Behavioral Science to Honor Founding Chair Dr. Robert Straus on his 90th Birthday
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2012) — A celebration of Dr. Robert Straus’s 90th birthday will be held at the Hilary J. Boone Center on the campus of the University of Kentucky, on Jan. 9, 2013. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., several brief presentations by Straus's colleagues will honor him by highlighting his enduring influence on the UK College of Medicine Department of Behavioral Science. From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., a reception will be held with refreshments.
Straus was the founding chair of the Department of Behavioral Science. He arrived at UK in 1956 as a member of the five-person team assembled by Dean William Willard for the purpose of planning the construction and academic curriculum of the new UK College of Medicine. In the UK College of Medicine, which accepted its first class in 1960, he played several key roles, including Coordinator of Academic Affairs, and Chair of the Department of Behavioral Science (1959-1987).
The foresight of Straus and Willard in establishing the first behavioral science department in a medical school was proven over the following two decades when nearly every medical school in the nation adopted a behavioral science program in one form or another and the National Board of Medical Examiners included a behavioral science component on its certifying examination.
In addition to Straus’s contributions to medical education, he made noteworthy research contributions to the field of addiction with special emphasis on alcohol dependence. His scholarly contributions include eight books as well as numerous chapters and articles in the scientific literature. His work led to his election to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. UK recognized his contributions to graduate education by conferring on him the 1982 Sturgill Award.
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