Auburn nursing professor honored with MLK Community Service Award

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Constance Hendricks, the Charles W. Barkley Endowed Professor in the Auburn University School of Nursing, received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award Monday during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

The National Forum for Black Public Administrators East Central Chapter issues the award annually at the breakfast it sponsors with Auburn’s Office of the Vice President for University Outreach and Access and Community Initiatives in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

The recipient of the award is an individual who has achieved extraordinary success in community service by demonstrating an unselfish commitment to the needs of the community. The individual should have demonstrated professionalism and leadership achievement in the arena of community involvement and reflect the mission of the life of King with a positive attitude of socioeconomic change through such avenues as an active church life, involvement in civic groups and the display of an attitude of non-violent, social and economic change.

In nominating Hendricks, Royrickers Cook, vice president for University Outreach at Auburn, noted her initiatives with community health and minority and rural health issues as major factors that warrant recognition.

“As a native of historic Selma, Ala., being selected to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award is a humbling honor,” said Hendricks. “My parents taught me that ‘to whom much is given, much is required.’ It is that mantra that guides my life. Many persons invested their time and finances for me to excel; it is my obligation and responsibility to do for others to empower them to excel.”

Hendricks held faculty positions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuskegee University before coming to Auburn in 1987. She left in 1996 and spent time at the University of South Carolina, Southern University and A&M College and Hampton University, before returning to Auburn in 2007.

Lately, Hendricks has been working with a multidisciplinary team to explore collaborative research and outreach opportunities in Malawi, Africa. The fall of 2012 marked the first time nursing students made the voyage with Hendricks, where they joined students from the University of Malawi Kamuzu College of Nursing in providing care to an orphanage run by the 100K Foundation and people in rural Malawian communities.

Shirley Sherrod, author of “Courage to Hope: How I Stood up to the Politics of Fear,” was the keynote speaker at Monday’s scholarship breakfast. The National Forum for Black Public Administrators also awarded three scholarships to local students during the event.

(Written by Amy Weaver)

Contact: Constance Hendricks, School of Nursing, (334) 844-6749 (, or Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (