Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II recently announced the Presidential Awards of Excellence 2019 winners during the State of the University Assembly. Winners affecting all aspects of the University were honored.

 Dr. Roger C. Cleveland, full professor and director of the Center for Research on the Eradication of Educational Discrepancies (CREED) at Kentucky State University, received the 2019 President’s Award for Excellence in Research.

Cleveland has served the University for 14 months and previously taught at Morehead State University, University of Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State University and Eastern Kentucky University.

The Middlesboro, Kentucky native said his favorite part about working at Kentucky State is interacting with the students and creating opportunities for faculty and staff.

“I was elated, surprised and very appreciative,” Cleveland said.

Dr. Erin W. Gilliam, associate professor of history, received the 2019 President’s Award in Excellence in Teaching.

Gilliam has served at Kentucky State since 2013 and is a proud 2005 Kentucky State graduate.

“I am happy to give back to the University that gave me so much and help developed me into the strong black woman and scholar I am today,” Gilliam said.

The Augusta, Georgia native said her favorite part of working at Kentucky State is her interaction with her students and their growth as individuals.

Dr. Kristopher R. Grimes, associate professor and state specialist for nutrition and nutrition education, received the 2019 President’s Award for Excellence in Cooperative Extension.

Grimes said he was surprised to receive the honor.

“While everything we do is a cooperative effort, the Cooperative Extension award is the very definition of cooperation,” Grimes said. “The truth is, were it not for my amazing staff, there is no way that we would be able to achieve the success we have achieved.”

The Madison, Indiana native has served the University for a decade. Grimes said his favorite part of working at Kentucky State is the opportunity to teach and mentor students in small groups and provide them opportunities to get research and work experience that will help shape their future.

Sean E. Ross, director of major gifts, received the 2019 President’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. Ross has served the University for one year and said he thought someone was playing a joke on him when he found out he’d be receiving the award

“My favorite part of Kentucky State is our amazing students and the great people on and off campus that I’ve had the opportunity to meet,” Ross said.

Natalie L. Turner, bursar, receive the 2019 President’s Award for Excellence in University Service.

The Cincinnati native has served the University for 30 years.

Turner, a first-generation college student who earned a bachelor’s and a master’s at Kentucky State, said her favorite part of the job is helping students, many of whom are first-generation college students, who may not have realized the financial implications associated with higher education.

“I was shocked to receive an honor,” Turner said.