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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Professor Receives Changemaker Award

Nancy Fitzsimons receives award presented by The Arc Greater Twin Cities.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 5-23-2013

Mankato, Minn. – The Arc Greater Twin Cities recently presented its “Changing Policies” Changemaker Award to Nancy Fitzsimons, a professor in the Department of Social Work in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Fitzsimons (pictured at right) was honored at The Arc’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Celebration earlier this month at the Roseville Skating Center.

The Arc’s Changemaker Awards recognize individuals or organizations for making a difference for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. The “Changing Policies” category recognizes persons whose efforts have resulted in systems and policy changes that benefit individuals with disabilities and their families.

Fitzsimons joined Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Social Work in 2001. Her academic focus is violence and abuse against people with disabilities. She was instrumental in helping establish The Arc Greater Twin Cities’ Abuse Prevention Initiative and helping The Arc determine its role in addressing violence against people with disabilities. She was the keynote speaker and moderator for The Arc’s 2012 forum on abuse, Breaking Down the Barriers, which she also helped plan.

“Abuse of people with disabilities is a widespread and disturbing issue that society has largely ignored,” said Kim Keprios, chief executive officer of The Arc Greater Twin Cities. “Dr. Fitzsimons has devoted her career to righting that wrong, and she has been immensely helpful in our efforts to make the criminal justice system more receptive to victims with disabilities. Thanks to her, more people with disabilities have a right that most of us take for granted – safety in our community.”

The Arc Greater Twin Cities fosters respect and access for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, giving them the power to achieve a full and satisfying life. The Arc was started 65 years ago by parents determined to ensure the most full and independent lives possible for their children. Today, The Arc continues to be a family-focused, grassroots organization helping individuals and families address issues such as early intervention, education, transition to adulthood, health care, housing, employment, guardianship and more. For more information and volunteer opportunities, call The Arc Greater Twin Cities at (952) 920-0855 or visit

More information on Fitzsimons is available here.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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