IU Southeast graduate receives Charlie Nelms Alumni Award

By Inside IU Bloomington

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Neal-Marshall Alumni Club of the IU Alumni Association recently presented the Charlie Nelms Alumni Award to Kay Frances Lindsey, an alumna who received both her bachelor's and master's degree in education from IU Southeast.

Lindsey is a co-founder and charter member of the Kentuckiana chapter of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club. Founded in 1980, the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club is named for the first African American male and female graduates of IU.

“Kay was perfect for this award because of her exceptional contribution to the development of an exemplary IU alumni chapter and her unique style of being a change agent behind the scenes," said Clarence Boone Jr., the IU Alumni Association's alumni relations officer and director of diversity programs. "The Kentuckiana chapter was recently a top finalist under the functional excellence category of 'Student Recruitment for the IUAA' Best Practices in Alumni Relations Award.”

Lindsey said the chapter aims to share the benefits of an IU degree with a diverse population, and it has awarded six scholarships.

"I was humbled to receive the Charlie Nelms Alumni Award," she said. "The award reflects his efforts to improve diversity and equity for disenfranchised people where he has served. His leadership and commitment have been phenomenal."

The Charlie Nelms Alumni Award is named in honor of the IU alumnus who served the university for more than 20 years, including efforts to improve diversity, equity and academic support services. The award is given to an IU graduate who has worked diligently to affect a positive change in his or her workplace, community and/or Indiana University.

Past award recipients include June Huggins, director of the Center for Mentoring at IU Southeast; Karen White, associate vice chancellor for Student Services at IU South Bend, Joyce Q. Rogers, former president and CEO of Indiana Black Expo who is now vice president for development and external relations for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and senior advisor for strategic development initiatives at IU; Vernon G. Smith, Indiana State Representative and chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus; Dennis E. Bland, president of the Center for Leadership Development; and Shontrai Irving, litigation counsel for State Farm Insurance.

Lindsey received the award during Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration, an annual event in Indianapolis where IU maintains a strong presence.

"Indiana University has had a longstanding commitment to diversity. Diversity contributes to educational excellence by enabling outstanding students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds to come together and learn from one another," said James Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs at IU and dean of the University Graduate School. "Indiana Black Expo is an excellent way for IU to show this commitment to diversity to the wider Indiana community."