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CU Boulder Earns Abstract of Distinction Award at 32nd Annual SPR Meeting

Banner with information about the 32nd Annual Society for Prevention Research Meeting. The meeting will be held May 28-31, 2024.

A roundtable symposium chaired by Pamela Buckley, associate research professor and fellow at the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS), has earned the 2024 Society for Prevention Research (SPR) Abstract of Distinction Award. The presentation, titled “How Can Clearinghouses Help the Field Re-Envision, Re-Tool and Improve upon the Measurement Tools, Methodologies, and Dissemination Processes of Evidence-Based Preventive Interventions to Promote Equitable Health for Children, Families and Communities?” will feature Buckley as well as Christine Steeger, Karl Hill, and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development board members Abby Fagan, Frances Gardner and Velma McBride Murry.   

The Annual SPR Meeting is the premiere conference for prevention science professionals. This is the eighth year the SPR has conferred abstracts of distinction, which “highlight abstracts and topics that are particularly noteworthy and are likely to generate excitement and attendance at the presentations.” This is also the second time the Blueprints team has earned this distinction. The team won the Abstract of Distinction back in 2022 for a symposium organized by Karl Hill, titled “Common Flaws in Designing and Analyzing Preventive Interventions and How to Avoid Them“.

The SPR meeting will be held next week, May 28-31, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. In addition to the roundtable, several IBS fellows and faculty are also presenting. Below is a list of all presentations from CU Boulder: 

Amir Behzadan hosts workshop for culturally sensitive AI solutions to disasters

Participants of the Harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Disaster Management: Bridging Research, Practice, and Community Engagement workshop held on the CU Boulder campus.

Amir Behzadan, professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering and a faculty research fellow of the Natural Hazards Center, hosted the Harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Disaster Management workshop on April 19. The AI4DM workshop aimed to address disaster and emergency management’s hesitation toward AI, as well as a lack of diversity in the workplace leading to subsequent delayed or unfair aid to lower income communities hit by disasters. Susan Glairon, communications specialist for the Community Engagement, Design and Research Center (CEDaR) writes more about the workshop and its implications for disaster and emergency management here.

Remembering the Generosity, Loyalty and Exceptional Career of David Huizinga

The late David Huizinga in a pink checkered shirt and glasses. Behind, an aerial view of CU Boulder campus.

David Huizinga, a senior research associate at IBS, passed away on April 5, 2024. He was 82 years old. A memorial service will be held at IBS on Satuday, June 15 at 1 p.m. MT. 

An alumnus of The University of Wyoming, Huizinga earned both his Bachelors and Masters of Economics in 1963 and 1965. He earned his Ph.D in Psychology from the University of Colorado in 1977, whereupon he joined the Institute of Behavioral Science and had a distinguished 40-year career.

Known by many as hard working and accurate to a tee, Huizinga was also open-minded, patient, and loyal. He may be best known as the principle investigator for the Denver Youth Study (1988-1992), a five-wave longitudinal study of youth and parents in Denver-area, high-risk neighborhoods. Together with Del Elliott, professor emeritus and founder of both CSPV and what-is-now PSP, and the late Frank Dunford, a researcher and criminologist at IBS, Huizinga set a standard for longitudinal research on adolescent health and development.

“Dave was a stickler for accuracy and detail but very even tempered and patient, always generous with his time,” says Del Elliott. “I owe a great debt to Dave, he was my close, talented, dependable partner over most of my career and my success as a researcher and scholar relied significantly on his friendship and generous contribution to my work.”

Huizinga was renown for his mathematical expertise and experience in data processing and analysis. He was often asked to consult both criminological researchers and researchers in other areas involving large data sets and complicated data analysis problems. Huizinga also implemented techniques to protect the identity of human subjects in large data sets while still providing general access to the data.

“Dave Huizinga was a stalwart in the Problem Behavior Program in IBS,” says Richard Jessor, distinguished professor emeritus of behavioral science, professor emeritus of psychology and former director of IBS. “He was successful in bringing funds to IBS but, more important, he brought his methodological and conceptual skills to bear on the refractory task of illuminating life course development. He was a valued colleague and a model for others in IBS to emulate. His absence will be felt.”

In many ways, the legacy of David Huizinga will continue, whether through data techniques he created, password protocols he advised, or through the many David-ism sayings passed down in CSPV. IBS will continue its mission on collecting world-changing research thanks in part to the career and character of David Huizinga.

Colleen Scanlan Lyons Moderates at Pivotal Meeting on New Forest Economy

A photo of the GCF Task Force project directors. Colleen Scanlan Lyons stands just left of center.

