Elliot Dunbar has served on mission trips and during days of service. He’s been a leader in student organizations and volunteered through local nonprofits. This week, those many avenues of service will be recognized.
Dunbar and three other SPEA students will be honored for their dedication to community service with the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion. The award is named for IUPUI’s former Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties. Dr. Plater was a strong advocate of civic engagement during his career. This award recognizes students who demonstrate a commitment to their communities.
“I am truly honored to receive this award,” Dunbar says. “I have had great mentors throughout my life, and am humbled to receive this medallion and represent them, my family, and SPEA.”
Dunbar will earn a certificate from SPEA in nonprofit management in May. He says he knew the courses would complement his other degrees, allowing him to build out a better understanding of the nonprofit world.
“SPEA offered me opportunities to learn from professors who are experts in fundraising, development, and nonprofit management,” he says. “I’ve been encouraged to connect with different organizations and evaluate their programs to learn how to be a more effective philanthropist.”
Dunbar stresses that giving back is critical not only to our local communities, but to our global community as well.
“Being civically engaged is the lifeblood of humanity,” Dunbar says “Being involved in the community and supporting others allows you to see that there is so much good in the world. It teaches you so much about who you are, while providing opportunities to explore new passions and expand your circle to include new and unique people.”
Through his time in SPEA, Dunbar says he has built skills, experiences, and connections that simply can’t be made in a classroom. After graduating, he plans to continue that education and explore his passion: nonprofit work.
“I hope to find new and innovative ways to cultivate change in civil society, and make a lasting impact on the communities of which I am a part,” he says. “It feels great to be involved with communities bigger than myself. Helping my neighbors and loving those who need help has taught me so much, and pushed me to be a better person on campus, in my career, and in my personal life.”