University of Indianapolis trustee Deborah Daniels was inducted into The Indiana Academy at its 44th annual symposium on Oct. 6 in Indianapolis in recognition of her personal accomplishments and contributions to Indiana.
The honor was awarded by the non-profit association Independent Colleges of Indiana. Independent Colleges of Indiana represents 31 private nonprofit colleges and universities in Indiana, including UIndy.
Daniels was inducted with three other Hoosiers: Robert Jones (Evansville), John Zeglis (Culver) and Andrew Goebel (Evansville). She spoke very highly of the people of Indianapolis and how their willingness to help has shaped her life.
“We live in a culture here in Indianapolis, and we are so pleased that we do, where people want to step up, and they want to help each other. People who visit Indianapolis are always astonished at how friendly and helpful people are, even on the street.”
Daniels joined the UIndy Board of Trustees in 2007 and is active on its Campus Life Committee.
She chaired UIndy’s most recent Presidential Search Committee and Inauguration Committee. Daniels said that she was nominated by UIndy president Robert Manuel, and had no idea that she was nominated until she was presented with the award.
“You can’t apply for this,” she said. “Someone has to think enough of you to nominate you, which was incredibly flattering. It’s a great honor. I told them I can’t think of another time in my life when I’ve been quite so humbled by an award.”
Daniels is a partner at the law firm of Krieg DeVault LLP. She has experience in corporate compliance and criminal and civil investigations. She also previously has served as a U.S. attorney of the Southern District of Indiana and an assistant attorney general with the U.S. Department of Justice.
At the Department of Justice, she has won several awards for her management skills and her work on behalf of crime victims. She said that the motivation to serve others has been ingrained in her since she was young.
“My parents taught me that. Depauw [University] taught me that. The University of Indianapolis has the same kind of [focus] on giving to the community, getting involved in the community,” Daniels said. “So I am guessing that students now are going to really grow up with this kind of mentality. It is very important to help other people in your community. That’s what gives me gratification. ”
Task Chairman of the Indiana Academy and Vice Chair of Board of Trustees Yvonne Shaheen is on the nominating committee for the academy. Shaheen said that she and Daniels have known each other for about 40 years. She also served on UIndy’s Presidential Search Committee with Daniels. She said she is “very easy to talk to.”
Shaheen also said that Daniels is a very good lawyer and earned the managing partner position at her firm, Krieg DeVault, effective starting in 2015.
Shaheen said that Daniels earned her diploma from two different Indiana colleges—a bachelor’s degree from Depauw University and a juris doctor degree from Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law where she graduated cum laude. She said that she was also a former U.S. attorney and an assistant U.S. attorney general.
Her expertise was in criminal and civil investigations, and she now practices in federal government relations. Shaheen said that all of these attributes made Daniels a prime candidate and winner for this prestigious award.
With all of these activities and the jobs she has taken on, Daniels said that she has learned a life lesson about time management.
“You have to know where to stop. This is a good life lesson that took me a while to learn,” she said. “If you get on too many of these boards [volunteer work] to the point where you don’t have the time to give [to] them, then you’re not helping any of them. So you really have to focus your efforts on a few things at a time and be honest with people about how much time you have available.”