Bradley Wilson, Director of the Center for Resilient Communities, is the recipient of the Ethel and Gerry Heebink Award for Distinguished State Service, which recognizes a faculty or staff member who has provided distinguished service to West Virginia over a period of time. It was established by David Heebink in 1982 in memory of his parents, Ethel and Gerry Heebink, two former University employees.
Wilson is honored for his efforts to empower students and community members to engage in transformative
practice to address West Virginia’s most pressing problems.
Wilson is honored as the recipient of the 2022 Heebink Award for extended service, which is awarded annually. He is an associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Resilient Communities in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Wilson is honored for his long-term work to decrease food insecurity and provide support to local grassroots organizations and outreach to rural communities. Wilson is also recognized for his efforts to empower students and community members to engage in transformative practice to address West Virginia’s most pressing problems. For example, in 2011, he founded with undergraduate students the fair-trade coffee initiative, Firsthand Coffee Cooperative, and, in 2013, established with graduate students the Food Justice Lab. Especially noteworthy is Wilson’s 2019 establishment of the Center for Resilient Communities, which has focused on raising up a new generation of community-based action researchers and changemakers focused on building just and equitable futures in Appalachia and beyond.