The General Assembly established the Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) in 1996, charging it with assessing the needs of Indiana women and their families and with promoting the full participation of Indiana women in all aspects of society. Another task charged to ICW was the “identification and recognition of contributions made by Indiana women to their community, state, and nation.”
ICW created the concept of the Torchbearer Awards to honor the many Hoosier women who have overcome or removed barriers to equality or to whose achievements have contributed to making our state a better place in which to live, work and raise a family. Recipients are women who have been pioneers in their industries, have inspirational stories that set the standard for other women, have faced tough choices, demonstrated character and have made significant contributions to their communities and/or to the State of Indiana. While there are a number of award programs, these awards are the only such event in which the State of Indiana recognizes and honors its finest natural resource – the women of Indiana.
This evening during the awards ceremony held at the Indiana Historical Society, Indiana State Police Major Nila Miller-Cronk was recognized for her personal and career accomplishments and received the Torchbearer Award.
Major Miller-Cronk, a 32 year veteran of the Indiana State Police, serves as the commander of the Internal Investigation Division.
The Torchbearer Awards Ceremony recognizes women of Indiana who have been pioneers throughout their lives or who have stepped forward as leaders by breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles. These women have become true beacons of light and their stories of courage, perseverance, and compassion create a lasting legacy and inspiration for all.
The Torchbearer Awards were created in 2004 by the Board of Commissioners of the Indiana Commission for Women to identify and recognize contributions made by Indiana women to their community, state, and nation. ICW created the concept of the Torchbearer Awards to honor the many Hoosier women who have overcome or removed barriers to equality or to whose achievements have contributed to making our state a better place in which to live, work and raise a family. The Victory statute atop the Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Monument was selected to represent the Torchbearer Awards because it is symbolic of the character and achievements of the women honored, and the flame she holds represents the light these Torchbearers have brought to our state and their communities. Torchbearers are Indiana’s most prestigious recognition of women in the state. They are women who have stepped forward as leaders by breaking down barriers to women’s full participation and who have become lasting legacies for us all by overcoming immense challenges with courage, perseverance and compassion.
Recipients are selected from a pool of nominated candidates who have overcome obstacles, made extraordinary contributions or been pioneers throughout their lives and are based on the recipients’ achievement in the areas of their professional careers, community leadership, and/or public service as demonstrated in the nominators’ application. Recipients must be living at the time of their nomination. The Torchbearer Award recipients are selected by a panel of previous Torchbearer Award recipients. These women, referred to as the Council of Judges, represent diverse geographic regions, and professional backgrounds and make their decision based on nominations received from the public. Nominated women are scored based on several criteria and must receive a unanimous decision in order to be selected.