Hill Walker's long-running work in education draws new international award

EUGENE, Ore. -- (March 5, 2012) -- There remains a lot to do, says Hill Walker of the University of Oregon College of Education of his career-long specialty of studying and addressing behavioral issues in public education. His accomplishments, however, have drawn international recognition.

Hill WalkerWalker, co-director of the University of Oregon's Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior, is the inaugural recipient of the Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award, newly established by the Council for Exceptional Children's Division of Research. He will formally receive the award during the organization's annual convention, April 11-14, in Denver.

"This is an award that recognizes research achievements from one's colleagues who are members of the CEC's Division of Research," said Walker, who began his academic career in 1967 at the UO after having earned his master's and doctorate degrees from the College of Education. "So I find the recognition from them to be especially gratifying. The praise and recognition of one's peers is always to be valued as they are the best judges of what you do and its likely impact.

"The work I am recognized for covers more than four decades of effort -- by myself and in collaboration with many of my colleagues here -- to address the needs and problems of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders," Walker said. "While we have made progress, there is much left to do in this specialization."

When Walker began his career, there was little understanding of students with behavioral disorders within the public education system. Over time, his work has made the intricate issues a national priority and is visible in school districts across the country. His research has contributed to social skills assessments and early interventions, violence prevention and improvements in school safety. He received the Council for Exceptional Children Research Award in 1993 and the University of Oregon Presidential Medal in 2000.

The Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award was established to recognize individuals or research teams whose research has resulted in the advancement of effective services or education for exceptional individuals. The award is funded through earnings of the Handbook of Special Education (2011), edited by James Kauffman and Daniel Hallahan and published by Routledge. It is co-sponsored by Routledge Press.

"This award is well-deserved recognition of the pioneering research and leadership of Hill Walker," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation. "Hill's contributions are reflected in the excellence of the College of Education, whose programs continually produce tomorrow's best teachers and advance our knowledge on how to best improve the education of children with special needs."

According to the council’s announcement: "The depth, breadth and quality of Dr. Walker's scholarship and the impact his work has had on the field of special education deeply impressed the awards committee. He has devoted his career to research aimed at making a difference in the lives of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. His research has been supported by numerous grants and reported in national and international presentations, top research journals and critical books in the field. Further, he has created systematic screening assessments, tests, intervention programs, curricula, and behavior management programs that have made a meaningful difference in the lives of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Internationally respected, he has also helped shape national and state policy."

The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional association dedicated to improving the educational success of children with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. Its members include special education teachers and administrators, professors, related service providers, paraprofessionals and parents.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact: Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481, jebarlow@uoregon.edu

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