Dr. Sandra L. Russo, Director of the Office for Global Research Engagement (OGRE) in the University of Florida’s International Center (UFIC), was recognized by the UF Association of Academic Women as AAW Woman of Distinction 2018. Dr. Russo was presented with the award at the Women’s History Month Awards Reception on March 14th, at the Earl and Christy Powell University House.
The Woman of Distinction Award is given to a UF faculty member or administrative/professional woman who have made significant contributions to the quality of life of women. At UF, Dr. Russo was one of the co-founders of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, helping establish it legally in its early years. She continues to teach courses on gender and development for UF and to supervise and mentor students. In 1996-99, she was the PI for a USAID Women in Development Fellows program, WorldWID; a grant of $2.3 million.
Dr. Russo has been PI or Co-PI on numerous USAID and NSF projects that involve research, international development and graduate students, including a ten-year project with ICARDA in the Middle East on water and livelihoods; and several subawards involving integrating gender into extension in developing countries. On these and other awards, Dr. Russo has included UF faculty, graduate students and staff to encourage their engagement and scholarship in developing countries. In total, Dr. Russo has secured over $31 million in funding to UF.
An agronomist and animal nutritionist by training, Dr. Russo has worked in international development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East since 1981. She was a AAAS Fellow with the US Agency for International Development and worked as a gender advisor to USAID from 2000-2008. She has lead research projects on gender and climate change in Africa, gender and livelihoods in the Middle East, and gender transformation with WorldFish. Her interdisciplinary research focus involves integrating gender into agricultural, environmental and natural resources management.