IU South Bend names new director of community engagement • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Elizabeth Bennion

IU South Bend names new director of community engagement

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Elizabeth Bennion is the new director of community engagement at Indiana University South Bend.

Elizabeth Bennion
Elizabeth Bennion

Bennion, who is the chancellor’s professor of political science, will focus on making community partnerships and educational opportunities through internships and volunteering.

“I look forward to supporting the work of my dedicated colleagues whose community-engaged teaching, research, and service is transforming our campus and community,” said Bennion in a press release.

Doug McMillen, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at IU South Bend, said Bennion will have a positive impact on the university and community.

“Elizabeth is a nationally recognized expert on civic education and political engagement and given her expertise and enthusiasm for engagement, I am most pleased that she accepted the position as director of community engagement,” McMillen said.

Gail McGuire served as the campus’s first director of community engagement from August 2019 to August 2022.

Bennion will continue leading IU South Bend’s American Democracy Project, which she founded; director of voter services and education for the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area; president of the Indiana Debate Commission; and host of WNIT’s (PBS) live weekly television program “Politically Speaking.”

Bennion earned a bachelor's degree in American studies from Smith College in Massachusetts, and a master's degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She started in IU South Bend's political science department in 1999. She has more than 80 publications and 600 media appearances on her resume, as well as serving as a source in many publications.

Bennion has co-edited three books about teaching civic engagement: “Teaching Civic Engagement: From Student to Active Citizen” in 2013, “Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines” in 2017, and “Teaching Civic Engagement Globally” in 2021. She is working on another book, “Teaching Experimental Political Science.”

She lives in South Bend with her husband and four children. Learn more about her work here.


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