TDC annually recognizes exceptional work of students and faculty who have advanced the work of democracy on their campuses and in their communities.

The Bernie Ronan Award

2014 AASCU-Bernie

In 2016, we lost our co-founder and friend, Bernie Ronan, after a long struggle with cancer.  Bernie was tireless in his work for democracy, and every element of The Democracy Commitment network bears his imprint.  He was an organizer, advocate, leader, and an eloquent spokesman for community college students. He was also a profound theorist of democratic culture, and wrote about the significance of democratic engagement in the lives of students.

In honor of his tremendous devotion and commitment to TDC and the national civic engagement movement, we renamed our TDC student scholarship award after him last year.  The “Bernie Ronan Award” will stand as a living testimony to this good and loyal friend. We will miss him deeply.

At the 2013 national meeting, The Democracy Commitment announced that, starting in 2014, we would select for special recognition a student-initiated or -directed project or program that exemplifies the democratic skills and capacities we desire of our students.

We are pleased to announce the winners of those awards, and would encourage you to learn more about them and their projects here.

The Award

The award includes the following:

  • A recognition plaque and/or certificates for the team
  • $1,000.00 to be divided equally between the students identified by the campus coordinator as the effective participants in the project or program (If ten students were included in the nomination, each gets $100; if it is two students, each gets $500, etc.)

Please note: At least one student from the selected team should plan to attend the Civil Learning and Democratic Engage (CLDE) Meeting.

Current Winners- Coming soon!

Previous Winners- Coming soon!

Criteria and Submission Process

Each TDC campus coordinator is invited to submit for consideration one student project from his or her institution that meets the following criteria:

  1. A student project or program aimed at addressing a significant political and/or social issue
  2. A project that involved a team of students (2+)
  3. A project with student leadership, where faculty and staff served mainly in an advisory or supporting role
  4. A project that demonstrated the democratic organizing skills of students

These submissions must be sent via email to Verdis Robinson, the interim TDC National Manager, and include the following information:

  • Students’ names and contact information (email addresses and phone numbers)
  • Name of the project or program they were/are involved in
  • A paragraph explaining the reason for the nomination and why they should be selected

The deadline for the 2016 submission has passed and award winners have been announced. We will announce when next opening for submissions for the Bernie Ronan Award will be in the near future.

Quick Links for Programs: