The Southern Rural Development Center is proud to honor Dr. Gerald Doeksen as the 2005 recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Educator Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Doeksen is Regents Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University (OSU), a special professorial rank achieved by only a handful of OSU faculty having a superior record of scholarship and exceptional national standing.
Dr. Doeksen has sustained a high level of productivity over the course of his long and distinguished career. His work on input-output theory and applications, his extensive budget analyses of a wide spectrum of community infrastructure and vital local services, and his pioneering work devoted to rural health care planning, have impacted the community development work of Extension educators across the U.S. According to Dr. Tom Harris, his own success in maintaining a highly successful University Center for Economic Development at the University of Nevada – Reno is a due to the fact that “I run my program in a manner that is reflective of the research and extension principles and activities implemented by Dr. Gerald Doeksen.” Dr. Rick Maurer of the University of Kentucky adds, “I look to [Gerald] for program guidance, suggestions, materials, and ideas. Gerald is . . . an outstanding colleague.”
Dr. Doeksen has amassed an impressive array of scholarly achievements over the course of his career, having published over 60 journal articles. Equally impressive has been the score of Extension products and programs that he has prepared during this same time period. Most notable of his outreach activities has been his tireless efforts to initiate and build the nationally recognized Rural Health Works program. According to Maurer, it was Gerald’s long history of research and Extension programs that provided the very foundation for this important initiative. As he states, Gerald “continues to conduct training for faculty, Extension staff, and health agency personnel throughout the country. The impacts of Gerald’s work on communities and their health services are incredible.” Dr. James Trapp, Interim Associate Director of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, affirms Rick’s observation when he states that in the past three years, “Dr. Doeksen has given 19 workshops in 19 different states, and 40 out-of- state presentations.” As a result, Rural Health Works has been introduced in all 50 states and fully launched in 30 states. Despite Gerald’s demanding travel schedule, Jack Frye, Community Development Specialist with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, indicates, “Dr. Doeksen never says no when a community needs help. He always finds some way to respond in a timely fashion.”
For his innovative community development Extension activities, for his sustained commitment to advancing the community development work of Extension educators throughout the country, and for his dedication to rural people and communities in the America, it is most fitting that Dr. Gerald Doeksen be honored by the Southern Rural Development Center as the first recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Educator Lifetime Achievement Award.