Community Awards

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award

    he Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented at the annual Circle of Leadership Celebration to an IUPUC alumnus who has made outstanding professional contributions, accomplishments, and service to the community and to IUPUC.

    You are invited to submit nominations. The nomination deadline is June 30. Nominations can be e-mailed to, faxed to 812.314.8503, or sent via U.S. mail to Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) Alumni Association, 4601 Central Avenue, Columbus, IN 47203.

    Download and print a nomination form.

    2017 Reward:

    • 2017: Sharon Mangas


    Previous Recipients:

    • 2016:  Ruth Reeves
    • 2015: Julie McCawley
    • 2014: James Worton
    • 2013: Laura Hurt
    • 2012: Kathy Compton
    • 2011: Cynthia Felsten
    • 2010: Mary Ann Nunn
    • 2008: Kevin McCracken
    • 2007: Paul Ashbrook
    • 2006: Randy Allman
    • 2005: Christine Beach
    • 2004: Dr. Brenda Smith
  • Excellence in Diversity Award

    The Excellence in Diversity Award at IUPUC recognizes and honors demonstrated commitment and outstanding efforts toward creating a diverse and inclusive community.

    Each year, IUPUC recognizes one campus initiative and one community initiative that meet the defined criteria. Recipients can be individuals, organization, groups, units, projects, or institutions.

    The award is presented each January during the university’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

    Nominations for the  Excellence in Diversity Award are due each October.

    • For complete awards criteria, nomination instructions, and the nomination form, visit the Diversity Council webpage.
    • You may also contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor & Dean at 812.348.7226or

    2017 Recipient:

    • Aimee Zoeller
    • African American Fund of Bartholomew County

    Previous Recipients:


    • Dr. Kathy Auberry
    • City of Columbus


    • Dr. Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick
    • Foundation for Youth (FFY)


    • Dr. Cheryl Crisp
    • CAMEO


    • Carol Kostrzewsky
    • InterFaith Forum Columbus


    • Gil Palmer
    • Rocio Rodriguez


    • Columbus Regional Hospital Diversity Strategy Office
    • IUPUC Gay Straight Alliance
  • Folger Award

    Edna Folger set the early standard for teachers. In her honor, the award was designed to raise awareness about the immeasurable influence teachers have on their students and to recognize the image of teachers as important community role models. Sponsored by Faurecia, the award includes a stipend, a personal award from the IUPUC Center for Teaching and Learning, and the recipient’s name will be added to a permanent plaque located in the Columbus Learning Center. Any full-time elementary or secondary school teacher working at a public, private, or parochial school in Bartholomew County is eligible to receive the annual award.


    Contact the Marsha VanNahmen at the IUPUC Center for Teaching and Learning for complete details, including nomination instructions and due dates.

    In general, nominations should include why the nominee has gone above and beyond the expectations of a good teacher based on his or her:

    • Dedication to the profession
    • Ability to motivate students
    • Teaching competency and ability
    • Innovation in curriculum or style of teaching
    • Relationship to students, parents, and peers
    • Example as a community role model
    • Other contributions

    2017 Recipient:

    Kristen Chitty, of Columbus Signature Academy Fodrea Campus, received the 2017 Edna V. Folger Outstanding Teacher Award. Kristen was honored as a part of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting held at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on March 1, 2017.

    A colleague described Kristen as an irreplaceable asset at Fodrea, someone who touches the lives of students, parents, and peers on a daily basis. She is a relationship builder who collaborates with K-6 classroom teachers, focusing on what is best for ALL students, and does whatever it takes to ensure that every student is successful.

    Ms. Chitty develops strategies to address the academic needs of her students who receive special education services. In fact, 95 to 100% of her students pass the state assessments. A parent shared this, “Mrs. Chitty researched and integrated cutting-edge instructional practices designed for individuals with dyslexia and helped our son become a confident reader who is now on the honor roll.” She received the 2013 ARC of Bartholomew County Teacher of the Year Award.

    Kristen’s enthusiasm and zeal for learning is contagious. She is a role model to other educators who use her planning methods and instructional approaches to engage their students. She has a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a manner that all students can understand—commonly known as the “Mrs. Chitty method”.

    Mrs. Chitty coaches the Math Bowl Team at Fodrea, helps with the boys and girls basketball teams, regularly attends extra-curricular activities, and still has time to teach college courses and volunteer at Love Chapel.

    As part of the recognition, Mrs. Chitty received an inscribed clock from the IUPUC Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), a monetary gift from Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies, and her name will be added to a plaque in the Columbus Learning Center listing all previous Folger Award winners.

  • MBA Community Partner Award

    The MBA Community Partner Award recognizes those organizations and individuals who have been exceptionally engaged with the Indiana University MBA program in Columbus and with IUPUC as a university.

    It makes public our appreciation for exceptional support of, and contribution to, the vision of graduate business education that drives the MBA program at IUPUC.

    Eligibility Criteria

    • The award may be given to an individual, company, or organization.
    • The recipient should embrace a general management focus of the program, an integrated pedagogy, community engagement, diversity, and the kind of boldness that is consistent with the culture of Columbus.

    2017 Recipient:


    Previous Recipients:

    • Elwood Staffing
    • 2015: Jan Holm
    • 2014: Columbus Regional Health (CRH)
    • 2013: Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC)
    • 2012: Alpha Cohort
    • 2011: Cummins Inc.
    • 2010: United Way of Bartholomew County
    • 2009: Arvin Gift Fund
    • 2008: Harold Force
    • 2007: City of Columbus
    • 2006: Arvin Meritor
    • 2005: Jack Hess
    • 2003: Columbus Regional Hospital
    • 2002: Dick Johnson
  • Simms Award

    The James G. Simms Leadership Award at IUPUC is awarded to inspiring individuals who have generously given their time, dedication, and leadership to advance IUPUC’s mission.

    Simms, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) and an MBA from Indiana University, came to Columbus in 1950 to work at what was then known as the Cummins Engine Company. A Columbus resident for many years, Mr. Simms joined the J.J.B. Hilliard & Son company. now known as Hilliard Lyons LLC, where he spent 33 years as a branch manager and then vice president.

    Simms was dedicated to community service in Columbus, Nashville, and other communities throughout southern Indiana. In the early 1970s, he was an integral member of a committee charged with establishing an extension of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in Columbus. Even after the state legislature initially denied funding to establish the campus, Simms worked behind the scenes to make what is now the Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) campus a reality.


    The recipient of the award is recognized each year at the university’s Circle of Leadership celebration, which is typically held in November. Contact the Office of Development & External Affairs at IUPUC for complete details, including nomination instructions and due dates.

    2017 Recipient:


    Previous Recipients:

    • 2015:  Dr. Paul Bippen
    • 2014:  Cummins Inc.
    • 2013:  Nancy Ann Brown
    • 2012:  Beverly and James Baker