation of an abstract or manuscript. In addition to research, Dr. Rowling consistently encourages students to engage in Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Human Sciences laboratory meetings with all members of his laboratory, journal club activities, and explore opportunities to report their research as poster or oral presentations, both on campus and at national meetings. Students emerge from this experience with excellent research skills, critical thinking ability, and solid communication skills. He has advised two undergraduate students for the Louise Rosenfield Fellowship and Program or Women and Science and Engineering, giving them opportunities to present their results at national meetings and publish their work. In fact, many of the undergraduates that have conducted research in Dr. Rowling’s laboratory have received authorship on the resultant manuscript, an achievement that is highly remarkable.

The ability to take on a very inexperienced undergraduate and mentor them to this level of research accomplishment is quite amazing, and not something that all academic researchers can claim. Matt has certainly attracted excellent and high achieving students to work in his laboratory, but it his mentoring skill and the environment he provides that develops the inexperienced undergraduate into an independent researcher. Matt clearly understands and embraces the mentorship role in conducting his research, a philosophy that is also highly evident in his teaching and advising as well. Rowling is a mentor to colleagues, graduate students and undergraduates that work in his lab. His hard work and dedication have earned him the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences Early Achievement in Research Award (2011), Teaching Development Award (2011), and the Bio-Serv Award from the American Society for Nutrition. He is also a regular member of a number of federal funding agencies and was recently named to The Journal of Nutrition Editorial Board. He truly embodies the concept of what a mentor is and does, and this is certainly evident in the opportunities that he has provided for numerous undergraduate students, along with their publications. For a number of students, the experiences provided by Matt have had a major impact on their careers and goals, as is exemplified by his former undergraduates that are now in doctoral graduate programs, medical school, and dental school. His research and professional practice activities allow him to bring that knowledge into the classroom and attract undergraduate who want to gain valuable research experience that can really be career changing.

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