2016 CHBS Alumni Awards


Nancy Bell (left) and Gail Henshaw (right).

In the fall of 2015, the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) Advisory Board established two alumni awards for the college.  The awards were presented for the first time during Radford University’s 2016 Homecoming and Family Weekend.

The two awards are Outstanding Alumni and Outstanding Posthumous Alumni, with the former being awarded each year and the latter only awarded at the Advisory Board’s discretion.

The winner of the 2016 CHBS Outstanding Alumni Award is Nancy Bell ’82, a graduate of the journalism program. She is responsible for cultivating and managing a multi-million-dollar budget as Executive Director of United Way of Franklin County, which also connects the regional population to nonprofits to assist with their education, health and financial stability. Bell wrote news articles and reported stories for the Radford News Journal, The Roanoke Times, and the Martinsville News Bulletin in her career as a journalist. She also founded a children’s newspaper titled Kids’ World, distributed through Roanoke public schools.

Bell is also responsible for establishing a Volunteer Educator’s Advisory Board. Later, while she covered the education beat in Martinsville for the city’s newspaper, Bell volunteered to write a grant for students’ after-school care.

The CHBS Posthumous Alumni Award is Kenny Henshaw ‘82, who had extensive coursework in political science as a student at Radford. Gail Henshaw, his wife, accepted the award for the Henshaw family.

Among Henshaw’s many contributions to Radford University and the communities in which he lived are building and serving as chairman of the board for Wesley Hospital House in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, an organization similar to the Ronald McDonald House. Also in Elizabeth City, he developed Pelican Pointe, single-family housing for senior citizens.

Henshaw also helped create the “Read More Books” program for students in Richmond and surrounding areas, in which students received books for their home libraries. He also founded a Haitian Scholars Program, which assisted five Haitian scholars to study in the U.S. and return to their country as community leaders.

His contributions to Radford include establishing a student seat (representation) on the Radford University Board of Visitors. Henshaw also arranged U.S. government field trips for the Student Government Association members to observe national leaders in action.

The CHBS Outstanding Alumni Award was presented by Cindy Pickering and Mike Ashley and the CHBS Outstanding Posthumous Alumni Award was presented by Denise White and Radford Dean Emeritus Bonnie Hurlburt.

The inaugural awards were milled out of a pecan tree that previously stood where the new CHBS building is located.

Oct 25, 2016
Max Esterhuizen