The Clarion College Democrats at PennWest Clarion will present the 2023 Shropshire Public Service Award to Pennsylvania State Representative Dan Frankel at their annual Shropshire Public Service Dinner April 13 at Clarion River Brewing Company.

The College Democrats will also present the Jason Poor Student Engagement Award to student trustee Kathryn Robinson. 

Every year, the Clarion College Democrats recognize an outstanding individual or group for “exemplary public service and commitment to justice, democracy and equality” by presenting the Shropshire Public Service Award. The award – reflective of fidelity to workers’ rights, social and economic justice, and enlightened leadership – is named after the late John Shropshire, Clarion County and northwestern Pennsylvania’s first Black county commissioner and Clarion’s first Black dean of students. 

The first recipient of the Shropshire Award was former Pennsylvania state senator and representative Allen Kukovich in 2005. Over the past 18 years, the College Democrats have honored a distinguished cadre of local and statewide officials and organizations, including Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale, Rep. Dan Surra, Rep. Sara Innamorato, Clarion Area School Board director Braxton White, Auditor General Jack Wagner, Pittsburgh City Councilor Natalia Rudiak, and APSCUF (the Association of Pennsylvania College & University Faculties). 

2023 Shropshire honoree Frankel is the dean of the Allegheny County House delegation, has been an indefatigable advocate for equality and human rights, fierce defender of democracy, and enlightened bulwark against hate and intolerance. 

Recently named the majority chairman of the House Health Care Committee, in 2011 Frankel founded the LGBTQ Equality Caucus in the General Assembly, and this year co-founded the state’s first-ever Jewish Legislative Caucus with state Senator Judy Schwank.  

In the dark days after the Tree of Life massacre – and in the years since – Rep. Frankel has represented his home community of Squirrel Hill with profound dignity and empathy, determined to honor those lost, support their families, and combat the hatred, anti-Semitism and xenophobia that led to the massacre. To that end, along with state Senator Jay Costa, Frankel’s leadership led to $6.6 million in grants that will “transform the site of the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history into a new place of hope, remembrance and education.” 

To attend the dinner, RSVP by April 7 to Kayla Eaton at Cost is $15 for PennWest students with ID and $30 for non-students, payable by cash or check (preferred) made out to “CSA” with “Clarion College Democrats” in the memo. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the dinner begins at 6 p.m.