Bales honored for commitment to public service and outreach
April 4, 2024
Contact: Diane Bales  | 706-542-7566  | More about Diane

Diane Bales, UGA Extension human development specialist, Child Life program director and professor of human development and family science, has received the Engaged Scholar Award from UGA Public Service and Outreach.

The award recognizes a tenured associate or full professor who has made significant career-spanning contributions to the University of Georgia’s public service mission through scholarship, service-learning opportunities for students and campus leadership. The awardee receives a $5,000 faculty development grant to sustain current engaged scholar endeavors or to develop new ones.

In her roles, Bales engages in diverse activities, including applied research, high-impact instruction and experiential and service-learning activities that advance the University of Georgia’s public service and outreach mission.

Since 1998, Bales has provided leadership and content expertise for the Better Brains for Babies initiative, a collaboration of public and private organizations dedicated to promoting the importance of early brain development in infants and young children. Bales has trained more than 700 educators in four states, including Georgia, about the importance of early brain development on children’s overall growth.

Her classes on child development include experiential, hands-on applications in class and in community-based service-learning projects.

As a primary investigator on a series of grants from the USDA Rural Health and Safety Education program on opioid awareness, Bales partnered with FACS Extension agents to conduct assessments in six Georgia communities with high opioid use and poverty rates.

Based on responses to the assessments, Bales and UGA Extension are working with the communities to develop hubs for education and support around opioid misuse.

- UGA Public Service and Outreach