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Dr. Marion Simon with her award presented by Dr. Walter Hill, Dean of Tuskegee University’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences

FRANKFORT — Two Kentucky State University faculty members recently received high honors for their work in the area of agriculture.

Dr. Marion Simon and Dr. Kirk Pomper were honored at the Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC) at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Pomper, land-grant director at Kentucky State, received the 1890 Leadership Award, alongside 19 other deans or directors at 1890 Land-Grant institutions across the country. He was honored for his many years of contributions to the success of Kentucky State’s land-grant program, the 1890 Land-Grant university system and the clients it serves.

The honor was a special award as part of the 75th anniversary of the PAWC, which began in 1942.

“I am honored to receive the 1890 Leadership Award, although this award really represents the hard work of our Kentucky State University Extension professionals that are serving the needs of our stakeholders in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Pomper said. “The award that was presented incorporated a composite soil made up of soils from 19 of the 1890 Land-Grant Universities.  In the case of Kentucky State University, the soil sample was collected from the location that was the site of the original KSU campus farm and is the current site of the University president’s residence.  I am thrilled to receive this award.”

Simon was one of five recipients awarded the Outstanding Service Award. This award recognizes continued service to Kentucky’s limited-resource farmers and families and continued support of PAWC through attending and providing the opportunity for others to attend the annual conference to encourage collaboration throughout the 1890 Land-Grant system. Previously, Simon was inducted into the Tuskegee University and PAWC’s George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Tuskegee University and the Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC) are the foundation of Extension and agricultural research at 1890 institutions as we know them today,” Simon said. “It is truly an honor to have received the Outstanding Service Award, which shows unity and service across the 1890 region and is personified through the unity soils medallion, a mixture of soils from 19 of the 1890 institutions that are compressed into one unity soil medallion.  As an employee of Kentucky State University for more than 33 years, and working with numerous 1890 collaborations, the idea of unity and service among the 1890s is very special to me.”


Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 Land Grant University affords access to and prepares a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in two disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, master’s degrees in eight disciplines, and one advanced practice doctorate in nursing. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 2,000 students.