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Economics department’s Dana Ward wins outstanding staff award

January 5, 2016

Economics department Office Coordinator Dana Ward won the Don Schultheis Award for Outstanding Staff Member in the School of Liberal Arts for 2015. The award was presented at the annual Liberal Arts staff appreciation luncheon on Dec. 10.

Ward joined the IUPUI staff in 2000 and has been with economics since 2010. In their nominating letters, colleagues cited her hard work, friendly and inviting attitude, and ability to answer any question for students and faculty.

Ward is the lone regular staff member in one of the largest Liberal Arts departments. As such, she works with approximately two dozen faculty members and students at the BA, MA, and PhD levels.


“I am a relatively new department chair with very little experience as an administrator,” said Professor and Department Chair Steven Russell. “As a result, Dana often finds herself involved in departmental issues that go beyond the usual job description of an office coordinator. She is unfailingly well-informed, industrious and effective, and I can say quite honestly that I can’t imagine doing this job without her help.”

Ward also helps students adjust to the program.

“She should be credited with inspiring undergraduate and graduate students, and for being a leader in creating one of the most-modeled advising programs within the school,” said Professor Charmayne Champion-Shaw, who is the director of the Native American & Indigenous Studies program and wrote a letter of support for the nomination. “As a new program director, I am constantly directed by advisors, administrative assistants, and faculty chairs to Dana for her creative and productive advising practices, for technical assistance on everything from new course creation to how to navigate the puzzling procurement practices on our campus.”

Time and time again, said her colleagues, Ward has proven her dedication not just to her assigned departments, but also to the School of Liberal Arts as a whole. For six weeks last spring, for example, she stepped in to help history department leaders when they found themselves in a crisis.

The annual outstanding staff award is named in honor of Don Schultheis, the School of Liberal Arts’ first and long-standing fiscal officer.