Perkins wins 2016 Community Engagement and Scholarship Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Daniel Perkins, professor in the Department of Agriculture, Sociology and Education and director of the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State, has received the 2016 Penn State Award for Community Engagement and Scholarship.

The award recognizes a project that best exemplifies Penn State as an “engaged institution,” which the Kellogg Commission defines as an institution that has redesigned teaching, research, extension and service functions to become even more sympathetically and productively involved with its communities.

Perkins’ dedication to helping the military and their families led to his nomination.

In 2010, Perkins created the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness using a grant from the Department of Defense. Since then, the clearinghouse has been assisting a global community of professionals in identifying and implementing effective programs and practices aimed at improving the health and well-being of military personnel and their families. Additionally, the clearinghouse has been a hub for community outreach and engagement.

As director, Perkins charts the clearinghouse’s goals, develops outreach partnerships, acquires research funding, and leads and ever-growing staff of 75, including 14 doctoral and 20 master’s level researchers.

Perkins has also built ties with numerous military communities. His work has helped identify their strengths, challenges and abilities to share knowledge, and he works to diagnose and strengthen weaknesses.

“True to the land grant spirit and mission, Dr. Perkins does not present himself as an expert in his engagement activities but as an engaged learner and applied scholar,” said a colleague.

His work benefits Penn State students, too, because of the learning opportunities formed between them and military partners.

“The clearinghouse has become a lively hub of student engagement where students work closely with a range of communities to understand and respond to the needs of military children, youth and families,” said a colleague. Currently, 10 graduate and nine undergraduate students receive financial support through clearinghouse projects.

Last Updated April 27, 2016