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Posted Date: 4/22/2009

Secretary Ross Miller also Presents National Award to Reno Educator for Commitment to Civics Education

(Carson City, NV; April 22, 2009) - Secretary of State Ross Miller and the Nevada Advisory Committee on Participatory Democracy (ACPD) today announced the recipients of the 2008-2009 Jean Ford Democracy Award. The award, named in honor of former Nevada State Senator Jean Ford, recognizes the exemplary service of Nevada citizens who have played a key role in promoting participatory democracy in Nevada, and have benefited their communities through participation and leadership in the democratic process. Miller also announced the recipient of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion in recognition of excellence in civic education. The awardees will be honored as part of the Nevada Legislature’s Democracy Day, April 23rd, when they will be recognized in both houses of the Legislature, and at an awards ceremony hosted by the ACPD at the Capitol Complex.

The four recipients of the Jean Ford Award, nominated by the general public and chosen by the ACPD, are:

Nevada State Senator Valerie Wiener: Senator Wiener was selected for her instrumental role in the passage of the 2007 legislative bill that created the inaugural Nevada Youth Legislature, in which young Nevadans engaged in a curriculum designed to educate and encourage participation in the legislative process.

Ms. Stephanie Hartman: Ms. Hartman, a K-12 social studies consultant, was selected for her role in the 2008 National Student/Parent Mock election campaign sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of State, the Nevada Department of Education, and the League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada.

Mr. Daniel Wong: Mr. Wong, a Chief Deputy Attorney General for Nevada, was selected for the substantial volunteer hours he spends each year working on law-related and civic education programs including the Nevada High School Mock Trial programs, and his service as a member of the Board of Directors for Civic Education.

Ms. Kenya Pierce: Ms. Pierce is a sociology professor at the College of Southern Nevada and an organizer and facilitator for the African American Democratic Leadership Council, who dedicates her personal time to enhancing and advancing voter participation in her community and throughout Nevada.

The NASS Medallion is being awarded to Dr. Margaret Stimmann Branson, a longtime Nevadan and accomplished author and lecturer who has inspired countless civic educators, leaders and students through her work, including authoring numerous textbooks and professional articles related to educational standards for civics education.

“The Jean Ford Democracy Award and the NASS Medallion are significant ways to recognize those among us who provide leadership in a manner that may not bring personal recognition, but certainly advances their respective cause,” said Miller. “All these recipients deserve the gratitude of every Nevadan. The leadership they have provided in their respective fields has positively impacted and strengthened our state’s civic structure.”

“The ACPD received a number of nominations for this year’s award,” said ACPD Chairperson Julianna Ormsby. “And each nominee deserves to be commended for their dedication to advancing civic engagement in our state. We join Secretary Miller in thanking the award recipients for the work they do to increase voter interest and participation across the state.”

The ACPD was first established in 1997, and consists of ten members including the Secretary of State, and nine members appointed by the Secretary of State. The ACPD’s purpose is to assist the Secretary of State in identifying and proposing programs that promote citizen participation in governance, and working with partner organizations to increase voter participation. For more information of the ACPD, visit

The NASS Medallion, presented by respective secretaries of state on behalf of NASS, recognizes groups, organizations, and individuals who promote the work of NASS in elections and civic education. The National Association of Secretaries of State was founded in 1904 and is the oldest non-partisan professional organization for public officials in the United States.