A St. Cloud State University professor has been honored for his significant contributions to the field of Minnesota history through research, publications, teaching and public engagement.
Dr. Christopher Lehman, Chair and Professor of Ethnic Studies at SCSU, recently received the inaugural Ruth Riester Award for Historical Contributions to the Humanities by the Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC).
The award was given to Dr. Lehman in recognition of his noteworthy research and publication of “Slavery’s Reach: Southern Slaveholders in the North Star State,” which was released in 2019 and won the Minnesota Book Award in the “Minnesota Nonfiction” category in 2020. MHC credited Dr. Lehman’s publication for making a significant contribution to increasing collective understanding of ourselves, our communities and our histories through stories and experiences.
“I am very honored and humbled to have received the Ruth Riester Award,” Dr. Lehman said. “I look forward to working with the Minnesota Humanities Center to find creative ways to present my research about Minnesota.”
The Ruth Riester Endowment was established through a $50,000 bequest from the Ruth A. Riester Revocable Trust to MHC in 2016 to recognize an outstanding Minnesota historian and/or an outstanding work of Minnesota history. Riester was a former board member of the Minnesota Humanities Commission, now known as the Minnesota Humanities Center.
With winning the inaugural award, MHC will collaborate with Dr. Lehman to amplify his work while discussing ways he supports awareness and education of the importance of historical contributions to the humanities in Minnesota. Dr. Lehman also received a one-time honorarium from MHC.