Merle Grace Kearns was appointed to the Ohio Senate in January of 1991. She served on the following Senate committees:
-Human Services (vice chair),
-Agriculture (vice chair),
Senator Kearns also served on the Governor's Family and Children First Initiative, the Governor's Head Start Task Force, the Child Support Guidelines Advisory Commission, as chair of the Children's Trust Fund Board, as co-chair of the Domestic Violence Task Force, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, the Legislative Committee on Education Oversight, the Ohio Literacy Network Board of Trustees, the Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Board, the Recycling and Litter Prevention Advisory Board, and the WYSO Board of Overseers.
After leaving the Senate in 2005, Kearns served as the Director of the Ohio Department of Aging until 2007. Kearns also was active in many civic associations, including: Mary Help of Christians Church; the Clark County Republican Executive Committee; the Intelligent Transportation Society of Ohio Board of Directors; the Rotary; the Farm Bureau; the Miami Valley Military Affairs Association; the Springfield/Clark County League of Women Voters, the Area Agency on Aging Executive Board and the County Commissioner Association of Ohio Executive Board.
Merle Grace Kearns has received the following awards for her leadership and service: Pilot Club Woman of the Year; Who's Who in Midwest; Who's Who of American Women; Omicron Nu Honorary; OSU Presidential Scholar; Wittenberg University Woman of Achievement, 1991; Watchdog of the Treasury, 1992 and 1996; Ohio Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Association Partnership Award, 1994; Ohio Nurses Association Legislator of the Year Award, 1995; Springfield Area Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa Friend of Education Award, 1995; Ohio Association of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Boards Legislator of the Year Award, 1996; and The Ohio State University College of Nursing 1996 Dean's Award for Service to the Profession.
Biography courtesy of the Ohio Women's Policy and Research Commission