1979 alumnus earns Mizzou Lifetime Achievement Award
1979 alumnus earns Mizzou Lifetime Achievement Award
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Dr. Tim Lewis, Class of 1979 - The Mizzou College of Education Alumni Board bestowed its Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award to Lewis during the University of Missouri College of Education's 49th annual Awards Banquet on March 10 at the Reynolds Alumni Center. Lewis has been a professor in the department of special education at Mizzou since 1996 and his research has contributed to the development of a positive behavior program used in schools both in Pattonville and throughout the world.

TimLewisPhotoCO1979-LO.jpgLewis has held a variety of roles in the College of Education, including department chair and associate dean. His research on students with disabilities has secured more than $38 million in funding. According to his biography published in the awards ceremony program, "This work began with a study of Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) within general education settings for students with disabilities and those at-risk. Prior to that point, the bulk of the research took place in clinical settings with youth with severe disabilities. FBA proved that assessment and resulting interventions could reduce challenging behavior, but altering school environments proved to be a large and challenging task. This led to the development of School-Wide Systems of Positive Behavior Support (SW-PBS)."

SW-PBS is a framework for creating safe and orderly learning environments in schools, while improving the social-emotional outcomes for students. It is a proactive approach that relies on research-based practices, including developing clear behavioral expectations, teaching these expectations, acknowledging appropriate behavior, consistently correcting inappropriate behavior and using behavioral data to systematically solve problems. Most schools in the Pattonville School District use this program to teach and reinforce positive behavior for all students in the classroom and other school settings.

Lewis' biography went on to read, "The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education saw the need to establish a national center to distribute SW-PBS to schools, districts and state departments of education. Now this center is in its 17th year of federal funding, with state-wide initiatives in 46 states and supporting more than 25,000 schools across the country. It has led to initiatives in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Turkey and Denmark."

Lewis directs the University of Missouri Center for School-Wide Positive Behavior Support and is co-director of the national Office of Special Education Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in special education from Mizzou and a doctorate degree in special education (behavior disorders) from the University of Oregon. Prior to his time at Mizzou, Lewis taught in self-contained classrooms for emotional/behavioral disorders and resource rooms for the Special School District. He is a prolific published researcher and writer and has presented both nationally and internationally in countries such as Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, England, New Zealand and Turkey.

Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award must meet the following criteria: Have completed a minimum of 20 years professional service in their field; have distinction in their field and have demonstrated outstanding success in their work throughout their career; and must be a recognized leader and have made a significant impact in their field.

Find out more