More than ten years ago, Lise Youngblade came to Colorado State to serve as the new head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Through her leadership, service, and advocacy, she has grown the department in all areas of CSU’s land-grant mission. Now, Youngblade is being recognized for her achievements with the 2018 Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award for her 12 years of service to CSU.
Youngblade came to CSU from the University of Florida in Gainesville where she was a professor in the Department of Pediatrics from 2001 to 2006. In addition to serving as HDFS department head at CSU, Youngblade also served as the associate dean for research for the College of Health and Human Sciences from 2013-15, while simultaneously holding the department head role. Since 2015, a portion of her time is devoted to the role of associate dean for strategic initiatives in the College.
Transforming the department
In just over a decade, Youngblade has transformed Human Development and Family Studies in many areas. For example, through increased grant funding and funding from entrepreneurial programs, Youngblade has increased the department’s budget from $1.1 million to $6.2 million during her tenure.
“Lise is a strong and constant advocate for our faculty’s diverse research programs,” said Nate Riggs, associate professor in HDFS. “Her support has manifested in our department’s success over the past five years in numerous federal, state, and foundation grants. Lise demonstrates a rare capacity to attend to both the health of the broader HDFS department and the needs of each faculty member.”
She has grown undergraduate enrollment from 400 students to 1000 students and developed a new Ph.D program for the department in applied developmental science. In addition, she spearheaded development of a new M.S. in prevention science and a B.S. in early childhood education. Diversity in the program has also grown, along with the number of first-generation students, and retention and graduation rates for HDFS have seen a dramatic increase.
Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging
Youngblade is also responsible for driving the vision for the development of the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging, a new interdisciplinary center which serves as an umbrella for all research and outreach at CSU in the area of aging. The center has a beautiful new space in the CSU Health and Medical Center.
“Lise has done an outstanding – no hyperbole there, the correct term is outstanding – job managing and leading the charge to establish the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging. CSU is very fortunate to have Lise,” said Barry Braun, head of the Department of Health and Exercise Science.
Youngblade worked to secure the new location for the Early Childhood Center, collaboratively working with faculty and important key players to facilitate a large renovation project to the historic Fort Collins Washington School building.
“Lise saw the value in expanding our small laboratory school into one that would better meet the needs of CSU students, faculty, and staff,” Early Childhood Center Executive Director Karen Rattenborg said. “The ECC would not be what we are today as a campus resource without Lise’s vision, resourcefulness, and drive.”
Youngblade has also played a key role in the success of the Campus Connections Youth Mentoring Program. “Lise led efforts to obtain licensure with CSU Ventures and to disseminate the program to other universities,” said Jen Krafchick, assistant professor in HDFS. “She also played a critical role in building relationships with funders that have supported our program. These efforts contributed significantly to the success of the program and have had a lasting influence on both the youth who participate in the program and the undergraduate student mentors.”
Nominated by colleagues
“Dr. Youngblade has been instrumental in building an esprit de corps among the College unit heads and staff,” said Audrey Shillington, associate dean and director of the School of Social Work. “When I was a new director in the School of Social Work five years ago, Lise was an invaluable resource for me. Regardless of what I needed in guidance or support, she quickly offered sound advice and assistance.”
Youngblade was nominated by Michael Pagliassotti, head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and co-nominators Shillington and Braun.
About the Pennock Distinguished Service Award
The Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award recognizes faculty for continuing meritorious and outstanding achievement. The award program was established as a tribute to Professor Pennock, who served as a distinguished professor of Civil Engineering in the 1920’s. Recipients were honored at a special ceremony on April 11.
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.
Christian Knoll contributed to this story.