When Thomas W. Pavkov takes over July 19 as chair of NIU’s School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences, its programs and students will receive a strong teacher, confident administrator and proven researcher.
Pavkov, who will leave his post as director of the Institute for Social and Policy Research and interim head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Purdue University Calumet, has a distinguished history of teaching and research, said Mary Pritchard, interim dean of NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.
“He’s a well-rounded educator and administrator,” Pritchard said. “He’s skilled in statistical analysis and has a strong research record.”
Most recently, Pavkov conducted research that focused on the relationship between early maltreatment and delinquency among American Indian and Alaska native youth.
He also has received more than $9 million in grants and contracts to develop early childhood education programs as well as for programs concerning children’s mental health services, child welfare and juvenile justice.
“The NIU campus is not new to me. We go way back. While I was in my graduate studies (in the 1980s), I used to study at the library,” he said.
“When I return to work at NIU, I’ll bring with me a history of creating and working with multidisciplinary programs,” he added. “I enjoy leading, and I enjoy teaching. My position at NIU will give me an opportunity to do both. It has a reputation of being an innovative research institution.”
Pavkov graduated with a doctorate in human development and social policy from Northwestern University in 1991. Two years later, he completed a post-doc at the University of Chicago, where he was a research associate at UC’s Chapin Hall Center for Children.
While at Purdue University Calumet, he served as assistant professor of psychology, associate professor of psychology and professor of psychology.
NIU’s School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences prepares professional to work in a variety of settings including nonprofit organizations, private practice, government, education, and business. Students learn theories and gain experience on how to apply human science knowledge in applied settings to support families and individuals in meeting their basic human needs.
“In the position of chair, my work allows me to have an impact on lives of students and an indirect impact upon the families with whom they will work,” he said. “At the end of the day, I would like to think I made a difference.”
Pavkov will replace acting chair Linda Derschied, who will continue teaching in the school.
by Gerard Dziuba