Gies earns Madden Award, Deans Citation

(May 5, 2016) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - McConnell Center civics coordinator graduates with UofL history degree May 14.
Gies earns Madden Award, Deans Citation

Benjamin Gies

Benjamin Gies, a graduate assistant who currently serves as the coordinator for the McConnell Center’s Civic Education Program, has received the Virginia “Jenny” Madden Award for Graduate Student Leadership and Service. He will graduate from the University of Louisville May 14 with a master’s degree in history.

The Madden Award recognizes a master degree recipient who exhibits leadership through academics and service. The award is named in honor of Virginia “Jenny” Madden for her many years of service to the former UofL Graduate School, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, the Staff Senate and the UofL community.

“I found out about the award on April Fool’s Day, and I thought it was a joke,” Gies said. “I am very honored and humbled to receive this recognition.”

Gies also received a Graduate Dean’s Citation, an award given to both masters and doctoral students in recognition of publications, teaching excellence and professional service. Each graduate program at UofL may recommend up to 10 percent of its top graduate students completing their degrees, and nominations are approved through the Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs.

“I was nominated for these awards by Dr. Thomas Mackey, my advisor in U.S. history, for my work as a civic education coordinator through the McConnell Center,” Gies said. “During the graduation ceremony I’ll get to sit on stage with him and other award winners, so it’s really quite an honor.”

Following graduation, Gies plans to continue his commitment to civic engagement by serving as a U.S. history teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools.  As a Madison Fellow, an award Gies won as an undergraduate at Bellarmine University, he has committed to work in a public school system for two years before furthering his own education. Gies said he hopes to pursue a doctorate in history at the University of Virginia.

“It’s always been my lifelong dream – I’ve never wanted to do anything other than teach,” Gies said. “As a Madison Fellow, I’ll have the opportunity to help young Americans better understand U.S. history and the U.S. Constitution.”