Patricia F. Waller Lecture & Archive

Patricia F. Waller, PhD

Patricia F. WallerPatricia Waller was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and grew up in Miami, Florida.  She earned a BA cum laude (1953) and MS (1955) in psychology from the University of Miami, and a PhD in psychology from the UNC Chapel Hill in 1959.

After practicing and conducting research as a clinical psychologist, she joined the UNC Highway Safety Research Center in 1967 and served as Associate Director for Driver Studies for two decades. She was also a faculty member of the UNC School of Public Health.  In 1987, she became the founding director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center.  She left UNC in 1989 to become Director of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan, where she held academic appointments in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health, and in the Department of Psychology. She officially retired 1999 but continued to be actively engaged in research projects around the world and continued to author publications until shortly before her death in August 2003.

Dr. Waller published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, over 90 technical reports and other papers, and gave nearly 20 invited addresses. She served on expert committees for the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.  She was appointed by President Carter to the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee, served on the President’s Council on Spinal Cord Injury, and was a past president of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

Dr. Waller received numerous honors during her career, including the American Psychological Association’s Hildreth Award for Public Service (1993), the Distinguished Career Award from the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section of the American Public Health Association (1994), the Transportation Research Board’s Roy W. Crum Award for Outstanding Achievement in Transportation Research (1995), the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety’s Widmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Knowledge on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety (1995), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Special Award of Appreciation (1999), and the National Safety Council’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award (2003).

The Waller Lecture is sponsored by an endowment fund through the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, in collaboration with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, and the UNC-CH Department of Psychology.

Donations to the endowment for the lectureship and to help create the Waller Professorship in Injury Control can be made in care of the UNC Office of University Development, P.O. Box 309, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or on-line at: Please indicate that the funds are for the Injury Prevention Research Center, Patricia F. Waller Endowment Fund.


Lecture Series Events


Presented April 13, 2015

Suicide Prevention is a Winnable Battle…If…

Eric Caine, M.D.

John Romano Professor and Chair
Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center
Director, Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S)


Presented September 17, 2013

Translation of Teen Driver Injury Prevention Research into Practice

Jean T. Shope, MSPH, Ph.D.

Research Professor,
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and School of Public Health


Presented October 8, 2012

Changing the Code of the Street in Baltimore: Effects of a Replication of CeaseFire — A Public Health Program to Reduce Shootings

Daniel Webster, Sc.D., M.P.H.

Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research

Tard Carter

Outreach Supervisor, Safe Streets East Baltimore


Presented April 20, 2011

Embedding Child-Maltreatment Prevention in a Population Approach to Parenting and Family Support

Ron Prinz, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, Parenting Family Research Center
University of South Carolina


Presented April 14, 2010

“Pediatric Injury Prevention: From the Trenches to the Ivory Tower and Back Again”

Andrea C. Gielen, ScD

Professor and Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Presented April 15, 2009

“The Power of Social versus Financial Factors in Behavior Change”

Dr. Robert B. Cialdini

Professor of Psychology and Marketing, Department of Psychology
Arizona State University


Presented September 17, 2007

“Psychological Consequences of Hurricane Katrina”

Dr. Russell T. Jones

Professor of Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Presented April 17, 2006

“Highway Safety, Public Health and Human Behavior”

Dr. Lindsay Griffin

Former director, Center for Transportation Safety at the Texas Transportation Institute


Presented March 2, 2005

“On the Shoulders of Giants”

Dr. Susan Baker

Founding director, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy


Presented April 28, 2004

“Reflections on the Highway Safety Field”

Dr. Alan Williams

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety