Western Kentucky University has announced their annual awards recognizing outstanding contributions by faculty members. Bowling Green International Festival Board of Directors member Dr. Gayle Mallinger is honored with the award for Public Service for the College of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Mallinger is an assistant professor in the Social Work department. In addition to serving on the Festival Board, she has served on the Hope Harbor board, where she is currently president having served in that position since 2012. She is also a Board member for the Community Farmers Market and a Reviewer for the Society for Social Work and Research. At WKU she serves in the University Senate and until recently on the Diversity Enhancement Committee and the Faculty Welfare Committee. For the College of Health and Human Services she serves in the Patient Navigator Working Group, the Advising Committee and the Homecoming Committee. And for the Social Work Department she is the Advisor, Curriculum Coordinator and on the BSW, Field, Departmental Advisory and Search committees.

From 1981 to 2000, before joining academia, Dr. Mallinger worked as a Clinical Social Worker in Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, California and Pennsylvania specializing in child and adolescent therapy, rape crisis and substance abuse. She completed her Ph.D in 2010 at the University of Pittsburgh and was hired by WKU in 2011. WKU previously awarded her the Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement (FUSE) award in 2012.

Dr. Mallinger has co-authored several grants involving sustainability studies including one to expand the Boys and Girls Club garden project to the Housing Authority of Bowling Green. She has also authored several reports concerning the effect of incarceration on children and families. Her dissertation centered on the placement of children in need with gay and lesbian couples. Her current research interests include: environmental justice and social work education, efficacy of diversity training in social work education and alternatives for permanent placement of children in foster care.

Since 2013 Dr. Gayle Mallinger has served the Bowling Green International Festival both as a board member and as the co-chair of the beer garden on festival day. So on September 30, stop by the beer garden and offer a congratulatory toast to our Board member Dr. Gayle Mallinger!