Paula S. Apsell
Doctor of Humane Letters 2008
Paula S. Apsell - television producer and public educator - has brought the world of science to a national audience. She began her career at station WGBH in Boston, after earning a B.A. degree from Brandeis University. In 1975 she joined NOVA, then a fledgling WGBH-produced national series that would set the standard for science programming on television. She left NOVA for a few years to serve as a medical programming producer for ABC and a Vannevar Bush Fellow in the Public Understanding of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Apsell returned to NOVA in 1984 as executive producer, guiding the program to become the most popular science series on television and the Web. She also has overseen production of many award-winning WGBH Science Unit specials. Under her direction, NOVA has won every major broadcast honor, including multiple Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, AAAS Westinghouse Science Journalism Award and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Gold Baton. NOVA was the first recipient of the National Science Foundation's Public Service Award. Ms. Apsell also has been honored with numerous individual awards. For her central role in enhancing public understanding of science through innovative television programming, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Paula S. Apsell the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.