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News & Media

APLU Announces 2021 Board on Human Sciences Award Winners

October 12, 2021

Washington, DC – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Board on Human Sciences (BoHS) today announced that four public university scholars will be honored with 2021 Board on Human Sciences Awards. The annual awards, to be presented on November 10, 2021, are given to national leaders working to advance human sciences in higher education.

The awards support the development and stewardship of academic excellence in human sciences; elevate visibility and leveraging resources to support human sciences research, Extension and teaching programs; and educate leaders regarding the capacity of the human sciences to solve human problems. The honors are part of the broader BoHS mission of promoting the intellectual integrity and stature of the human sciences at APLU member institutions.

This year’s award winners are:

2021 Outstanding Engagement Award
Dr. Kate Thornton, Director, Office of Global Education, College of Human Sciences, Auburn University is the winner of the 2021 Outstanding Engagement Award. The award recognizes a campus-based or state-level faculty member with exceptional creativity and scholarship in the development, application, and evaluation of outreach, Extension, and public service programs.

Dr. Thornton is also the Director of Academic Initiatives for the Hunger Solutions Institute. She helped develop one of the only academic minors in Hunger Studies in the United States and currently teaches a Hunger Studies capstone course. She recently was appointed as a Director of the Kirchner Food Fellowship program, which provides a unique one-year mentoring experience for a cohort of graduate students, preparing them to identify investment opportunities in agriculture and food systems to advance food security.

2021 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
Dr. Elizabeth M. McNeill, Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University is the winner of the 2021 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. The award recognizes a faculty member in the human sciences for exceptional performance as a research mentor to undergraduate students.

Dr. McNeill has developed a robust research program built on a common theme – being a mentor to the graduate and undergraduate, students who conduct research in her laboratory. Her approach to mentoring undergraduates goes well beyond the technical aspect of conducting research – she stresses the development of critical thinking skills; research independence; and above all us, building team and community in the laboratory.

2021 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award
Carolyn Jackson is the winner of the 2021 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award. The award honors a nationally recognized leader who has a significant history of promoting and advancing the human sciences. Carolyn Dr. Jackson leaves a legacy of many firsts at American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), where she recently retired. She helped lead and inspire the staff and membership of AAFCS to be future-focused and aspire to do and to be more for future professionals in the field. She profoundly changed the organizations and harnessed energy of many family and consumer professional organizations into the Alliance for Family and Consumer Sciences, which BOHS was a member. She is a nationally recognized leader who has a significant history of promoting and advancing the Human Sciences.

2021 Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Linda Kirk Fox, Dean, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Georgia is the winner of the 2021 Board on Human Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors a nationally recognized leader who has a significant history of promoting and advancing the human sciences in higher education. Dean Fox. has received numerous awards and honors over her career. She was most recently (2021) awarded the Thomas E. Cochran Distinguished Service Award for “exemplary service to the financial planning program, community, and profession.” She has also been an advocate and spokesperson for family and consumer sciences throughout her 40-year career. She is an altruistic leader who highlights others above herself. Her impressive lifetime of work, dedication, and leadership in family consumer sciences and human science carved a path for others to follow.

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