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Three Receive Founders Day Honors

Monday, March 30, 2009

Three IU South Bend faculty members were honored for distinguished teaching and service at the Founders Day program Friday, March 27 on the IU Bloomington campus.

Sixteen faculty members and three doctoral students also were recognized with awards. The award recipients teach at Bloomington, IUPUI, IU East and IU South Bend.

The three IU South Bend faculty receiving awards were Elizabeth Bennion, associate professor of political science; Pankaj Saksena, assistant dean and director of graduate studies with the School of Business and Economics; and Linda Young, associate faculty in the School of Education.

Bennion received the W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service. The award was established in 1988, honoring the memory of the former executive vice president of the university who served as president of the IU Foundation and dean of IU’s Kelley School of Business. Pinnell was known for his stewardship, leadership and service to the university, state and the nation.

The award recognizes faculty members or librarians who have shown exceptional breath of involvement and depth of commitment in service to the university, their profession or the public.

Bennion serves as director of the American Democracy Project (ADP), a national civic engagement initiative that she has championed since 2004. Every primary and general election since 2002, she has led volunteers from the Political Science Club in registering and educating voters.

Saksena received the President’s Award, which was established in 1974 to recognize outstanding teaching, research or service.

Saksena strives to make learning fun and enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean be makes it easy. Typically students comment on how rigorous his courses are and how much they have learned. 

Young received the Part-time Teaching Award. She taught in elementary school before she moved on to higher education and IU South Bend nine years ago.

Young participates and presents at several conferences on technology, teaching and diversity and works on service projects on AIDS and Native American culture.

She has added to the technology landscape of the campus by teaching classes that encourage technology in the classroom. She even designed her own course, “Digital Photography in the Classroom.”