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College of Health and Human Sciences

Human ecology professor's legacy lives on through Consumer Movement Archives

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Washington Post Writers Group columnist Jane Bryant Quinn once wrote, "On the Washington Mall, savers should erect a statue to Richard L. D. Morse, professor emeritus of Kansas State University."

Morse endeavored to protect consumer rights for more than 50 years. Thanks to the Consumer Movement Archives (CMA) Research Award, a new generation of scholars is benefiting from his life's work. The award helps his legacy live on and provides opportunities for researchers across the country.

K-State Libraries is accepting applications for the 2015 Consumer Movement Archives Research Award. K-State scholars in related fields are encouraged to share the application with their colleagues outside of Manhattan.

Tony Crawford, manuscripts librarian, says he and his colleagues look forward to learning what researchers from across the U.S. can glean from Morse's rich legacy.

Richard L. D. Morse, author of more than 110 professional publications

Richard L. D. Morse, lifelong advocate for consumers and families

Morse was head of the Department of Household Economics in the School of Home Economics from 1955 to 1982. He was the first male administrator in what is now the College of Human Ecology.

He was also the first director of the Center on Aging.

He was a distinguished fellow of the American Council on Consumer Interests in 1980 and served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Union. He was treasurer of the American Home Economics Association and president of the Kansas group from 1966-1968.

"We are very pleased that this research award allows the Consumer Movement Archives and K-State Libraries to support scholarly research at the national level," said Crawford.

Funded by a Morse family endowment, the $3,000 award is granted on an annual basis to allow researchers to visit the Consumer Movement Archives, which was established in 1987 through Morse's initiative. The archives provides a national repository to preserve collections of consumer leaders, activists and organizations and promote scholarly research.

From Dec. 2 to 8, Abigail Selzer King, the first recipient of the research award and assistant professor of technical communication and rhetoric in the department of English at Texas Tech, visited the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections at K-State Libraries.

"This visit has been important to my research because the Consumer Movement Archives has a rich collection of documents created by consumer advocates," said Selzer King. "In particular, I was excited to read documents created by the Americans for Fairness in Lending. I expect that my research here will lead to an article about the kinds of arguments and evidence strategies that circulate in public discourse about predatory lending."

This article was posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014, and is filed under Applied Human Sciences, Center on Aging, College News.