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Stevenson celebrated at public engagement awards ceremony

April 5, 2023

University of Michigan faculty members Betsey Stevenson and Lilia Cortina were awarded the 2022 presidential awards for public engagement at a ceremony on April 3, 2023. The awards recognize the recipients’ demonstrated commitment to public service, contributions to significantly impact society through national and state leadership, and efforts to address the challenges communities face every day.

Arthur Lupia, Associate Vice President for Research, Gerald R. Ford Distinguished University Professor of Political Science, and professor at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, opened the ceremony at the University of Michigan Museum of Art by congratulating Stevenson and Cortina and highlighting their work before presenting them with the awards. 

“The University of Michigan has a long history of working to make a difference in the lives of our communities, our state and beyond. These awards celebrate that tradition and recognize the important work of individuals who share this commitment,” Lupia said. “The value of sharing our research and our expertise with the public has never been greater.”

Stevenson, professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and professor of economics in LSA, received the President’s Award for National and State Leadership, which honors a faculty member who provides sustained, dedicated and influential leadership and service in major national or state capacities. Stevenson is a nationally renowned labor economist who advised President Barack Obama as a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and was an economic adviser to the Biden-Harris Transition Agency Review for the U.S. Department of Treasury.

“It’s important that I take what I learn and help policy makers understand — and not just policy makers, but the people who vote for them. So playing that role of translating the research into something that can be accessed is really important to me,” Stevenson said. 

“I want to empower people through their own knowledge. I want to educate as broadly across the spectrum as I can,” she added.

Stevenson, Cortina and Lupia were joined by Patrick Carter, Co-Director of the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention and associate professor in the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, and Luke Shaefer, Director of Poverty Solutions and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Ford School of Public Policy for a panel discussion about public engagement.

Keynote speaker Deborah Loewenberg Ball, William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Education, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the Marsal Family School of Education, emphasized how integral public engagement efforts are to the University of Michigan.

“Public engagement is an imperative for us as a public university,” Loewenberg Ball said. “These awards represent our commitment and value of serving the public with our work. While today’s awardees and those previously awarded may be exceptional and that’s why they are receiving these awards, this sort of work can’t be the exception on our campus.” 

This article was written by the Office of the Vice President for Communications