Chancellor's Award for Research Excellence

The Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement by a member of the WSU Vancouver faculty. This honor is presented annually at the WSU Vancouver Faculty Recognition/Tenure and Promotion event.


Jane Lanigan

Jane LaniganJane Lanigan, associate professor of human development, is 2013 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence. The award is WSU Vancouver’s highest research honor.

Lanigan was selected as the 2013 honoree for her research relating to children’s health and family well-being. Her primary areas of focus include supporting the professional development of family home child care providers, researching the role of technology in family interaction, and addressing childhood obesity through early intervention in childcare and family settings.

Lanigan’s research projects are often integrated with projects from WSU Extension. She spends 75 percent of her time working in conjunction with academic programs at WSU and the other 25 percent directly involved with WSU Extension. Through the extension office, Lanigan co-directs professional development opportunities for educators, partners with Just in Time Parenting and works on the national leadership team for the eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care.

In her award nomination, Lanigan is cited as an admirable example of creating successful community partnerships.

“The vast majority of Lanigan’s research projects are participatory, community-based projects where stakeholders have input at all phases of the project. Such work is extremely difficult to conduct because it involves work with a large number of stakeholders, and the faculty member must create projects that provide meaningful, evidence-based services to the stakeholders while contributing research to the larger discipline,” said one of her nominators. “Lanigan has been very successful in creating such partnerships.” 

Her primary research projects include ENcouraging Healthy Activity and Eating in Child Care. Lanigan headed up the three-year pilot project as lead researcher working in collaboration with Educational Service District 112, Childcare Resource and Referral, Educational Opportunities for Children and Families, Clark College and the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Fund. The project has resulted in nationally recognized research on childhood obesity and healthy-weight practices.

Research from ENHANCE has appeared in Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” project, the United Nations International Congress on Diet and Activity Measurement and the National Head Start Research Conference. Her research also served as the basis for a $4 million grant from USDA aimed at developing a family-based program for preventing child obesity in preschool children. She has consistently shared her research with the community and has published extensively in scholarly journals since starting her tenure-track position in 2006.

"Dr. Lanigan's research on the prevention of childhood obesity and the training of childcare workers has brought her recognition nationally and internationally as a key leader in this important academic field," said Mel Netzhammer, chancellor at WSU Vancouver.

The Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence is bestowed annually upon a WSU Vancouver faculty member whose research quality and quantity is exemplary and whose work has had a positive influence on the broader community.