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Last modified: Tuesday, February 20, 2007

HHE presents annual awards, scholarship

February 20, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Hoosiers for Higher Education presented its annual awards and scholarship today (Feb. 20). They were presented before an audience of some 500 HHE members, who were participating in the organization's 16th Annual Statehouse Visit and Life Sciences Day.

This event affords students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Indiana University the opportunity to meet with lawmakers and urge their continued support for IU and other state-supported colleges and universities. With more than 10,000 members, Hoosiers for Higher Education is one of the country's largest grassroots advocacy organizations.

Award recipients follow.

Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Award

Senator David Ford

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The Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Award, given every year to a veteran state legislator for contributions to higher education and to Indiana University, was presented by IU President Adam W. Herbert to Senator David Ford, R-Hartford City.

The award is named for former Indiana Governors Matthew Welsh and Otis Bowen. They both served as co-chairs of the Hoosiers for Higher Education state advisory committee at the organization's inception in 1991.

Senator Ford has been a member of the Indiana Senate since 1994, served as the 71st Judicial Circuit Prosecuting Attorney from 1983 to 1986, and was a member of the U.S. Educational Appeals Board from 1980 to 1992. He is engaged in numerous civic activities, such as the 2006 Henry Toll Fellow for the Council of State Governments, and is Indiana Director of Government Relations for the Education Networks of America.

Ford currently serves on the Board of Directors for both the Indiana Corporation for Educational Technology and the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration. He has also served as a Board Member of the Hartford City Chamber of Commerce. In 2006 he was honored as the Government Leader of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and in 2004 was awarded the Mira Trailblazer Award by TechPoint.

As a member of the Indiana University Information Technology Advancement Council, Senator Ford has a long record of understanding information technology infrastructures and research initiatives, and of promoting them to his peers in the state legislature.

Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Scholarship

Chris Dewhurst image

Chris Dewhurst

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The Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Scholarship is given each year to a student who resides in the district represented by the recipient of the Welsh-Bowen Distinguished Public Official Award. This year's scholarship winner is Chris Dewhurst, a sophomore at IU Kokomo. He is an English major from Fairmount, which is Senator David Ford's district. Dewhurst, who has a 3.83 GPA, plans to pursue a degree in secondary education. He serves as a pastor in Fairmount.

Sue H. Talbot distinguished HHE Member Award

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Molly and Mel Johnson

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Community captains Melford and Molly Johnson of Clarksville, Ind., are recipients of the Sue H. Talbot Distinguished HHE Member Award. This award recognizes volunteers who have provided dedicated leadership in advocating for IU and higher education.

Melford Johnson received a bachelor of science degree from the Kelley School of Business, and Molly Johnson was awarded an associate degree in nursing at IU Southeast. They are lifetime members of the IU Alumni Association and the Woodburn Guild, and also are active members of the IU Varsity Club. Molly, who has served as a member of the Nursing Alumni Board, received the prestigious Gertrude Rich Award in 2005 from the IU Alumni Association.

Sue H. Talbot is the founding director of HHE and a current member of the IU Board of Trustees. She was responsible for the development and execution of the master plan that created HHE, which became one of the first university-based grassroots organizations in the country. Her organizational and leadership skills grew HHE into one of America's "best practice" government relations programs.