Barbara Johnson of Evanston, a long-time volunteer at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, has received an Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Evanston Volunteer Recognition program, a joint effort of Evanston Township High School, the Evanston Community Foundation, Northwestern University, and the City of Evanston.

Johnson was among five Evanston residents to win an award this year in the “community” recognition category, out of 30 volunteers from throughout the city nominated by the organizations they serve. Honorees were selected by a diverse committee of community members appointed by the consortium. Winners received certificates of appreciation at an April 21 reception at Northwestern, where student volunteers from E.T.H.S. and N.U. also received awards.

Johnson, a retired public school teacher, devotes 200 hours a year of volunteer service to the Mitchell. During her 14 years of volunteer work at the museum, she has staffed the reception desk, led visitor groups on museum tours as a docent, written training materials for new docents, produced exhibit literature, and served as a founding member of the Mitchell’s education task force, which is developing a curriculum to help teachers integrate American Indian studies into their class work.

Laura McDowell, also of Evanston, who recently joined the Mitchell’s staff as assistant curator of collections, earned a New Professional Award from the National Council of Public History, awarded to only two recipients a year from across the country.

As part of her award, McDowell received a travel grant to attend the council’s recent annual meeting in Portland, Ore. At the conference, she received an award certificate and was invited to contribute an article to the organization’s newsletter, Public History News.

The awards were based on the strength of the applicants’ resumes and on the persuasiveness of a personal essay. Applicants had to be council members who had been working within the public history profession for less than three years.

McDowell holds a master’s degree in public history from Loyola University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from Michigan State University.

The Mitchell Museum, 3001 Central St., Evanston, is an independent, nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to promote and share a deeper understanding of American Indian peoples through the collection, preservation, and interpretation of traditional and contemporary art and material culture. For information, phone (847) 475-1030. On the Net: