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Sparks awarded 2022 M. Edward Jones Engagement Award

July 27, 2022

University of Southern Indiana Outreach and Engagement has awarded the 2022 M. Edward Jones Engagement Award to Dr. Kelly Sparks, Associate Professor of Education.  

The award is given annually to an individual, group or project for excellence in leadership, commitment to quality, tireless service and dedication to lifelong learning in fulfilling the outreach missions of USI. 

Sparks joined the USI faculty in 2013. As Director of the USI Teaching Eagles Scholar Program, she has co-written grants for over $1.1 million in support of the program which addresses Indiana's shortage of math and science teachers. She prioritizes sharing her time and talents within the community. Sparks has demonstrated her devotion to lifelong learning, from her work creating service-learning opportunities and leading STEM-related workshops to her involvement with the Girls Only GoSTEM Summer Camp and supporting K-12 teachers with workshops around the state. 

"Dr. Sparks is a role model to others as a successful woman in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)," says an anonymous award nominator. "She uses this influence to help others." 

Sparks received the Pott College Excellence in Service Award in 2018. She has a bachelor's degree in earth science teaching from Western Michigan University, a master's degree in educational technology from Grand Valley State University, and both a master's degree in physical geography and a doctorate in science education from Western Michigan University. 

The M. Edward Jones Engagement Award recognizes USI employees (current and retired), students, alumni, board members, and trustees who inspire others to engage, make a positive impact in the USI community and the region, and demonstrate tireless service and dedication to lifelong learning in fulfilling the outreach mission of USI. 

USI Outreach and Engagement connects with the community, turning ideas into real opportunities. We are listeners, innovators, educators, and collaborators who enhance bonds between community, government, businesses, organizations and individuals, responding to their needs and fostering learning and growth. 

For more information about the M. Edward Jones Engagement Award, visit 

Below, Dr. Kelly Sparks, Associate Professor of Education, reflects on her work at USI and beyond.


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