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K-State Today

June 20, 2017

Toews recognized and lauded by alma mater

Submitted by Anne Rubash

Michelle Toews

Michelle Toews, associate dean for research and scholarship in the College of Human Ecology, traveled to Ohio State University to receive a Career Achievement Award from the College of Education and Human Ecology. The Career Achievement Award specifically honors alumni as a result of their career accomplishments and who are continually contributing to the betterment of their profession. 

Toews began her higher education with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ohio Dominican College, transitioning to Ohio State University for a master's degree and doctoral degree in human development and family science. Her experiences in higher education led to her desire to continue researching and teaching as a career path. She earned an assistant professorship at Texas State University after completing her doctorate, moved up to associate professor and coordinated the family and child studies graduate program before a promotion to full professor. Before she was hired away by K-State, Toews became the assistant director of graduate studies and research in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University. 

In 2015, Toews made the decision to leave the heat of Texas behind for the lovely Flint Hills of Kansas. She was chosen as the newly established associate dean of research in the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University. 

From her student days, Toews' research has been both exceptional, critical and integral among her career achievements, leading to her quick and well-deserved professional ascent. Her research-based programs in adolescent parenting and prevention of unhealthy adolescent relationships are essential to the study of young adults and the choices they make and the results of this research have the opportunity for far reaching community and societal impact. Within the structure of her research, Toews convinced a school district with a high teenage pregnancy rate to adopt a new prevention curriculum. 

She has been awarded several federal grants with faculty mentees to implement relationship education programming with adolescents. Close to K-State, in neighboring Junction City, Toews and her colleagues Amber Vennum, assistant professor of marriage and family therapy, and Elaine Johannes, extension specialist and associate professor of family studies and human services, are currently involved in a project that seeks to educate seventh and ninth graders about healthy relationships.

About her award, Toews comments that she is honored to be recognized by her alma mater for doing what she loves. She finds incredible rewards in using the research she's conducted to help youth develop healthy relationships.