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East Central University alumnus Steve Denson received the Stan Golden Men of Action Award during the annual “Building Bridges Throughout Our Community Texas-Sized Event,” recently conducted by the Southwest Jewish Congress in Dallas, Texas.

The award recognizes community leaders who have been diligent in the pursuit of positive social change.

Denson, a native of Wapanucka, Oklahoma, has taught negotiation and worked with diversity outreach in Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business for 20 years. He is also a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation.

In addition to receiving his degree in government from ECU in 1991, Denson also earned a degree from Carnegie Mellon University, was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation of Princeton, was a former trustee of the American Indian College Fund and served as an advisor to Secretaries of Labor in the Bush and Obama administrations.

Denson credits his ECU experience, including that of Dr. Ed Brooks, then in the Government Department, into helping mold him into what he is today.

 “Dr. Ed Brooks was my mentor, but he also had high expectations,” said Denson, who says he was pleased that Ed and his wife Betty would often stay in touch with him even while he did a summer study project at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In the past, Denson has worked with the ECU Alumni Association in hosting events at SMU and in the Dallas area and has given tours to Business Scholar Students, who are under the direction of Wendell Godwin, dean of the ECU Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business. Godwin received his MBA from SMU.

In 2017, the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce presented Denson with the Corporate Executive Diversity Award. Denson has also guided an SMU Cox Business School Team, which won the Baylor Business Negotiation Competition.

Denson was a proud member and president of 4-H and Future Farmers of America at Wapanucka.


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