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News & Media

APLU Announces 2020 Board on Human Sciences Award Winners

October 12, 2020

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 2020 Board on Human Sciences Awards. The annual awards, to be presented on November 3, 2020, are given to national leaders working to advance human sciences in higher education.

The awards are aimed at supporting the development and stewardship of academic excellence in human sciences; elevating visibility and leveraging resources to support human sciences research, extension and teaching programs; and educating 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:

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Virginia Clark Johnson, Dean Emeritus of the College of Human Sciences and Education at North Dakota State University and past BoHS Chair, is the winner of the 2020 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. Under her leadership, human sciences research increased dramatically, as did the number of doctoral students in the program. As the first female academic dean at North Dakota State University, she also served as a role model and mentor for many women. In the 1990s, she spearheaded the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA), convening universities in the region to deliver inter-institutional online human sciences instruction. Today, Great Plains IDEA has more than 20 university partners.

2020 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award
Dr. Shiretta Ownbey, professor and graduate coordinator at Oklahoma State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences, is the winner of the 2020 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. Dr. Ownbey previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Services in the College of Education and Human Sciences, where she developed scholarships for Oklahoma 4-H students aspiring to study human sciences at Oklahoma State University. She also serves in an advisory role for Great Plains IDEA, which offers online human sciences instruction across multiple institutions. Additionally, Dr. Ownbey played a pivotal role in developing an undergraduate family and consumer sciences degree program at Oklahoma State University.

2020 Outstanding Engagement Award
Dr. Ronald B. Cox, Jr., Professor and Cooperative Extension State Specialist at Oklahoma State University, is the winner of the 2020 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. An expert in the contextual factors influencing family development, Dr. Cox integrates research, instruction, and Extension to help families thrive. He has engaged the Latinx community to reduce risky behaviors among at-risk youth and increase academic success for 600 students and their parents. Dr. Cox has also led work to prevent trauma for children of divorcing parents. The programmatic model he developed has reached over 15,000 individuals.

2020 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
Dr. Antoinette M. Landor – Associate Professor of Human Development, Family Science, and Youth Development at the University of Missouri – is the winner of the 2020 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. The award recognizes a faculty member in the human sciences for exceptional performance as a research mentor to undergraduate students. Her research focuses on the effect of race on individual, relational, and family health and functioning. She has helped to guide the research of over 20 students at the undergraduate level, including many outside her department. She has also served in leadership roles with organizations dedicated to mentoring youth of color and providing scholarships to local African American high school seniors and college students.

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