Dr. Middleton

Dr. Renée A. Middleton

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Patton College dean receives national award for service to individuals with disabilities

On July 13, Dr. Renée A. Middleton, dean of The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education, was recognized by The National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns (NAMRC) Leadership and Board of Directors.

Middleton was awarded the lifelong credential Honorary NAMRC Fellow Credential (FNAMRC) for her service as past-president of NAMRC. Presented at the 25th annual Training Conference in Las Vegas, the award recognizes her contributions to the advancement of the Association’s Mission and individuals with disabilities over the past 25 years.

The NAMRC Fellow Award serves to recognize and honor NAMRC members who have made sustained and significant contributions to NAMRC, including research, education, practice, and leadership related to multicultural concerns in rehabilitation professions. The selection of the NAMRC Fellow Award is based on documented excellence and leadership. It is a distinguished award with the conferring of the lifelong credential, FNAMRC (Fellow of the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns).

While president of NAMRC in 1996, Middleton was instrumental in creating several leadership awards, such as the Bobbie J. Atkins Rehabilitation Research Award whose namesake was the first African American president of NCRE and a leader nationally and internationally with expertise in diversity, alcohol, and drug prevention, AIDS education, and supervision. Additional awards, including one for service and one for education, were also established at this time, which provided recognition of pioneers in the field and created avenue for recognition/awards of NAMRC members to reinforce professional achievement.

“Dr. Middleton was instrumental during her presidency in elevating the NAMRC conference to a premier conference in multicultural counseling and rehabilitation content featuring cutting-edge topics and highly renown presenters,” said Dr. L. Robert McConnell, founding NAMRC Board member and past president, of the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA).

Also during her time with NAMRC, Dr. Middleton initiated ground-breaking research resulting in an article authored by her and other NAMRC members in Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin in July 2000, “Endorsement of Professional Multicultural Rehabilitation Competencies and Standards: A Call to Action.” The research was built on and inspired by the work of Bobbie Atkins.

NAMRC’s mission is to promote cultural diversity and disability through advocacy for excellence and equity in rehabilitation research, education and practice. Founded in 1992 as a Division of the National Rehabilitation Association, the evolution of NAMRC stems from a history in which all members (e.g., African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans) were not given a voice within NRA and were not assured representation on the NRA Board of Directors.

Today, NAMRC is a professional association of dedicated rehabilitation professionals that recognizes the broad scope and dimensions of race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender, disability, class status, education, religious/spiritual orientation and other cultural dimensions when advocating for individuals with disabilities from culturally diverse backgrounds.