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Rhonda Black, Wist Hall
Rhonda Black

A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa professor has been selected as one of only seven fellows of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). Rhonda Black of the College of Education’s (COE) Department of Special Education was chosen from universities and centers across the U.S. to serve as an AAIDD Fellow She will be honored during the 146th AAIDD Annual Meeting in June 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Black, who has been with COE since 1996, has been a member of AAIDD for 24 years. She serves on the association’s conference planning committee and has been chair of the Social and Sexual Relationships Interest Network for the past five years. Additionally, she hosts quarterly meetings with other Interest Network leaders, as well as meetings at their annual conference.

“To be counted among those leaders in the field that came before me is quite humbling,” Black said. “I hope that I can contribute to programs and actions that improve the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. I thank my colleagues in AAIDD who supported this nomination.”

As an AAIDD fellow, Black will serve as a leader and mentor for early career professionals in the field. She will also continue her local community activities, which include serving as an advisor for the Best Buddies UH Mānoa Chapter, member of the Developmental Disabilities Council’s Leadership Group for Promoting Healthy Relationships, and representative for the Developmental Disabilities population at the annual Department of Health Sexual Violence Prevention Community Action meeting.

Established nearly 150 years ago, AAIDD is the oldest professional association concerned with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This recognition is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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