August 11, 2009
E. Scott Geller, a 1964 graduate of The College of Wooster, is the 2009 recipient of the American Psychological Foundation’s Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest. The award was presented on August 7 at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Toronto, Canada.
According to the award citation, Geller was honored for “creative and effective applications of behavioral science to improve human welfare across diverse domains, including environmental sustainability, school discipline, prison administration… transportation management, alcohol abuse, alcohol-impaired driving, [and] community safety...”
One early focus of his work in applied behavior analysis was developing community-based techniques for increasing environmentally responsible behaviors. Later, according to an article in American Psychologist, “he began researching techniques to increase the use of vehicle safety belts, which led to a focus on the application of behavioral science to prevent unintentional injuries in organizational settings.”
A member of the faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) since 1969, Geller currently serves as alumni distinguished professor and director of the university’s Center for Applied Behavior Systems. He has won every university teaching award offered at Virginia Tech.
Geller has been the principal investigator for more than 75 research grants involving the application of behavioral science, authored more than 350 research articles, and over 75 books or chapters addressing the development and evaluation of behavior change interventions to improve quality of life.
Geller earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wooster, which American Psychologist noted “provided the intimate context and writing-intensive education Geller needed.” He went on to earn a master’s and a doctorate in experimental psychology, both from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill.
The College of Wooster is an independent liberal arts college, nationally recognized for an innovative curriculum that emphasizes mentored, independent research. Each Wooster senior works one-on-one with a faculty adviser to create an original research project, written work, performance or art exhibit. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 1,800 students.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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