News release from IPFW:
IPFW College of Arts and Sciences Awards First Regional Engagement Award
(March 23, 2011) – The Indiana University-Purdue University FortÂ Wayne (IPFW) College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) recently awarded theÂ Regional Engagement Award to Andrew Downs. Downs is the director of theÂ Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics and an assistant professor ofÂ political science. The COAS Community Board established the new award toÂ recognize and celebrate members of COAS who are committed to outstandingÂ and high-impact engagement with northeast Indiana
Ann Livschiz, assistant professor of history, nominated Downs. “DownsÂ embodies the principles of regional engagement, and we can think of noÂ other COAS faculty member more deserving of being the recipient of theÂ First Regional Engagement Award. He is an exemplar of someone in theÂ College of Arts and Sciences, who is able to combine service, teaching,Â and scholarship into a coherent plan of action, with tremendous impactÂ on his students, his colleagues, the university, and Fort WayneÂ community.”
As director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, Downs helpsÂ the people of Indiana understand the role of government, politics, andÂ civic involvement in their lives and encourages participation in publicÂ and political processes. This includes conducting political polls toÂ produce data for the Fort Wayne community, local, and national media.Â Also, Downs uses his expertise to provide outreach to local schools toÂ help them refine their curriculum. He is the administrator of theÂ Certificate for Civic Education and Public Advocacy at IPFW and offers aÂ Foundations of Community Advocacy course to provide the necessary skillsÂ to students and community members interested in this field.
“Two of IPFW’s goals are to contribute to the development ofÂ northeast Indiana and to foster learning and create knowledge. I takeÂ these goals very seriously and try to integrate them into my teaching,Â service, and research. I also work to incorporate the research andÂ service I do with what happens in my classes. Doing this does threeÂ things. It serves as an example to the students of how the research theÂ scholars at IPFW are doing can be applied in our community. It preparesÂ the students to apply what they have learned in the classroom in otherÂ situations. Finally, it helps these current and future leaders see howÂ IPFW can contribute to the development of northeast Indiana. I see it asÂ a way to build a productive connection between IPFW and our community.Â I’m honored to be chosen for this award and look forward to many moreÂ years of doing the work that this award recognizes.”
The COAS Community Advisory Board will give the award to a COAS facultyÂ member annually. The award will recognize faculty who use theÂ intellectual capital and resources of IPFW to assess, plan, implement,Â evaluate, document, and disseminate results from collaborations withÂ partner organizations such as businesses and corporations; local,Â regional, or state government; or non-governmental, not-for-profit