INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Commission for Women has selected Ivy Tech Community College’s Susan Brooks to receive a 2011 Torchbearer Award. She is one of only 12 women who received the award this year.
The Torchbearer Awards are Indiana’s most prestigious recognition of women. Torchbearers are women who carry the light for others by breaking down gender barriers, overcoming the challenges women are confronted with, and serving as role models.
“I’m truly honored to have been recognized by the Indiana Commission for Women,” said Susan Brooks, Senior Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development and General Counsel at Ivy Tech Community College. “Each Torchbearer serves as an inspiration to the women in Indiana, and I’m so proud to have an impact in the ICW’s commitment to helping women overcome the challenges they face every day in the workplace and at home.”
Brooks has served as Senior Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College since October 2007. In this role, she oversees the advancement of Ivy Tech’s workforce development programs statewide. Brooks directs the strategic initiative to develop a trained workforce with the goals of attracting and retaining businesses and strengthening Indiana’s economy.
Before joining Ivy Tech, Brooks served six years as US Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, appointed in 2001 by President George W. Bush. Prior to her appointment as US Attorney, Brooks practiced law at Ice Miller in the Government Services Practice Group. Brooks also served as Deputy Mayor for the City of Indianapolis under Mayor Stephen Goldsmith where she focused on the criminal justice system and social welfare issues. Before joining the Goldsmith administration, she practiced criminal defense law for 12 years.
Brooks earned a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana and a B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Brooks is active in the community, currently serving on several boards including TechPoint Board, the Indiana Health Industry Forum Board, the BioCrossroadsLINX Board, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Ready Indiana Advisory Board, the Indiana University Public Policy Institute Advisory Board, the Commission on Indiana Career and Technical Education, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s State Workforce Innovation Council, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, St. Vincent’s Hospital Board of Indianapolis, USA Funds Access and Outreach National Advisory Council, Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, Indiana Youth Institute, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis Board of Visitors, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, and the Carmel Library Foundation. She is co-chairing the NCAA 2011 Women’s Final Four and the Super Bowl 2012 Volunteer Committee.
The Indiana Commission for Women chose Brooks as a recipient of this award in recognition of her service in the criminal justice system as well as her efforts with Ivy Tech to build a trained workforce in the state of Indiana. As a leading attorney in the criminal justice system, Brooks recognized that many individuals commit crimes because of a lack of education and employment. At Ivy Tech, she has led the charge to provide GED/ABE education and career/vocational training in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Brooks’ goal is for offenders to continue their education at Ivy Tech upon their release ultimately leading to a reduction in repeat crimes.
The Indiana Commission for Women started the Torchbearer Awards in 2004 to honor Hoosier women who overcome obstacles in gender equality and make strong contributions to Indiana communities. Since 2004, 129 women have received this award.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.