Dennis Donovan recognized for outstanding community service

The Center for Democracy and Citizenship is proud and honored to announce that staff member Dennis Donovan is a 2008 recipient of the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Community Service Award!

The award was established by the president's office in 1999 to recognize members of the University community who have devoted their time and talent to make substantial, enduring contributions to the community and to improving public life and the well-being of society.

Dennis.png Dennis Donovan with Albanian students Albert Kastrati and Genta Gola at the 2006 Public Achievement Unite Conference in Macedonia.

Dennis's work has been central to the growth of Public Achievement around the world, to the development and expansion of the Warrior to Citizen campaign in Minnesota, and to many other important organizing initiatives. Students and colleagues alike credit him as a role model and a mentor in developing their public work and leadership skills.

"For 17 years (of partnership work in Public Achievement) in constant amazement I watched Dennis interact with – treating all as equals – grade school children, teenagers, high school teachers, university students, professors, business leaders, community organizers, religious figures, parent groups, elected officials and foreign dignitaries. He taught, mentored, coached, coaxed, bargained, led, influenced and inspired… I have never seen his equal in this regard." -- James Farr, professor of political science, Northwestern University

"Dennis changed my career. He helped me learn public skills, discover the democratic principles and contributions in my work.? -- Serdar Degirmencioglu, asst. professor of psychology, Turkey

"As a sitting appellate judge, Dennis has personally challenged me to give back to the community… Dennis refers to me as 'citizen judge' which translates to his ability to inspire me to contribute my time to promote public achievement!" -- Renee Worke, judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals

"Dennis Donovan’s dedication to the values of civic democracy and faith in youth-led social change have been inspiring and instrumental for jumpstarting Public Achievement in the Middle East...It has mushroomed [as] a means of instilling hope in the possibility of positive change." -- Tareq Albakri and Suzanne Hammad, Middle East coordinators for Public Achievement

"Dennis has been a mentor and an inspiration to my life and career in civic engagement." -- Andie Martinez, 2007 graduate, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

"Colgate University made a paradigm shift from ‘doing for’ our students to one of ‘coaching’ our students. This required training and coaching by someone who could ensure Public Achievement would become part of Colgate. Dennis fit the bill!" --Raj Bellani, associate dean of Academic Programs, Colgate University

The University's Office of Public Engagement will formally recognize Dennis and other award recipients at a banquet on April 22.


Dear Dennis,

Congratulations on the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Community Service Award!

I am glad things are working so well for you!
I would love to hear from you.

Best regards from Novi Sad, Serbia,


Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs