Honors College’s Debbie Bachmann Honored with a LEAP Indiana COVID Character Honors Award

August 25, 2021

Debbie Bachmann is pictured.

Debbie Bachmann, the administrator of student programming and leadership in PNW’s Honors College, has been awarded a LEAP Indiana COVID Character Honors award. This award is a special statewide recognition given by LEAP Indiana for university staff members or faculty who made extraordinary efforts to assist students during the pandemic. LEAP Indiana is a collaborative faculty network that aligns with the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U) Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) States Initiative.

As the Honors College lead on programming, Debbie faced perhaps the greatest challenge over the past year, as pandemic-related restrictions effectively eliminated in-person gatherings.

“Without the ability to meet and interact to build a sense of community, one of the chief cornerstones of the PNW Honors College was threatened. Despite these challenges, Debbie never missed a beat shaping—and re-shaping—the programming and student leadership training to meet the new conditions,” stated Jonathan Swarts, Dean of the Honors College.

Chief among her innovations was the idea for an Honors College-sponsored 5K walk in PNW’s campus community to benefit the emergency fund for students in need. Titled “Students Helping Students,” this walk was a huge success and was part of the annual Homecoming celebrations. It allowed PNW to begin rebuilding the personal connections we had been denied the past year, and most importantly, raised a significant amount of funds for the student emergency fund.

LEAP Indiana will post the COVID Character Honor stories on a special page of the LEAP Indiana website. In addition, all of the honorees will be invited to join an awards dinner.