Awarded annually to an exemplary author previously unpublished.
The Doug Risner Prize for Emerging Dance Researchers recognizes emerging scholars who conduct outstanding dance inquiry. The award is specifically for unpublished scholars, and the winning article will be published in JODE, along with information identifying the author as the prize recipient. The recipient also receives an honorarium that can be used for National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) membership fees, NDEO conference costs, Online Professional Development Institute fees, and other professional services offered through NDEO.
This annual prize honors Dr. Risner in recognition of his outstanding leadership as an editor, his passionate commitment to research and dance education, and his generous support of NDEO. Dr. Risner has published more than 100 papers, essays,
journal articles, and book chapters.
Dr. Risner has received numerous awards, among them the Outstanding Dance Education Researcher Award in 2014 (NDEO) and the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010 (Wayne State University). His current book project, Case
Studies in Dance Education with Karen Schupp, brings together 20 nationally recognized scholar-practitioners investigating the daily professional lives and pedagogical challenges of dance educators today.
Dr. Risner was granted Editor Emeritus status in 2016 for his outstanding contributions to JODE over a period of several years. His tenure as Editor of JODE began first as an Assistant Editor in 2004, then Co-Editor with Dr. Julie Kerr-Berry from 2006 to 2009, and then on his own until 2012. During his years at the helm, the rigorous blind peer review process was streamlined, and the review board membership was expanded to include a variety of dance scholars and practitioners, including some from abroad. He and his editor colleagues created a number of special issues, including one on postsecondary dance education and two on dance and sexuality. He also implemented the concept of the Dance Educator, a special issue created specifically for pre-K–12 educators.
Strategic planning was another of Dr. Risner’s initiatives while serving as Editor. He had the foresight to realize that for JODE to be a true participant in the international world of dance education and research, the journal needed to
move to an electronic format. The cost of changing to the new format meant a substantial financial commitment from NDEO. Dr. Risner helped NDEO develop plan to purchase the journal and move it to Taylor and Francis, a well-known publisher that included both electronic and hard-copy options. This enabled NDEO members to have online access and downloadable archives, and allowed others in the field to have access to JODE through various search engine tools. Another strategic initiative was the significant expansion and cultivation of the editorial board. Previously, the journal had an Editor-in-Chief, one Associate or Assistant Editor, and a Book Reviews Editor. Risner added four positions and filled them with strong and dedicated people. These people now share the work of creating and administering the journal; many of them also serve as guest editors of special issues.
Another of his many contributions to the journal was providing leadership during its transition to electronic format with Taylor and Francis in 2010 and 2011. Many, perhaps most, scholarly journals today use an electronic, Web-based system for article intake, review, and publication. There are many benefits to this format, including reliability and consistency in manuscript intake, ease of assigning reviewers, and a database that can give editors access to detailed information on each author and manuscript. This electronic format has made it easier for us to become more integrated into the international community of dance educators and researchers, as evidenced by an increase in submissions from authors outside the United States. His foresight and wisdom in this regard has brought us into the 21st century with an energy and direction that is serving us well.
In addition, Dr. Risner has served as a mentor for many in the dance education field, including several of the current and past editors of JODE. He patiently worked with each editor to help teach the ins and outs of editing, working on ScholarOne (JODE’s digital submission platform), and planning for the future of the journal. He provided guidance to
all guest editors working on special issues, as well as to any editor needing assistance.
On a personal note, he was exceptionally helpful to me during my transition from Associate Editor to Editor. His guidance made it possible for me to take on a challenging new role working in a new, electronic platform that was unfamiliar to me. He gave me insights on the responsibilities of being in charge of a well-respected journal and coached me on difficult situations as they arose. I am very grateful for his assistance, as are the many others he has helped with editing or scholarship. The Doug Risner Prize for Emerging Dance Researchers is a fitting way to honor Risner’s incredible dedication to dance research and those who are new scholars in dance education.