Behavioral scientist receives international honor
Alumni Distinguished Professor E. Scott Geller has been recognized with the American Psychological Foundation (APF) Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest. Geller is a professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Science. He was recognized for his distinguished career and contributions to the field.
Geller coined the term “behavior-based safety,” and disseminated research-based principles and procedures with a variety of books, training manuals, DVDs, and audio programs. The award citation noted, “These materials have enabled thousands of organizations worldwide prevent to workplace injuries and save lives.”
Geller received his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in 1969 and shortly thereafter began his academic career at Virginia Tech. He founded the Center for Applied Behavior Systems for which he serves as director.
Throughout his career, Geller has applied behavioral science to many areas, including environmental sustainability, school discipline, prison administration, community theft, transportation management, alcohol abuse, alcohol-impaired driving, community safety, and public-health interventions in third-world countries.
Geller has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous books, book chapters, training programs and articles, most of them addressing behavioral-change interventions to improve quality of life. He has received more than $6 million in grant money during his career from agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Department of Transportation, among others. He has received many awards during his career, including numerous teaching awards.