Lawrence R. Allen, dean emeritus of the College of Health, Education, and Human Development at Clemson University, is the recipient of the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention.

Lawrence R. Allen, dean emeritus of the College of Health, Education, and Human Development at Clemson University, is the recipient of the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention.

CLEMSON — Lawrence R. Allen, professor and dean emeritus of the College of Health, Education, and Human Development (HEHD) at Clemson University, is the recipient of the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention from the National Dropout Prevention Center.

The award is given annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of dropout prevention initiatives in the state of South Carolina.

Currently a professor in the parks, recreation and tourism management department, Allen served as dean 13 years until he stepped down in 2014.

Allen was selected for the award not only for his contributions to dropout prevention, but also in recognition of the support he and the university have provided the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N). Now part of the university’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education, the NDPC/N was one among several nationally recognized educational centers and programs administratively housed in the college during Allen’s tenure.

“Dr. Allen’s abiding passion for education, and his championing of our dropout prevention research and solutions were important factors in the ability of NDPC/N to sustain and grow our center’s national standing,” said Sandy Addis, NDPC/N interim executive director .

Also among Allen’s contributions to the discussion on dropout prevention, said Addis, was “expanding the concept beyond teachers and the school yard to include the family and the greater community. His national and international outreach on this issue has helped our organization, and others, to bring more foot-soldiers, stakeholders and resources to decreasing dropout.”

Allen earned his undergraduate degree in education from West Chester University and his Ph.D. in recreation with a specialty in counseling from the University of Maryland. Allen’s professional, educational and personal pursuits have taken him to virtually every continent on the globe. When he has the opportunity to overlap his interests in tourism, recreation and community well-being here and abroad, he also endeavors to share and learn more about the positive impacts that recreational and educational programs have on at-risk youth.

“The National Dropout Prevention Center and Network have been advocates for education reform in South Carolina and nationally for almost 30 years, and I am deeply honored to receive the Riley Award,” he said. “It is especially gratifying to me that the award is in the name of [former S.C. Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton] Governor and Mrs. Riley. Both the Rileys and the NDPC have been leaders in building educational systems that are responsive to our children and their needs.”

Founded in 1986, the NDPC/N provides research and evidence-based effective solutions that can be utilized by schools, districts and communities in the effort to decrease dropout and increase graduation rates nationally.

END