From April 23 to April 26, the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force) held an important and collaborative meeting in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The event saw key stakeholders collaborating on how to create a New Forest Economy that balances protecting forests with economic opportunities and protected livelihoods for local communities and Indigenous Peoples. Colleen Scanlan Lyons, associate research professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, IBS fellow and interim director for the Center for the Governance of Natural Resources, is a GCF task force project director and helped moderate discussions at the meeting. Learn more about this event here.

CSPV-Supported Initiative Confronting Youth Violence Crisis

CSPV Director Beverly Kingston, far left, YVPC Project Director Dave Bechhoefer, far right, and the Game Changers.

A group of Denver-area youth working together to address the violence they’re seeing in their schools. Called the Game-Changers, the group was formed in 2023 by the Youth Violence Prevention Center-Denver (YVPC-Denver), an outgrowth of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. Lisa Marshall, Science Writer for CU Boulder Today, shares more about the group, YVPC-Denver and their monumental work in combatting school violence in CU Boulder Today.

Safe2Tell, Created After Columbine, Making a Difference in Schools

High school students smile together in their school hallway.

Safe2Tell, Colorado’s anonymous safety concern reporting platform, saw a 30% increase in reports compared to 2023. The platform was created by CSPV’s founder, Del Elliott, along with Ken Salazar, the current U.S. ambassador to Mexico and Colorado’s then-Attorney General. They began work on a Safe Communities Safe Schools initiative in 2009, after Columbine. Traveling across the state, Elliott and Salazar visited every county to analyze how to make communities safer after the country’s deadliest school shooting. Despite recent trends, Safe2Tell is making a difference in schools. Óscar Contreras writes more about the initiative in his article for The Follow Up on Denver7 News.

A Legacy of Kindness: Remembering Chuck Howe

Members of the IBS Environment and Behavior Program (now Environment and Society Program) circa May 1994. Chuck Howe sits second to the right.

Chuck Howe, professor emeritus of economics and past director of the E&S program, passed away on March 3, 2024, at the age of 93. A Celebration of Life was held last week, where many from Howe’s storied life remarked on his enormous impact.

Chuck Howe, professor emeritus of economics and past director of the E&S program.

Howe and wife JoAnne regularly invited international visitors into their home over the holidays. Inspired by the Howe family’s warm welcome, many of these visitors chose IBS as their intellectual home. Director of IBS, Lori Hunter, was one such person whose family was invited out by the Howe’s. Lori recalls the Howes showing her family around when they first moved to Boulder, and the kind gesture is fondly remembered. 

“Chuck was an extraordinarily kind and wise man, generous with his time and his wide smile.  The Institute was enriched tremendously because of Chuck’s involvement, and he is missed,” says Hunter. 

An alumnus of Rice and Purdue University, Howe received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1958. He joined CU Boulder in 1970 as professor of economics. Howe was a leader in water management and regulation research, with particular focus on the American West. However, Howe also maintained a broad international outlook based on his many years living abroad in Indonesia, the Netherlands and Kenya. 

Howe became director of the then Environment and Behavior Program (E&B) in 1986. According to Terry McCabe, professor emeritus of anthropology and IBS fellow, Howe held intellectually stimulating program meetings, with lively, wide-ranging discussions all centered around the environment. 

The Environment and Behavior Program in May 1994. Members surround a table with a chalkboard in the background.
Lively discussions held by the E&B Program in May 1994. Chuck Howe is seated third from right.

“To say Chuck was a kind and supportive person is a vast understatement,” says McCabe. “He cared, not only about the intellectual life of those in the program, but about how each of us were progressing with our lives. I feel very fortunate to have had Chuck as a mentor and colleague.” 

While we mourn the loss of such a pivotal academic and community leader, IBS will continue Howe’s legacy in welcoming and supporting a diverse range of students, faculty and staff. 

Beverly Kingston remarks on need for violence prevention infrastructure 25 years post Columbine

Students sit in a large classroom, all facing one direction. There is a hallway separating the desks.

This week marks 25 years since the Columbine High School tragedy, where 12 students and one teacher were murdered. Yet, the issue of violence in schools is still rampant. This year alone, 78 people have lost their lives in 88 shootings at K-12 schools in the U.S. And deaths from mass shootings in general have increased 141% over the last decade.

Beverly Kingston, Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, shares her insights into this tragic anniversary and what must be done to curtail the legacy of Columbine.

David Pyrooz reflects on 25th anniversary of Columbine tragedy

A large hallway in a high school with two doors at the very end. Lockers line the hall, and industrial lights shine over the hall.

Columbine. It’s a pivotal event in US history, and it’s the mass shooting most often cited in a recent survey by Professor of Sociology, David Pyrooz, and colleagues. As we remember the 13 victims at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado 25 years after their massacre, we must also confront the unfortunate legacy Columbine has established for gun violence in America today. Pyrooz shares more in The Denver Post about the impact of Columbine and what we can do to overcome it.