Monday, October 24, 2011

Donna Branson Inducted into Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Dr. Donna H. Branson who was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame at the 2011 induction ceremony October 11 at the Oklahoma Athletic Hall of Fame Museum in Oklahoma City. Here is the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society's write up on Dr. Branson:

Donna Branson has left a matchless record in the area of material design and construction of body protection clothing.

In 1972, she earned a Ph.D. in Family Ecology, emphasizing functional apparel design, from Michigan State University. She had already served as instructor at the University of Rhode Island and at Michigan State University for several years before she was hired as Associate Professor in the Department of Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at OSU in 1983.

She became Professor in four years and in 1992 was chosen Head of her department. Under her leadership, for nearly seven years (1998 to 2005), almost all faculty obtained external funding for their research projects, and she was instrumental in setting up the Christine Salmon Endowed Visiting Professorships. As well, Donna Branson has produced an inspiring record as a researcher.

She has co-authored 32 journal articles, 23 pamphlets and professional reports, refereed 86 presentations, and juried seven design exhibits or competitions. Over the years, she has obtained 28 grants and now owns one manufacturing license and has four pending patents. Much of this scholarly output has been related to designing body armor that protects against bomb attacks but still allows for mobility and temperature control. Her work has been instrumental in protecting United States soldiers in the Middle East.

For her work, she has been given the Mortar Board Outstanding OSU Teacher Award, the Marguerite Scruggs Award for Meritorious Research, the National Textile Center Scientific Excellence Adviser, Oklahoma State University Regents Professor, and in 2006, the Homeland Security Award.

Professor Branson retired from OSU in 2006 but continues to serve as the Director of the Institute of Protective Apparel Research and Technology in Stillwater.

For this marvelous record of research and service to state and nation, the OHEHS proudly inducts Donna H. Branson into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.

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