SOPHE celebrates 70 years


SOPHE is a growing, dynamic nonprofit professional organization representing the discipline of health education and health promotion.

Founded in 1950, SOPHE provides global leadership to the profession and promotes the health of society through:

  • Advances in health education theory and research
  • Excellence in professional preparation and practice
  • Advocacy for public policies conducive to health
  • Achievement of health equity for all

The SOPHE History Project highlights major events and accomplishments between 2000-2015.

SOPHE History 2000_2009

SOPHE History 1990-1999

SOPHE History 1980-1989

SOPHE History 1970-1979


SOPHE History 1950-1959


SOPHE Presidents

John P. Allegrante, PhD, 1998 SOPHE Presidential Address, “SOPHE: At the Intersection of Education, Policy, and Science and Technology.”


Looking Back and Moving Forward: SOPHE’s 70 Years of Contributions to Health Education

Professional Awards

Distinguished Fellows: This is SOPHE’s highest form of recognition for a SOPHE member. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to SOPHE and the profession of health education.

Honorary Fellows: SOPHE’s highest form of recognition for a non-SOPHE member. This award recognizes a person who has made exemplary and lasting contributions to the field of health education and public health.

SOPHE Trophy Award: This award is given by the president to honor a SOPHE member who has devoted substantial service to the SOPHE.

Chapter Awards of Excellence: This new award seeks to recognize and publicize creative, effective and replicable methods implemented by SOPHE chapters to deliver one or more core member services.

Clarence E. Pearson Program Excellence Award: This award recognizes outstanding health education programs (not agencies) in existence for at least three years.

Horizon Award: The Horizon award recognizes individuals who have been health educators in any setting (e.g., school, worksite, university, community, health care) for less than five years and are believed to have potential to achieve prominence in the health education profession.

Karen Denard Goldman Mentor Award: This award recognizes individuals who have provided excellence in mentorship to health educators in their preparation, performance, and practice; and have served to successfully bridge the rift between practice and research.

Dorothy Nyswander Open Society Award: This award is given each year to recognize an individual or group who embodies and promotes an Open Society, through research, practice, and/or teaching.

Journal Awards

Lawrence W. Green Paper of the Year Award: This award recognizes the most outstanding paper of the year published in SOPHE’s journal, Health Education & Behavior.

Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year Award: This award recognizes the most outstanding paper published during the year in SOPHE’s journal Health Promotion Practice.


SOPHE/CDC Injury Prevention Fellowship: This one-year fellowship is designed to recognize, assist and train graduate students working on unintentional injury prevention projects from the perspective of health education or behavioral sciences.

SOPHE Patient Engagement Fellowship: This fellowship is designed to recognize, assist and train masters or doctoral students to advance the research and practice of patient-centered health care from the perspective of health education or the behavioral sciences.

Student Awards

Vivian Drenckhahn Student ScholarshipsThis award provides support to both undergraduate and graduate level full-time students in their pursuit of educational and professional development in health education. Up to two awards of  $1500 each are given each year, in honor of SOPHE Past President and Distinguished Fellow, Vivian Drenckhahn.

Graduate Student Research Paper: This award recognizes one outstanding graduate student for creative and innovative research as illustrated by completion of a research paper.

R. Brick Lancaster Community Health Internship Award. This award supports a student who during an internship will conduct a health education and health promotion project that addresses a significant public or school health issue identified by a public health department or community agency.