Murphy was one of two recipients of the Ethel and Gerry Heebink Awards for Distinguished State Service, which recognize faculty or staff members who have provided distinguished service to West Virginia over a period of time. These awards were established by David Heebink in 1982 in memory of his parents, Ethel and Gerry Heebink, two former University employees. She is the recipient of the 2023 Heebink Award for extended (i.e., at least eight years) distinguished service to West Virginia.
Murphy is honored for her long-term success in acquiring nearly $22 million to support interventional strategies and public health initiatives in the state. This work has centered on physical activity promotion, child obesity prevention, food access, and healthy lifestyles for West Virginia community members, families and children. Murphy is also recognized for her success in creating policy, environmental and systems changes that are sustainable for years to come. For example, the formal nutrition policy she helped create for the Nutrition Advisory Group is now in play in 48 out of 55 counties, and she helped establish the Healthy Eating Research Nutrition Guidelines at the Mountaineer FoodBank, which guides more than 450 agencies across the state to source and distribute healthier options for the families they serve.
Additionally, as co-chair of the Physical Activity Policy Team for the “Our Children, Our Future” campaign, Murphy helped guarantee that West Virginia children are entitled to 30 minutes of physical activity each school day, and she also collaborated with WVU Extension to develop 4-H curriculum and camp activities and integrate health education material into 4-H clubs, camps and family activities in every county in the state. As the 2023 Heebink extended service award recipient, Murphy will receive a $3,000 professional development honorarium.
Story courtesy of the WVU Office of the Provost. Full story with all faculty award winners can be found here.