by Pamela Young, Published January 19, 2012
YPSILANTI - Betty Brown-Chappell, an Eastern Michigan University professor, and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) were presented with the University's Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Awards Jan. 16 during EMU's annual MLK Day President's Luncheon.
The award recognizes individuals from within Eastern and the community who exemplify the values and ideals of Dr. King, such as leadership and service.
Brown-Chappell, a professor of social work from Canton, Mich., has more than thirty years of experience both as a faculty member and administrator in higher education.
Throughout her career, she has focused on the integration of minority -related content into the educational curriculum, along with recruiting and advising students. Her areas of research include urban policy, mayoral leadership, gerontology, homelessness and student success. She is a past president of the National Association of Social Workers - Michigan Chapter.
During her remarks, Brown-Chappell talked about her parents' humble backgrounds, yet all eight of their children graduated from college.
"Success is your contribution to others," Brown-Chappell said.
She then announced that she and her husband, Michael, a 1970 EMU graduate, have endowed the Brown-Chappell Scholarship Fund that will be available for students next fall.
Brown-Chappell is active in professional and community groups in southeastern Michigan and in her former hometown of South Haven, Mich. One such group is South Haven's Ward 1 Community Action Committee, which seeks to improve the lives of residents by focusing on economic development, job creation, education and public safety.
Stabenow was honored with the humanitarian award for "giving back to Michigan communities through her years of service."
During her brief remarks, Stabenow said, "Today, we remember Dr. King, but we are also called to do our part to help make his dream come true. We must all work every day to create justice in the world around us."
Stabenow was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1996, representing Michigan's Eighth Congressional District. She made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from Michigan to be elected to the United States Senate.
Stabenow currently serves as chair of the Senate's Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, and is a member of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources, Finance, and Budget committees,
A strong advocate for higher education, Stabenow has worked to pass recent increases in college financial aid and securing millions in cutting-edge research dollars for Michigan's colleges and universities.