Distinguished Scholar Award

The School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin initiated the annual Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 to recognize and honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to community health through behavioral research and scholarship. Recipients to date include: Carlo C. DiClemente, Ph.D. (2011), Carlos V.R. Brown, M.D. (2010),  Victor M. Hesselbrock, Ph.D. (2009), and  Linda C. Sobell, Ph.D. (2008).

Carlo DiClemente 2011 recipient

Carlo DiClemente, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Center for Community Collaboration at the  University of Maryland, Baltimore County. For the past 30 years he has conducted funded research in health and addictive behaviors.  He has directed an outpatient alcoholism treatment program and served as a consultant to private and public treatment and prevention programs.

Dr. DiClemente is the co-developer of the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change and the author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters on motivation and behavior change. He is co-author of a self-help book based on this model of change, Changing for Good and several professional books, The Transtheoretical Model, Substance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change, and Group Treatment for Substance Abuse: A Stages of Change Therapy Manual.  His most recent book, Addiction and Change: How Addictions Develop and Addicted People Recover was published by Guilford Press and released in paperback in 2006.

For his work in the addictions he was given the Innovators Combating Substance Abuse award by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the John P. McGovern Award from the American Society on Addiction Medicine (ASAM); and a Distinguished Contribution to Scientific Psychology award by the Maryland Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association’ Division on Addictions.  He has served as president of the APA Division on Addictions (50) and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland in 1995, Dr. DiClemente held appointments with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas Medical School, Texas Research Institute of Mental Sciences, and Human Resources Institute of Boston, among others.

Carlos Brown, MD 2010 recipient

Carlos V.R. Brown, M.D., is medical director of the trauma unit at University Medical Center Brackenridge and an associate professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern-Austin.  An undergraduate alumnus of UT Austin, Dr. Brown attended medical school on a United States Navy scholarship, graduating from UT Medical Branch in Galveston with high honors. Upon completion of trauma and surgical critical care fellowships at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, he served as Deputy Director of the Naval Trauma Training Center in L.A.,  where he prepared nearly 1,000 Navy personnel for deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. The pinnacle of his professional career came in August of 2006 when he deployed to Ramadi, Iraq as a trauma surgeon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (A profile of Dr. Brown and his work as field surgeon in Iraq appeared in the May 2007 issue of Texas Monthly.) He resigned his commission with the U.S. Navy after 14 years of continuous active duty, returning to his Austin hometown to accept a position at UMC Brackenridge.

In addition to his significant and life-saving achievements as trauma surgeon in public hospital settings and as field surgeon during his deployment to Iraq, Dr. Brown has earned further distinction for his contributions as scholar, researcher, and as partner with the School of Social Work. He is author or co-author on more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, and is recipient of the Humanitarian Service Medal (awarded 1995), Navy Commendation Medal, and the Bronze Star Medal (awarded 2007). Dr. Brown has research ties to the School of Social Work through his active collaboration on several current and proposed studies. For example, he is a co-investigator on a five-year study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, led by CSWR researchers Dr. Mary Velasquez and Dr. Craig Field, to study the effectiveness of trauma room screening and intervention with injured patients who have drug problems.

Victor Hesselbrock 2009 recipient

Victor M. Hesselbrock, Ph.D.,holds the Physicians’ Health Services endowed chair in Addiction Studies and is Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the NIAAA-funded Alcohol Research Center at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. A member of the Department since 1978, Dr. Hesselbrock has developed a program of research focused on the identification of psychological and biological factors that contribute to the susceptibility for developing alcohol problems. His projects include a study of the deviance-proness model of alcoholism vulnerability, a study of alcohol dependence phenotypes among Alaskan Natives, and two studies related to the genetics of substance dependence. These include being a co-PI for the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) and being an investigator in multi-site studies of the genetics of cocaine and opiate dependence. Dr. Hesselbrock is also chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Medical School’s General Clinical Research Center. He serves as an associate editor for Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and as assistant editor for Addiction, and is on the editorial boards of several other addictions journals. He has also served on, and chaired, several NIH study sections and is currently a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) and the NIH Council of Councils. Dr. Hesselbrock is a past President of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA).

Linda C. Sobell 2008 recipient

Linda Carter Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP, is Professor, Associate Director of Clinical Training at the Center for Psychological Studies, and Co-Director of the Healthy Lifestyles Guided Self-Change Program at Nova Southeastern University  in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She is known nationally and internationally for her work on the assessment and treatment of addictions, particularly brief motivational interventions, the process of self-change, and assessment instruments including the Timeline Followback method.  A Fellow of the American Psychological Association with a Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, Dr. Sobell is past president of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy and of the Society of Clinical Psychology, American Psychological Association.

With a record of federally funded behavioral research spanning three decades, Dr. Sobell has published over 250 articles and book chapters, and 7 books, including the recent  Promoting self-change from addictive behaviors: Practical implications for policy, prevention, and treatment (coauthored with H. Klingemann; Springer, New York, 2007). She also has extensive consultation and training experience and has given over 250 invited presentations and clinical workshops/institutes nationally and internationally.

Her numerous honors and awards include the Norman E. Zinberg Memorial Award from Harvard University; the Betty Ford Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse; the Lifetime Achievement Award from Addictions Special Interest Group, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive and Therapies; the Brady/Schuster Award for outstanding behavioral science research in psychopharmacology and substance abuse from the American Psychological Association Division 28; and the Outstanding Service Award from Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy.