Clemson, SC – Dr. 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, given annually by the National Dropout Prevention Center 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 Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management, Dr. Allen served as Dean of HEHD for 13 years until he stepped down in 2014. Dr. Allen was selected for the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention not only for his contributions to dropout prevention in the state of South Carolina, 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 HEHD during Dr. 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 Dr. Sandy Addis, Interim Executive Director of NDPC/N.
Also among Dr. Allen’s contributions to the discussion on dropout prevention, said Dr. 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.”
Dr. Allen earned his undergraduate degree in education from West Chester State University, and his PhD in recreation with a specialty in counseling from the University of Maryland. Dr. Allen’s professional, educational and personal pursuits have taken him to virtually every continent on the globe. And 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 SC Governor and US 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 and headquartered on the Clemson University campus in Clemson, South Carolina, 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.