Dumas named recipient of 2020 Barash Award for Human Service

March 27, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Josephine Dumas, associate teaching professor in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, is the 2020 recipient of the Barash Award for Human Service.

Created in 1975 by the family of the late Sy Barash, the award honors a full-time member of the faculty or staff or student body on the University Park campus who, apart from his or her regular duties, has contributed the most to human causes, public service activities and organizations, or the welfare of fellow humans.

Colleagues said Dumas has been an accomplished researcher, dedicated teacher and public servant for more than two decades. Her career has been filled with pioneerism and activism.

She was one of a few women in a class of 500 to earn a degree in electrical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She became the first female senior broadcast engineer with WNYW, Fox Television Stations Inc.

“From a young age, she has consistently been engaged in her community, whether in political campaigns or as a leader in grassroots efforts to make neighborhoods more welcoming and safe,” a nominator said.

For the college, Dumas serves on the Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. There, the committee is tasked with assessing the college climate while mapping out goals, strategic plans and initiatives.

Dumas served as Education Co-Chair on the University’s Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity (CORED) and currently serves on the University’s Commission for Women. She served on the University’s Framework to Foster Diversity review committee.

She is a lifetime member of the Forum on Black Affairs and established a diversity scholarship along with her husband, Charles Dumas.

In the community, Dumas volunteers with Global Connections and Cultural Conversations, two programs that foster a welcoming environment.

“Dr. Dumas is an exemplar of public service at Penn State and the community,” a nominator said. “She’s someone who works tirelessly to promote diversity, inclusion and community. I know many whose lives she has touched will be cheering when she receives this honor that she deserves and has won many times over.”

Last Updated March 27, 2020