Colorado State University will present the Distinguished Graduate of the Last Decade Award to Dana Hughes, senior editorial assistant for the Ford Foundation, at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on May 7.
The GOLD Award, one of the university’s top honors, recognizes recent graduates for accomplishments that have brought honor to Colorado State.
"Rarely have I met anyone with such a strong personal drive to succeed," said Laura Jones, who taught Hughes at Colorado State and serves as assistant chair and director of theatre in the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts. "Dana has done great things, and I have no doubt that she will continue to bring honor to Colorado State as she continues on her highly promising career track."
Before graduating from Colorado State in 1998 with a bachelor’s in theatre, Hughes served as a peer mentor for the Key Academic Retention Program, member of the President’s Leadership Program, spokeswoman for the Miss Colorado State University Scholarship Program, was Colorado State’s Diversity Award Scholar and participated in the African American Studies Program and Black Issues Forum.
After graduation, Hughes began her career as a professional actress; she would discover that acting was not her calling and go on to work for the House of Commons and Welsh Assembly in London. Hughes researched British, European and world issues for Welsh Members of Parliament. She also assisted in writing speeches, letters and press releases for members of Parliament and assisted in starting a new Welsh Assembly in Wales.
Following her work in London, Hughes worked as a legal assistant/assistant supervisor before joining the Ford Foundation in 2001. Continuing her commitment to excellence and service, Hughes now commits her time as senior editorial assistant at the Ford Foundation in New York, writing and editing articles for the foundation’s magazine, researching and pitching story ideas and editing and managing the foundation’s annual report.
Additionally, Hughes is earning a master’s in journalism at Columbia University. She is also an intern for NewsNight, a CNN program, and hopes to become a White House correspondent for a television network.
Hughes continues to maintain a strong connection with Colorado State by providing suggestions and input for stories in Colorado State’s Alumni Magazine, as well as and provides advice and counsel to current Colorado State students pursuing acting careers in the New York area. She also assisted with the fundraising effort for the President’s Leadership Program participants.
"Dana has proven to be an outstanding ambassador for Colorado State University," said Jones. "Dana strives to make a difference in other people’s lives and maintains a close and strong relationship with the university."