A Youngstown State University professor has been recognized for her efforts in advancing public health measures for minority communities.

Nicolette Powe, associate professor of Public Health at Youngstown State University has been named the recipient of the 2024 Athena Award.

Powe was honored for her commitment to advancing public health, promoting health equity and empowering future generations of young public health professionals.

At YSU, her research focuses on behavioral risk factors for chronic disease prevention, with a focus on young adults, examining racial/ethnic and sex differences. This work extends to implementing health promotion programs and disseminating outcomes to combat chronic diseases.

She has earned several grants for her research efforts, including $3.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the REACH Program. This is a five-year program to improve health, prevent chronic disease and reduce health disparities among the black population with the highest rate of disease.

The Athena Award is given annually to recognize area business and professional women who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen career, provided leadership in the community and mentored or contributed to the growth of other professional women, according to a news release from the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.

Thom Duma Fine Jewelers provided a custom-made necklace to the recipient, designed to embody the Athena Award symbol. 

At the 31st annual event, 23 nominees were honored. This includes the recipient of the 17th Athena Scholarship to Lisa Eichart, a senior at the Western Reserve Highschool.

Additionally, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield awarded two scholarships amounting to $1,250 each to Liberty High School senior Kailey Ague and Austintown Fitch High School senior Samantha Heinz, both of whom will be attending YSU.