YSU instructor wins state award for service and civic engagement

Laura Dewberry, director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Laura Dewberry, director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, has been chosen for a statewide award that recognizes Ohio university faculty and staff members for exceptional service and civic engagement.

Dewberry, also an instructor in YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration, was presented the 2017 David Hoch Memorial Award for Excellence in Service by Ohio Campus Compact, a nonprofit membership organization made up of 41 Ohio colleges and universities.

As manager of YSU’s Pay it Forward program, a student philanthropy initiative, Dewberry received seed money from Ohio Campus Compact in 2010-12 to implement the program. Since then, she has sustained the initiative on campus through student fundraising efforts. Students serve as grantmakers, awarding funds to regional nonprofits. In all, the program has awarded over $40,000.

In her Nonprofit Leadership course, Dewberry implements a full-semester case study, giving students opportunities to spend time as consultants working with regional nonprofit organizations. She also arranges one-day immersive case studies with nonprofit organizations in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Columbus.

“These are the kinds of opportunities and experiences that help our students stand out from their peers when it’s time to transition into employment in the nonprofit sector,” Dewberry said.

She also serves on the Board of Directors for Students Motivated by the Arts and has helped to secure funding from the Raymond John Wean Foundation for paid internships this summer for the fourth time.

"[Laura Dewberry] is a true asset to the Williamson College of Business Administration and Youngstown State University,” said Betty Jo Licata, dean of the business college. “She is an exceptional ambassador for civic engagement, service learning and nonprofit leadership."

Dewberry joined the YSU faculty in 2009 as director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and an instructor in Marketing. She has a BSBA in Business Management from John Carroll University and an MBA from Cleveland State University. Previously, she was employed by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation (now the Catholic Community Foundation) and Playhouse Square Foundation in Cleveland, and taught Business Communications at John Carroll University.

She is vice president of membership and a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Mahoning Shenango Chapter.