Sheldon and Virginia Cohen Memorial Award
for Service to KNPS

Western Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera praeclara)

Photo credit: Jeff Hansen

About Sheldon and Virginia Cohen

Sheldon and Virginia Cohen

Shel, a KWS charter member, served on the Board for many years, edited the newsletter for 17 years, and played a major role in updating our bylaws.

As a career professor at Washburn University, Sheldon Cohen was chair of the chemistry department, 1967 to 1982; academic vice president, 1982 to 1984;  and executive director of planning, 1991 to 1999. Shel authored dozens of scientific papers and was a leader in Phi Lambda Upsilan, a national chemical society. Virginia Cohen taught biology at Washburn for seven years, beginning in 1961, and for three additional semesters as an adjunct.

In retirement, he and Virginia continued to be engaged in community activities, and in KNPS.

About the Award


This annual award is presented to an individual who has made an important contribution to KNPS.


  • The award is given annually.
  • The deadline for nominations is July 1.
  • Each recipient receives the award at the KNPS Annual Meeting, held each fall as part of the Annual Wildflower Weekend.


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