The recipient of the Outstanding Commissioner Award is Lawrence Neil Bailis, who currently serves on the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) Board. He is an Associate Professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. For over twenty-five years, he has been a nationally recognized researcher and scholar of service learning/experiential education and national service programs. His Brandeis courses include seminars on Citizen Leadership and Service, and additional coursework that trains the alumni of service programs and other individuals to become more effective advocates for the causes they believe in.
In 2014, he drew upon his academic expertise in policy advocacy in order to assist in developing and implementing an initiative that brought together the MSA board and staff with political leaders in both parties, including all major candidates for Massachusetts governorship. This helped insure candidates were familiar with service programs and helped them develop support for service programs in their platforms.
He also directly supported the capacity building efforts of MSA through training on program evaluation and related management issues in MSA training sessions. In addition to this, he has played a prominent role, during his years on the MSA board, in working with federal and state legislators to advance the prominence and support for AmeriCorps, Commonwealth Corps, and other service programs. He helped created and lead the Eli G. Segal Citizen Leadership program, a program that bridges generations by selecting AmeriCorps alums, CNCS staff, City Year alums and Brandeis students as Fellows and creating networks that support them in their commitment to citizen leadership.
He has served three years of service as Commission Chair and four years of service as Vice Chair. In addition to this, he has chaired the MSA Program committee and the search committee that resulted in the selection of its current executive director. He was a leader in a recently completed strategic planning process for the Commission and currently serves on all MSA committees.
During his years as chair, his advocacy work has contributed to an increase in state support for the commission. He has promoted expanded outreach to service program alumni at Brandeis University and expansion of scholarship opportunities at the school for service program alumni.
“No one has been a more effective advocate for service programs in Massachusetts than Larry Bailis. He has taken his academic expertise int he field of advocacy and translated it into effective working relationships with key lawmakers and leaders in the executive branch to help to formulate, promote, and enact legislation that provides solid funding for service programs and a precedent-setting “Annual Service and Volunteerism Day” in our Commonwealth.”
-Massachusetts State Representative, Ruth B. Balser
We commend Lawerence Bailis on his hard work and advocacy efforts.