Rodney M. Cate, Ph.D. - Professional Achievement Award 2019

Dr. Rod Cate has been a dedicated member of the relationship and family science discipline for 40 plus years. He is a Norton School emeritus professor of Family Studies and Human Development and served as Director of the School from 1994 to 1999.  He retired in 2006 after twelve years of dedicated service. Since retirement, Dr. Cate has been involved in volunteer work with organizations dealing with providing services and housing for homeless individuals.

Rod has a national and international reputation is his area of research, most especially in the study of close relationships. He published scholarship that transformed the field of relationship science in the area of mate selection and courtship. Throughout his distinguished career, Rod published 42 refereed journal articles, 9 book chapters, and two books. The true mark of his impact on the field, however, is captured in the quality rather than the quantity of his work. One of his earliest journal articles, “Premarital abuse: A social psychological perspective,” is the sixth most cited article ever published in the Journal of Family Issues.  Rod was also listed number 37 in the top 50 most eminent personal relationship scholars published in the Cambridge Handbook of Personal Relationships.  In 1990, Dr. Cate’s body of work was recognized with the James D. Moran Memorial Research Award for Research in Family Studies conferred by the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences.

While Rod is nationally known for his outstanding research and scholarship, he is best known, and most appreciated as a mentor to many graduate students and junior faculty members. For his mentoring efforts, Rod was awarded the prestigious Felix Berardo Award for excellence in mentoring by the National Council of Family Relations (NCFR). NCRF is the nation’s premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families.

His nominator wrote, “ While Rod did not receive a degree from the Norton School or the University of Arizona, he made it possible for many others to do so and laid the groundwork for building one of the strongest family studies and human development doctoral programs in the nation.  Through the faculty he trained and the program he built; the Norton School continues to benefit from his efforts.”

Institutes and Centers

The University of Arizona