The John R. Lutzker Lecture Series was created to advance understanding of public health solutions that reduce violence and promote healthy development and well-being of children, youth, and families.
The series is named in honor of Dr. John R. Lutzker, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development at Georgia State University. Dr. Lutzker is an internationally recognized scholar who dedicated his career to championing the prevention of child maltreatment. He created SafeCare®, one of the few evidence-based programs to prevent child abuse and neglect. With the support of an anonymous donor, the School of Public Health sponsors the annual Lutzker Lecture Series. Read more.
The 2020 John R. Lutzker Lecture featured Dr. V. Mark Durand, presenting on “Supporting Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Challenging Behavior.”
Challenging behaviors continue to top the list of concerns for families of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research shows that the presence of these problem behaviors can negatively impact the mental health of family members. Although we have made impressive gains in helping reduce these problem behaviors, obstacles remain. Dr. Durand covered new insights into these obstacles and how families and others can overcome them and effectively help persons with even the most severe behavioral challenges. Evidenced-based approaches to replacing behavior problems were discussed and Dr. Durand described how advances in positive psychology can help caregivers be more effective in their efforts to help those with ASD and how to help themselves lead happier and less stressful lives.
Dr. Durand is a Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at University of South Florida St. Petersburg and has more than 135 publications. He and his colleague developed a treatment for problem behaviors (functional communication training) that is used around the world. His books include textbooks on abnormal psychology that have been translated into 10 languages and used at more than 1,000 universities world-wide. His other books include the multiple national award winning Optimistic Parenting: Hope and Help for You and Your Challenging Child as well as Sleep Better! A Guide to Improving Sleep for Children with Special Needs. He was named a 2014 Princeton Lecture Series Fellow and received the 2015 Jacobson Award for Critical Thinking from the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Durand served as President of Division 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities/ASD) for APA from 2018-2019.
The 2019 John R. Lutzker Lecture featured Dr. Judith Carta, presenting on “Building Multi-Sector Partnerships for Promoting Community Wide Engagement in Evidence-Based Prevention: It Takes More than a Village.” Dr. Carta is the associate director of the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas, and a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies. Her science focuses on developing strategies to minimize the effects of poverty on children’s language and social outcomes and developing practices that teachers and parents can use to promote children’s early learning particularly in vulnerable populations.
The Inaugural John R. Lutzker Lecture featured preeminent scholar, Dr. Gregory Aarons, presenting on “Evidence-Based Practice Implementation and Sustainment through Leadership and Partnership.” Dr. Aarons, director of the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center at the University of California San Diego, is a clinical and organizational psychologist and professor of Psychiatry. He conducts research on improving systems and organizational factors that support implementation and sustainment of evidence-based practice, use of research evidence, and quality of care. His research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and W.T. Grant Foundation.