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Wilson Named Underwood Memorial Lecture Award Recipient

Thursday, April 15, 2021


LaRhonda WilsonSt. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley named LaRhonda Wilson, associate professor of sociology, as the recipient of the 46th David L. Underwood Memorial Lecture Award.

The late David L. Underwood was known for his love of education. He was deeply concerned with the welfare of students and staff alike. His dedication went beyond office hours – and he tirelessly gave of his time and talents to further the educational mission at Florissant Valley.

Recipients of the Underwood Memorial Lecture Award demonstrate that same dedication and commitment. Chosen by a committee of peers, the recipient exhibits excellence in instruction and a genuine, humanistic concern for students, faculty, staff, and all of education.

Wilson will present the commemorative lecture in fall 2021.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and safety concerns, Steve Ehlen, supervisor of the Engineering Technology Center and the 44th recipient of the Underwood Award, creatively shared clues about this year’s deserving colleague during a presentation held outside the Underwood Library before revealing Wilson as the winner of the prestigious honor.

Janice Nesser-Chu, dean of liberal arts and the 42nd recipient of the Underwood Award, commended Wilson for her dedication to St. Louis Community College and especially the Florissant Valley campus.

“Associate Professor Wilson works tirelessly for her students and the community. She is a strong proponent of service learning and has connected students to important issues ranging from the environment to government accountability,” Nesser-Chu said. “While her activities enhance the classroom learning experience, she goes one step further by incorporating volunteer efforts for students in our local community. LaRhonda’s commitment to her students, the campus community and North County is unparalleled.”

LaRhonda Wilson is announced as Underwood Lecture Award recipient.Wilson also serves as program coordinator for the campus service-learning program and is lead faculty for sociology, anthropology and psychology. Her motto can be summed up in one word: love.

"Love is the motivation behind my teaching and involvement in the community,” Wilson said. “I’m confident that the love and knowledge will spread how it’s needed."

Wilson is known for her compassion in the classroom, engaging students and encouraging them to participate in activities that stretch their comfort both academically and socially. She is involved in voter registration, education efforts and local politics – having served as campaign manager and political advisor for several successful grassroots elections.

During her 20-plus years as a teacher, Wilson has enhanced students’ learning experiences by connecting them to court watch programs, voter engagement and environmental activities, reentry populations, services for children and families, communities of poverty, city government, political campaigns, and more.

Wilson has earned awards that include Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Inc.’s Apple for the Teacher Award, League of Innovation’s John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award, North County Incorporated’s 30 Leaders in their Thirties Award, the Organization for Black Struggle’s Unsung Shero Award, and the St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence in Education Award.

Wilson is a member of the American Sociological Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the Lincoln University Alumni Association, and the Missouri Sociological Association.

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