Linda M. Lobao, professor of rural sociology and chair of the rural sociology program at The Ohio State University received the Distinguished Rural Sociologist Award at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society held in Toronto, Canada, this summer.
The Distinguished Rural Sociologist award honors individuals who have made superior career contributions to the field of rural sociology through research, teaching, extension, public service and/or public policy.
Lobao has had a notable and prolific academic career specializing in the field of spatial inequality or the intersection between community/regional inequality, poverty and economic development. Her work has contributed to several subfields in rural sociology, including poverty, the sociology of agriculture and gender studies. She is regarded as an expert on the relationship between industrialized farming and community well-being. In 2008, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Lobao has received numerous grants to support her work, including support from major funding sources like the National Science Foundation, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA’s National Research Initiative, and the Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science.
She has authored and co-authored sixty refereed journal articles; has published three books, including Locality and Inequality: Farm and Industry Structure and Socioeconomic Conditions (SUNY Press); and was editor of the CHOICE Outstanding Title Award-winning book, The Sociology of Spatial Inequality (SUNY Press) with Gregory Hooks, Washington State University, and Ann R. Tickamyer, Ohio University. She has been invited to present her research at numerous universities and federal agencies.
Lobao has served in a number of leadership roles in her field and at Ohio State. She has served as president (2002-2003) and vice president (1997-1998) of the Rural Sociological Society and was elected a faculty senator in the Ohio State University Senate (2011-2014).
Four former presidents of the Rural Sociological Society were among those that nominated Lobao for this award. Her nominators summarized their support by writing, “Linda Lobao has dedicated her career to advancing the fortunes and visibility of Rural Sociology as a discipline and as a professional society. Her tireless efforts to promote and extend relevant scholarship and to open new areas to new ideas and approaches have had a major beneficial impact on this field, nationally and internationally and across different disciplines and influential organizations.”