Katherine Allen, a professor in the Department of Human Development, is the 2016 recipient of the Earnest W. Burgess Award.

This biennial award of the National Council on Family Relations recognizes a scholar with a distinguished career in the field of family research.

Allen, a member of the National Council on Family Relations since 1978, is an inaugural fellow of the council, as well as the inaugural recipient of the council’s Alexis J. Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Feminist Family Studies. She has also served three terms on the council’s Board of Directors and chaired its Elections Council, Fellowship Committee, Feminism and Family Studies Section, and Qualitative Family Research Network Focus Group.

Allen’s expertise focuses on family diversity over the lifespan, including aging, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation within families. Her scholarship, the council noted, “represents a lifetime contribution that significantly advances critical areas of family research, assessment, and theory.”

The council further noted her extensive contributions to the scholarship of family science teaching, qualitative research methods, feminist family studies, family science theories, and the connection between private experience and social science. Her most recent book, Family Theories: Foundations and Applications, is a comprehensive analysis of using theories to understand the diversity and complexity of families today.

At Virginia Tech, Allen is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Gerontology, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Women’s and the Gender Studies Program.

The National Council on Family Relations is the premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families. Allen will be recognized for her achievements at the council’s 2016 annual conference, to be held November 2–5 in Minneapolis, where she will give the Burgess Award Address.