HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – The University of Southern Indiana’s (USI) Outreach and Engagement has awarded the 2023 M. Edward Jones Engagement Award to Charmaine McDowell, Director of Corporate Partnerships.

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 mission of USI.

USI states since joining USI in 1992, McDowell has served the region, sharing the best of USI to benefit individual development and organizational advancement. She has developed ongoing partnerships and training to elevate safety, productivity, retention, leadership, customer service and an improved bottom line.

“Charmaine McDowell embodies the USI Outreach and Engagement mission by connecting with the community and turning ideas into opportunities,” Dawn Stoneking, Executive Director of Outreach and Engagement said. “She is a listener, innovator, educator and collaborator who has enhanced the bonds between community, government, businesses, organizations and individuals, responding to their needs and fostering learning and growth.”

USI also states one partnership was the formulation of the Tri-State Industrial Safety Council (TSISC) in 2003, a collaboration of regional safety professionals to promote a cost-effective, safe work environment for owner, organizations and contract employees. Since its inception, the programs have served over 120,000 contractor employees regionally. McDowell has also coordinated site-specific safety training for over 48,000 contractors at TSISC owner-member companies.

USI says McDowell’s leadership and training expertise have served the manufacturing industry, particularly Toyota Motor Manufacuring Indiana (TMMI), where she has conducted training on-site for all shifts. She has provided instruction in team leader orientation and development, communication, creativity and innovation, soft skills, new engineer orientation, A-3 writing, project management, diversity, safety and other valuable learning modules for TMMI employees.

She also serves as President on the Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels and served over 15 years on the board of Voices, an advocacy group supporting Vanderburgh County residents in long-term care facilities.

McDowell says she is pleased to be nominated and honored to be selected as this year’s winner.