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Debbie Lemon
Hoosiers for Higher Education

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sen. Connie Sipes receives Hoosiers for Higher Education Welsh-Bowen Award

Feb. 2, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- A veteran state legislator was recognized today (Feb. 2) by Hoosiers for Higher Education for her significant contributions to higher education and Indiana University.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie presented the Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Award to Sen. Connie Sipes, D-New Albany. The award is named for former Indiana Govs. Matthew Welsh and Otis "Doc" Bowen, who served as co-chairs of the Hoosiers for Higher Education state advisory committee at the organization's inception in 1991.

Connie Sipes

State Sen. Connie Sipes

Print-Quality Photo

Also, the Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Scholarship was awarded to Alison Grover, a senior majoring in Secondary Education-English at Indiana University Southeast.

The awards were presented before an audience of some 500 HHE members who were participating in the organization's 19th Annual Statehouse Visit. This event affords students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Indiana University to meet with lawmakers and urge their continued support for IU and other state-supported colleges and universities. With more than 9,000 members, Hoosiers for Higher Education is one of the country's largest higher education grassroots advocacy organizations.

Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Award

Sipes was appointed to the Indiana Senate in 1997 and was thereafter elected to full terms. She has served our state in numerous capacities including as a teacher at East Spring Street School and principal at Fairmont Elementary School, both in New Albany. Sipes is committed to the well-being of Hoosiers through her active participation as a member of the Indiana Commission on Autism, the Committee on Childcare, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee, the Select Joint Commission on Medicaid Oversight, the Commission on Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities and the Indiana Tourism Council.

On a national level, she is an appointee to the Redistricting and Elections Committee and the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sipes has received numerous honors including Principal of the Year in District 12, Indiana University Southeast Distinguished Alumna, Tommie Blaylock Award for outstanding leadership from the AFL-CIO, Empowerment Award-Legislation Leadership from the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Autism Commitment Award presented by Indiana's Autism Community.

Sipes is the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, is the ranking Democrat on the Appointments and Claims Committee, and serves on the Education and Career Development, Tax and Fiscal Policy, Elections and Rules and Legislative Procedure Committees.

Welsh-Bowen Scholarship Award

Alison Grover has received numerous academic honors including Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and Dean's and Chancellor's lists each semester of her college career. She recently received a Recognition of Excellence for Praxis II test scores. She is an active volunteer on and off campus.

Grover is a supplemental instructor, math tutor, student ambassador, assistant coach for the Scribner Middle School Dance Team and serves on the Secondary Education Advisory Council. Her postgraduation plans are to teach high school English in her hometown of New Albany and continue her education at IU Southeast by enrolling in graduate school and obtaining her master's degree in education.