CSU Professor Robin Reid receives Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award

Robin Reid of Colorado State University has received the 2014 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award for her career of significant contributions to advancing international education at public and land-grant institutions. Reid was one of three recipients of the Malone Award, which is sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Reid and fellow recipients Amit Chakma of Western University and Krishnaswami Srihari of Binghamton University received their awards during a ceremony at APLU’s 2014 Commission on International Initiatives (CII) summer meeting July 14, in Berkeley, Calif.

“Robin Reid personifies the interdisciplinary approach that Colorado State University fosters in our faculty,” said Rick Miranda, provost and executive vice president of Colorado State. “She has made enormous contributions to international education and development, and she is a passionate advocate who displays her infectious enthusiasm for her work at every level.”

Reid is director of the Center for Collaborative Conservation, a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, and a senior scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory – all based in Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources.

For the last 27 years, she has led education, research and outreach projects in the drylands of Africa, Asia and North America. Her current work focuses on how to transform international higher education to be more inclusive of under-represented groups and more useful for local problem solving. She was also instrumental in forging the first Key Strategic Partnership between CSU and an African university, the University of Nairobi, in 2012.

“In receiving this award, I represent our talented teams at Colorado State University and our international university partners, as we build new ways to bring the highest quality education to all peoples of the world, especially under-represented students from the world’s remote drylands,” Reid said. “Our main goal is to build the next generation of transformative leaders who can better tackle the accelerating challenges of our world. We will use the momentum of this award to ignite new and stronger opportunities to help students build the confidence and skills to build a stronger global society.”

Reid’s research focuses on how collaborative governance at the community level works around the world and its social and ecological outcomes. From 1992-2007, she lived and worked in east Africa, doing research with pastoral peoples, on the social and ecological sustainability of their ecosystems. Her team of researchers and pastoralists won the 2012 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America, for their paper describing their efforts to make science useful to local communities and policymakers.

“Traditionally, researchers have thought of silver bullets to global sustainability challenges as technologies like vaccines, or communication technology, or a new crop variety. While these technological fixes are surely important, even more important is building the capacity of people and institutions to innovate and build their own futures through co-learning, co-producing knowledge, linking science with their local knowledge,” said Reid in her acceptance speech. “We have learned that science and education can have the most impact when we put local communities and their needs at the center of all we do, and focus our research on helping them to build the confidence and skills to build a stronger and more sustainable society.”

The Malone Award is named in honor of Michael P. Malone, president of Montana State University from 1991 until his death in 1999. Malone made many contributions to MSU and U.S. public higher education through his work as chair of APLU Commission on International Initiatives where he focused the group’s efforts on issues critical to international programs and increased its stature within APLU and elsewhere.

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 234 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1887, APLU is North America’s oldest higher education association with member institutions in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada and Mexico. Annually, APLU member campuses enroll 4.7 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.1 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $41 billion in university-based research.