EKU Faculty, Staff Win Awards at KABHE

Published on May 11, 2022

Eastern Kentucky University faculty and staff were honored at the 2022 Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education (KABHE) Conference. KABHE is the premier organization supporting diversity efforts in the Commonwealth. The conference was held April 10-12 at Northern Kentucky University.  

Dr. Iddah Otieno, part-time faculty member in the African and African American Studies Department, received the Dr. Joseph H. McMillan Faculty Award, given to a current tenure-track faculty member who has a demonstrated record of scholarly research, service and teaching. The award was named for McMillan, a co-founder of the organization. 

Dr. Ashley Sweat, director of EKU’s Student Success Center, received the Wendell Thomas Award, in recognition of an individual’s endeavors to promote the cause of African Americans in higher education and for commitment to promoting equal opportunity. 

“I’m honored to be presented with the Dr. Wendell Thomas Award,” Sweat said. “I was introduced to KABHE by the late Dr. Kimberly Merritt, who took so much pride in the organization and in mentoring young professionals. I feel like she would be so proud of me for working to continue her legacy.” 

Sweat also will serve as the organization’s chair of Scholarships and Nominations. 

Both award winners were selected by the KABHE executive board. 

“The Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education allows Black faculty, staff and students to network and support each other,” Sweat said. “Many of the members work at predominantly white institutions of higher education, and we may not work with other Black professionals. The annual conference is a professional development opportunity that gives us the chance to discuss recruitment, retention and engagement based on the Black experience.”