Skip to: search, navigation, or content.

Indiana University

Root Words

Vernon G. Smith

Vernon Smith

Educate. Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) is a professional educator and has served in the Indiana House of Representatives since 1990. A lifelong resident of Gary, Smith previously served as Fourth District Gary City Councilman from 1972 to 1990.

Smith is Chairman of the House Local Government Committee, and is a member of the Education Committee, the Insurance Committee, and the Criminal Code Committee. Among Smithís top legislative achievements was sponsorship of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, creation of the Indiana Ombudsman Bureau, and legislation awarding good time credit to inmates who get an education.

He is currently Professor of Education at Indiana University Northwest where he has won every teaching award possible. Smithís professional background includes experience at several public schools in Gary. He was the principal of Williams School from 1985 to 1992, principal of Nobel School from 1978 to 1985, and assistant principal of Ivanhoe School from 1972 to 1978. Smith taught in the Gary Public Schools System between 1966 and 1971.

He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ed.D. degrees from Indiana University, and worked on post-doctorate studies at Indiana University and Purdue University.

Smith is active in several professional and civic organizations, including the Northern Indiana Association of Black School Educators, the Gary Association of School Administrators, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Indiana University Alumni Association, the Northwest Indiana Urban League Board of Directors, and the Phi Delta Kappa fraternity. He is a charter member of the Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Smith also helped found several civic groups, including the Northern Indiana Association of Black School Educators; the African American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc.; the Indiana City-Wide Festival Committee; the Young Citizensí League; the Vernon Stars; IU Dons, Inc.; and IU Gents, Inc.

Smith is the recipient of over 200 awards and honors, including the NAACPís Ovington Award, Gary Frontiersí Marcherís Award, the IU Northwest Alumni Association Division of Education Distinguished Educator Award, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police Appreciation Award, and the Methodist Hospital Child and Adolescent Program Appreciation Award.

An accomplished author, he co-wrote Building Bridges Instead of Walls: A History of IU Dons, Inc. He has also written numerous magazine and journal articles. His research area is the achievement and plight of African American males.

"I got my start by giving myself a start" —Madam C. J. Walker
Visit the IU display in Indianapolis at Indiana Black Expo July 8-18, 2010, booth 217.
Explore diversity resources at IU.