July 01, 2013

Wilson earns multicultural rehabilitation honor

by Christi Mathis

Keith Wilson

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Keith B. Wilson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is the recipient of the 2013 Virgie Winston-Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association for Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns.

Wilson, who has worked in higher education for nearly 30 years, will receive the award at the association’s 20th annual Training Conference Awards luncheon on July 27 in New Orleans.

“This is outstanding recognition of Dean Wilson’s leadership and commitment to his profession and to serving others,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.

Wilson said he was “honored and surprised” to learn of the award.

“This honor is particularly noteworthy for me because it came from my peers across the United States,” he said.

The organization promotes “cultural diversity and disability through advocacy for excellence and equity in rehabilitation research, education and practice,” according to its website, and Wilson’s affiliation with the organization dates back about two decades.  He served as a national board member from 2001 to 2004 and has also held committee positions, made numerous presentations and mentored students and faculty from across the country through the association.  He received a National Research Award from the organization in 2001 as well.

The Virgie Winston-Smith Lifetime Achievement Award is the association’s highest honor.  The award recognizes someone with a distinguished career supporting rehabilitation and multicultural issues as illustrated through longtime service and leadership in NAMRC and the rehabilitation profession as well as involvement, leadership, service and advocacy regarding rehabilitation multicultural issues. 

Wilson assumed the dean’s position at SIU in July 2012.  He was previously a professor, associate professor and assistant professor at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa.

Wilson earned his bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio and his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at Kent State University in Ohio.  He also holds a doctorate in education/rehabilitation services from The Ohio State University and has done post-doctoral study at Harvard University.