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APLU Announces 2023 Board on Health and Human Sciences Award Winners

Washington, DC – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Board on Health and Human Sciences (BHHS) today announced that three public university scholars will be honored with 2023 Board on Health and Human Sciences Awards. The annual awards, to be presented on November 12, 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 leverage resources to support human sciences research, outreach, and teaching programs; and educate leaders regarding the capacity of the human sciences to solve human problems. The honors are part of the broader BHHS mission of promoting the intellectual integrity and stature of the human sciences at APLU member institutions. The BHHS is an association of administrators of higher education units responsible for the research/discovery, extension/outreach, and teaching/learning programs in the human sciences at public research universities across the country.

This year’s award winners are:

2023 Outstanding Engagement Award
Dr. Elaine Johannes, associate professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Kansas State University, is the winner of the 2023 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. Johannes’ scholarship focuses on working with communities to address health disparities, social determinants of health and well-being, and unequal access to health care. Her engaged scholarship includes the Hypertension Awareness and Prevention program (HAPp), which brings together Extension programs for healthy eating and physical activity in coordination with the CDC Health Heart Ambassador and the American Heart Association’s Check, Change, Control campaign. Through this work, she convened Extension colleagues and community health workers to encourage participants to conduct blood pressure self-monitoring, attend monthly nutrition and physical activity programs, manage stress, and report benefits to motivational coaches. Dr. Johannes is a demonstrated leader in Kansas and frequently serves on state-level executive committees and task forces that focus on community health from a life span approach.

2023 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
Dr. Jill Joyce, an associate professor and Interim Graduate Coordinator in the College of Education and Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University, is the winner of the 2023 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. Joyce is a registered dietitian and co-creator of the OSU Tactical Fitness and Nutrition lab, which provides evidence-based information to first responders, military personnel, and their families; tactical departments and agencies to impact overall health; and wellness and occupational performance.  She teaches research-based courses within the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Honors College with the goal of teaching future health professionals to read, understand, evaluate, and use research to guide their evidence-based medical practice. She also mentors undergraduate research scholars, graduate teaching assistants, and serves as thesis advisor and committee member for graduate research students.

2023 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award
Dr. Alicia Powers, Managing Director of the Hunger Solutions Institute in the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University, is the winner of the 2023 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.

Throughout her career, Dr. Powers’ scholarship has focused on building healthy and resilient communities and people. Early in her career, she co-founded LiveWell Greenville, an initiative advancing equitable access to healthy eating and active living. In 2016, she joined the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and implemented Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAPEd) through a multi-level initiative combining innovative adult and childhood obesity prevention and nutrition education initiatives. Dr. Powers then transitioned to the Hunger Solutions Institute, where she strengthened and operationalized student, university, and community partner outreach efforts. She solidified student engagement through the flagship Universities Fighting World Hunger program and continues to grow university president participation in the Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) effort. Additionally, Dr. Powers received over one million dollars in funding to help the most food insecure residents of Alabama have access to more resources for incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diets.

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