Biobehavioral Health professor awarded Faculty Scholar Medal

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Robert Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health and director of the Prevention Research to Optimize Health Lab in the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, has been awarded the Faculty Scholar Medal in the Social and Behavioral Sciences for 2015. He is one of five award recipients across the University.

Turrisi’s research interests include parent-adolescent relationships; alcohol and substance use prevention; and skin cancer prevention.

Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of peers reviews nominations and selects candidates.

Turrisi said the honor means a great deal to him.

"As a scientist and in life, not everything always goes the way you would like it to,” he said. “It helps to have others close by who can be helpful, but also challenge you to be better at what you do. To get the opportunity to be a part of what is here at Penn State every day is like being a kid in a candy store.”

“There is no question that my thinking, my research and my teaching have all increased exponentially as a result,” Turrisi continued. “Then to have my peers here think that highly of the things I believe are important and the work I do in this way ... it is humbling.”

For a complete list of 2015 faculty award recipients, visit

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Last Updated April 10, 2015