November 20, 2006 — Dan Jones was honored with the first ever Civic, Character, and Service Learning Award presented by the Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education at the Dialogue on Democracy dinner earlier this month. The Hinckley Institute of Politics nominated Dr. Jones, who is an adjunct professor in the University of Utah Political Science Department.
In the letter nominating Dr. Jones, Hinckley Institute Director Kirk L. Jowers wrote: “Dan Jones is more than a pollster and professor; he is an example, mentor, and motivator. One cannot emerge from his classroom without feeling a stronger desire to become a more active and informed citizen…. students emerge from his classroom with a strong desire to become involved in their communities and serve their country. He inspires students to immerse themselves in politics and public life through voting, completing government internships, seeking careers in government service, and running for elected office.”
Upon receiving the award, Dr. Jones remarked, “With the condition of the world today I think it is more important than ever that young people understand the issues and responsibilities they have as citizens of the United States. They can truly make a difference not only in the U.S. but throughout the world if they will participate in the democratic process.”
2005 Congressional Conference delegates sponsored the Commission on Civic and Character Education bill, which was passed by the Utah State Legislature and signed by the Governor. The bill creates a seven-person Commission within the Lieutenant Governor’s office and calls for the Commission to receive a $50,000 appropriation each year for five years.
The mission of the commission is to provide leadership for the state’s commitment to civic and character education in the public schools, institutions of higher education, and the larger community; to make recommendations to school boards and administrators; and to promote coalitions and collaborative efforts that foster informed and civic public discourse and responsible citizenship.
Utah State Senator Karen Hale, a member of the commission presented the award to Dr. Jones. “Dan was certainly an appropriate choice for the first Civic, Character and Service Learning Award. Dan Jones brings understanding and illuminates the relevancy of American constitutional democracy. His skillful, passionate teaching has inspired his students to become knowledgeable, responsible, active community members,” said Hale.