Honoring the Late Godwin Apaliyah and Community Development Professionals at the 2023 Celebrating Land Grants Awards Ceremony

Jan. 4, 2024

Raymond A. Schindler Excellence in Community Development Extension Award 2023 WinnerRaymond A. Schindler Excellence in Community Development Extension Award is Godwin Apaliyah, PhD, Educator for Community Development in Fayette County.

The Raymond A. Schindler Excellence in Community Development Extension Award recognizes a CD Extension professional for significant programmatic strengths, major contributions, and innovative approaches achieved over the course of their Extension career. The awardee’s accomplishments must have value beyond their assigned work location; they must document long-term strengths in teaching and research; exhibit a long-standing record of teamwork and collaboration in program planning, implementation, and evaluation as well as a successful track record in grant awards, cost recovery or other external funding. The awardees must also exhibit evidence of professional development and service to the profession.

This year’s Raymond A. Schindler Excellence in Community Development Extension Award worked for more than 11 years as an Extension Educator for Community Development and as the Economic Development Director in his county.  During that time, he established and maintained strong, productive relationships with the County Commissioners, the county’s business community, the regional economic development commission, local leaders, and county residents.

He was integral to the team that attracted a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant that broke ground near Jeffersonville earlier this year. 

He also assisted local community stakeholders and village mayors to apply for and receive more than $400,000 in grants to support community and economic development projects.  To address employee retention, this Educator developed a wage and benefit survey tool that gathered information used to inform issues related to recent job turnover of large employers.  The tool was used by the workforce group at the Dayton Development Coalition and the Madison County Economic Development Department.

With a focus on local business and entrepreneur development, this Educator used a Business Retention and Expansion process to effectively empower local company executives to gain essential knowledge about the state’s economic development incentives for developing new manufacturing products, purchasing, or replacing equipment, expanding production, and creating additional jobs and training opportunities for workforce development. He continued to add value to other BRE projects by serving on the state team and working to update the curriculum, the website, and fact sheets that support the statewide initiative.  Partnering with Workforce Services Unlimited, a tri-county (Highland, Clinton, and Fayette counties) organization, he developed a curriculum designed to improve youth resiliency by focusing on career and employment exploration and creating awareness among at-risk students about job opportunities in the region.

The bi-annual 9-month county leadership program that he created has graduated nearly 100 new and emerging leaders into the county’s business and professional communities.  Engaging more than 370 youth in workforce development training, his efforts worked to grow the skills and build valued professional attitudes and behaviors in the business community’s next generation.

He authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications, including journal articles, book chapters, fact sheets, and bulletins.  He taught an undergraduate course for the School of Environment and Natural Resources. He delivered the keynote speech on the topic “Capacity Building: Strengthening Infrastructure and Human Capital” for the International Fellowship of Faith Ministries at their 2019 convocation.  He has delivered multiple peer-reviewed presentations and shared numerous scientific posters at the NACDEP annual meetings. 

Even with his stellar work ethic and impressive body of work, the most important thing about this year’s recipient was his generous spirit, his kind and inclusive attitude, and his love of family, community, and friends.  You had only to spend 5 minutes talking with him to feel his ever-grateful attitude and warm, welcoming presence. 

So I find myself very bittersweet as I announce this year’s award recipient.  The sweet part is that, once again, we are celebrating the accomplishments, leadership, and educational excellence of one of our colleagues.  And the sad part is that we lost this good friend and colleague just a few months ago. This year’s selection for the Schindler Excellence in Community Development Extension Award is Godwin Apaliyah, PhD, Educator for Community Development in Fayette County.

Godwin Apaliyah

I want to invite Godwin’s wife, Olivia, and Fayette County Commissioner, Tony Anderson to join me on the stage. 

Godwin Apaliyah Award for Inspired Community Engagement

Godwin Apaliyah Award for Inspired Community Engagement Awarded to GlobalOHIO Immersion Experience

As many of you know, our good friend and colleague, Godwin Apaliyah, Extension Educator for Community Development in Fayette County, passed away earlier this year. Godwin was such a warm and welcoming person, who was always filled with gratitude for the opportunity to know and work with his clients and colleagues. Committed to building community capacity, Godwin’s work in Fayette County focused on growing and galvanizing the business community, empowering local and emerging leaders, and engaging community officials in revitalizing downtown Washington Court House. Godwin often talked about the relationships and partnerships that were essential to his community and economic development work. In the spirit of Godwin’s good work, this award is designed to recognize the outstanding efforts of an individual or team in building community through partnerships, cooperation, and meaningful engagement. This will be an annual award, and for this first year, we asked that at least one member of the team be an Extension professional with a Community Development title. The recipient of the award will receive $500 deposited into their professional account to be used to add value to their project, to focus on professional development, or any expense to continue to grow the capacity to engage with and impact community building.

This year’s recipient of the Godwin Apaliyah Award for Inspired Community Engagement is the GlobalOhio Immersion Experience. Here’s a bit about their project:

The GlobalOHIO Immersion Experience is a collaborative program with OSU Extension, CFAES Leadership, CFAES International Extension Programs, and community cultural partners. In April of 2023, the first cohort participated in a culture immersion experience in Columbus and Cincinnati. The experience included engaged learning opportunities with the Bhutanese community, a tour of an international grocery store employing members of the international community, and an introduction to Islamic culture. Planning for the 2024 experience is currently underway and will be held in Cleveland.

I want to mention a special note about this project. Godwin was also a member of this team, and he often spoke about his excitement to be part of a team working to bring awareness to and an increased appreciation of different cultures.

I’d like the team members to join me on the stage. These include Jill Bartolotta, Steve Brady, Alisha Barton, Lorissa Dunfee, Julie Fox, Solomon Garner, Michelle Gaston, Chris Igodan, Daniel Remley, Poppy Thornton, and Susan Zies.

Jill Bartolotta Scott Hardy and Sarah Orlando 

Ohio Sea Grant

2023 Award Winners

  • Program/Event Press Release 1st Place: Jill Bartolotta
  • Exhibit/Display 1st Place: Nicole Wright, Tory Gabriel, HM: Jill Bartolotta
  • Curriculum Package 2nd Place: Tory Gabriel
  • Fact Sheet 2nd Place: Jill Bartolotta
  • Bulletins or Educational Guides 3rd Place: Tory Gabriel
  • Monographs/Journal Articles/Book Chapters 3rd Place: David J. Civittolo
  • Website 1st Place: Scott Hardy, Sarah Orlando

Congratulations team!