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Ramona Faith Oswaldbecame a faculty member in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in 1998and in 2001 she was promoted to Professor. As a scholar, Ramona is a nationally recognized leader inLGBT family life and processes.She leads a USDA supported multistate project examining the quality of life forrural LGBTQ youth and families–a first ever for this federal agency. Her survey data on LGBTQ lives in downstate Illinois has been shared with state legislators and used to advocate for human rights protections.For over 20 years,Ramonahas been a member and leader of the National Council on Family Relations and founded (1998) and co-chaired (1998-2003) the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Alliance Focus Group. In recognition of her scholarship, she earned the Jessie Bernard Award for Outstanding Contribution to Feminist Scholarship in 1999 from the National Council. Ramonahelped establish and is now the main organizer of the LGBT Research Symposium, a two day national meeting held in Champaign-Urbana which will host its sixth meeting in 2018.