West Virginia Universitys associate director of Extension and Public Service has received the Universitys highest award for womens advocacy.

Brenda Sue Black , also an associate professor, was selected for the award by the WVU Council for Womens Concerns.

During a career with WVU s Extension Service that spans 30 years, Black has been both an inspiring example and a mentor to women within and outside of the University, said Larry Cote, associate provost for Extension and Public Service.

“Sue Black is a quiet, caring, yet visionary leader with high personal standards and ethics, an advocate for social justice, and an inspiring mentor to colleagues,”Dr. Cote said.”Her acumen as a leader and a change agent of individuals and organizations has proven to be pivotal to the success of Extensions program efforts.”

He added,”Sue establishes the standard of effective leadership, by modeling leadership characteristics to both women and men throughout West Virginia.”

Jennifer McIntosh, executive officer for Social Justice, called Black a valuable resource.

“Sue has had a distinguished career in the University Extension Service,”McIntosh said.”It is most impressive that she has been able to advance from her beginning position as an extension agent to her present responsibilities of providing senior administrative leadership statewide. While advancing her career she maintained a rapport with people that has established a legacy of both personal and professional respect and admiration.”

Betty Boswell French, a JacksonCounty resident, said Blacks support of her throughout the last 30 years has changed her life.

“Ms. Blacks philosophy has been to first and foremost strengthen the individual by giving him or her the tools necessary to succeed,”French said.”Sue Black has been the force that has lead to my journey from an insecure, unemployable, scared young woman to an aspiring, employed and mature adult with a degree from WVU at Parkersburg.”

French said she tries to emulate Black as she supervises subordinates.

“My focus is to support and encourage others into becoming productive and joyful persons as Sue Black did me,”she said.

Black worked in the West Virginia Department of Welfare as a social worker from 1967-1970. She was an extension agent in JacksonCounty from 1971-1991, a preventicare program coordinator from 1991-1994, an interim Extension field services leader and director from 1995-1996 and interim associate director from 1996-1997. She was appointed associate director in 1997.

She will be honored, among others, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the Mountainlair ballrooms as part of this years Weekend of Honors convocation ceremony. Her name also will be added to a permanent plaque located in E. Moore Hall.

The Buswell Award is an annual honor given by the WVU Council for Womens Concerns. It is named for Mary Catherine Buswell, an English professor and early proponent of equal opportunities for WVU women.