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Mercer Human Services Professor Earns Major Award
November 13, 2006

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON — The National Organization for Human Services has named Mercer Human Services Professor and Program Coordinator Kyra Osmus as its 2006 recipient of the Lenore McNeer Award. Osmus received the honor based on her “distinctive contributions to the field of human services.” She was presented the award during the organization’s annual conference in San Diego, Calif., held Nov. 1-4.
“Dr. Osmus models what she teaches,” said Thomas Kail, dean of the College and Continuing and Professional Studies. “She is a passionate advocate for continuous learning and for committing one’s professional life to leadership and service to others. She richly deserves the national recognition she is receiving from her colleagues and fellow human services professionals.”
Osmus developed Mercer’s current Human Services program. A faculty member of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, she has served as the coordinator of the program for six years. Under her guidance, the program has become the largest major in the College and has expanded to include two tracks: one for students who want to pursue a master’s degree in a counseling or mental health field and the second track for students who want to work in an agency setting. A professor at Mercer for 20 years, she developed some of the University’s first adult educational offerings.
“I am so excited and humbled by this honor,” Osmus said. “This has been an amazing experience for me, to be a part of the adult education movement and to help to develop nontraditional education at Mercer. It has been very rewarding and I’m looking forward to enhancing the programs at our locations around the state.”
Osmus has been active with NOHS and the Southern Organization for Human Services since the early 1980s. She has helped organize conferences for both organizations. In 1999, she organized and led the SOHS annual conference in Macon. An active member of the Alpha Delta Omega human services honor society since she was inducted in 1993, Osmus was also instrumental in helping CCPS to secure a campus chapter of Alpha Delta Omega. 
Osmus is also active in the field of human services as an advocate and volunteer.  She serves on the boards of the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home, Loaves and Fishes Ministry, and Three Rivers Home Health Care in Macon. In May 2005, she traveled to Russia as part of her work with Georgia Industrial Children’s Home.  
About the Lenore McNeer Award:
This award is presented to a member of the NOHS or a person who has made a distinctive contribution to the field of human services as a practitioner or as an educator. Examples of the criteria for this award include demonstrated advocacy and support of the organization through volunteer and release time, support of NOHS’s goals, objectives and special projects, and demonstrated influences to promote the acceptance as well as the development of the human services professional.
About Human Services:
The field of Human Services is broadly defined, uniquely approaching the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. The Human Services profession is one which promotes improved service delivery systems by addressing not only the quality of direct services, but also by seeking to improve accessibility, accountability, and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit