News: Austin Dickson Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Austin Dickson

Posted April 15, 2017

Austin Dickson, a 2010 graduate of Georgia Tech’s Master’s in Public Policy Program, recently received the highest honor for an alum of the program. On April 12, Dickson was named the recipient of the School of Public Policy’s award at the Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony hosted by the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. 

Dickson, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Literacy Action, owns an impressive educational background, having come to Georgia Tech after earning master’s degree from both Emory University and Scotland’s internationally-renowned University of Edinburgh. Once he arrived at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy in 2007, Dickson zeroed in on his interest in community and economic development, which led him to crafting his appropriate master’s thesis, “Minority Businesses’ Economic Impact on Georgia.”

Honored for his significant impact on the Atlanta community through Literacy Action, Dickson first joined the nonprofit organization in October 2012 and now leads it as its Executive Director. Literacy Action serves the community by providing disenfranchised residents with potentially life-changing educational programs. Among the educational services offered by Literacy Action include English as a Second Language, Digital Literacy, along with a citizen preparation program aimed at helping permanent residents achieve their goal of US citizenship. 

Although it has been nearly seven years since Dickson was last a student at Georgia Tech, his impact and reputation are remembered with sincere fondness amongst the Public Policy community. Dr. Jennifer Clark, who supervised Dickson as he wrote his master’s thesis, has only positive things to say about him as both a student and contributor to society. 

“What I would say is that he was – and remains – a role model of and for the School of Public Policy community: a leader who both builds community and serves it,” Dr. Clark said. “He exemplifies the role of public service in non-profit administration.  That was clear when he was in the program and clear now.”