2022 IAMNCC Award Winners

Senator Mary Kunesh (41, DFL), St. Catherine University Sen. Mary Kunesh

A member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), Mary Kunesh is one of the few Native American members of the Minnesota Legislature. Her path as a Katie meandered, but in meaningful ways that helped her connect her voice to her calling to bring the light of truth to the hidden tragedy of murdered and missing indigenous women. Her family’s life lessons, combined with her St. Kate’s education, gave Kunesh the foundation she needed to create a path of meaningful work – first as a teacher in Robbinsdale Area Schools, and later as a member of Minnesota’s House of Representatives, where she passed the first-ever bill to establish a “”Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women”” task force. She also helped increase the amount of Minnesota Family Investment Program grants – the first increase made in over 30 years. It is work grounded in her connections to the community, such as her time as a member and chair of the New Brighton Parks, Recreation and Environmental Commission. Kunesh was born in Saint Paul and raised in Sartell. Her mother is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She started her St. Kate’s career right out of high school, but put her degree on hold after 18 months. It was 16 years, three children, and a lot of wonderful life experiences later that she received her teaching degree from St. Kate’s.

University of Northern Iowa’s Public Health Majors’ Farm to School ProgramUNI Farm to School

UNI Public Health majors have been delivering the “Farm to School” program in local elementary schools in conjunction with the Center for Energy and Environmental Education for the past 7 years. The Farm to School program brings healthy foods from local farms to schoolchildren to teach them about the path from farm to fork, the importance of local foods, and to offer “tasting” opportunities for foods students may be less familiar with. This year, since visitors were not allowed in Cedar Falls schools, we offered the program via Zoom to four of the elementary schools, with the produce delivered to the schools in advance of the program.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities’ College of Liberal Arts Engagement Hub (The Hub)UMN The Hub

The Hub manifests the College of Liberal Arts’ commitment to engaging humanistic scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences in a reciprocal partnership with the community to respond to important social problems. The Hub will be a dynamic space where members of the University will become the students of the public, educated by and partnering with external community members around critical topics of shared interest.

Marcia Rowe, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Marcia RoweMarcia Rowe (‘22) is a creative and thoughtful leader on and off-campus. As a LEAD Fellow, Marcia brings innovative ideas and solutions into her activism through the use of art and dialogue. Marcia creates awareness for social justice issues and brings that work into different community settings.

Design & Agency Studio, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Design and Agency

Embedded in Augsburg’s Graphic Design program, Design & Agency is the ethos and function of a trans-disciplinary design studio. The structure is defined by professors working alongside students to mentor, guide, and collaborate with them through the development of meaningful design solutions for community-oriented programs and organizations.

Mill City Farmers Market, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Mill City Farmers Market

The partnership between Mill City Farmers Market and Augsburg’s long-standing food access work has grown immensely during the pandemic. In 2021, the Greens for Good Program at Mill City distributed 16,675 lbs of locally-grown produce to Cedar-Riverside community members, 73% more than they distributed in 2020.

Lizzy Carson, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Bethel University, Lizzy CarsonLizzy (Nursing | Reconciliation Studies major) has worked with community partners in various ways over the last three years. Through these partnerships, she has worked on projects that have addressed environmental racism, youth development, and the prison industrial complex. Constantly community leaders comment on Lizzy’s deep commitment, passion, and ability to partner in honoring ways.

Sande Traudt, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Bethel Sande Traudt

Sande, Associate Professor of Social Work, has demonstrated a deep commitment to educating students on issues of social justice through collaborating with a wide variety of community partners in the Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods. Over the last 25 years, hundreds of students have grown in their ability to work for social justice because of her leadership.

The Saint Paul Recovery Act, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Bethel St Paul Recovery

Bethel students and faculty have had the honor of working with the St. Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission on a wide variety of projects. Through the oversight and direction of Trahern Crews, commission co-chair, these projects have collaborated on the historical work of addressing reparations for the Black community in St. Paul.

Maddie Fry, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Carleton Maddie FryMaddie started their involvement in Rice County with a community-based work study job with the Northfield Public Schools TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program. Later, Maddie became a CCCE Fellow, supporting various local educational equity volunteer programs. Recently, Maddie’s civic engagement has merged with their academic work through their SOAN senior comps project. Through past Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) classes, Maddie was introduced to Participatory Action Research (PAR). They’re now using that knowledge to collaborate with the Community Action Center on investigating the role of donors in the nonprofits’ ecosystem, ultimately launching a new fundraising initiative.

Meredith McCoy, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Carleton Meredith McCoy

Professor McCoy has made a significant impact on both academic civic engagement (ACE) teaching and campus-wide community engagement since her arrival in 2019. Whether working with students to activate the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance, contributing leadership to the college’s Why Treaties Matter programming, designing ACE projects, or conducting her own community-engaged scholarship, she says, “For me, everything is through this lens of reciprocity . . . making sure that Native communities have the full authority over how they’re represented and how their materials get out to the public.”

The Northfield Union of Youth, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Carleton Northfield Union of Youth

The Northfield Union of Youth is a youth-led youth center where every kid belongs. NUY brings youth voices to the table to address “Key” issues like food insecurity, youth homelessness and youth inclusivity. Carleton College enjoys an active partnership with NUY where youth capacity is acknowledged and higher education partners meet the youth where they are at to co-create and find success now.

Paulina Mena, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Central Paulina Mena

Paulina Mena is the Faculty Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion at Central. Mena supports faculty development, curriculum and the classroom climate as it relates to diversity and inclusion for course development and pedagogy. She also was appointed faculty trustee by Central’s Board of Trustees. In addition, Mena has chaired the faculty planning and policy committees, directed the honors program, served on advisory councils, is active in professional associations and serves as a faculty advisor.

Maytag Family, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Central Maytag Family

The college’s relationship with Fred, Fritz and Ken Maytag and The Fred Maytag Family Foundation has helped shape the student experience at Central for nearly a century. Their fall 2021 donation of $2.25 million will fund an annual full-ride scholarship program for multiple students from Iowa pursuing a STEM-related field. It will also fund scientific instrumentation needs. The foundation has donated more than $10 million to Central over the past three decades.

Four Oaks Family and Children Services, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Coe Four Oaks

Four Oaks Family & Children Services and Coe College have created mutually beneficial programs and opportunities that help uplift our community. By offering internships, volunteer and federal work study roles, and employment opportunities, Four Oaks enables Coe students to provide a range of supports to the families and children being served. As a deeply valued community partner, Coe will continue to partner with Four Oaks to expand the ways in which our organizations support those in need.

Claire Olson, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

College of Saint Benedict Claire OlsonClaire Olson graduated from CSB in December of 2021 with majors in Political Science and Education Studies. During her time as a student, Claire was involved in the Bonner Leader Program, was a Summer Leadership Fellow interning with Minnesota Equity Alliance, and worked as a Deputy Campaign Manager for Aric Putnum’s campaign for the Minnesota Senate. She is a passionate advocate who cares deeply about education equity and civic engagement. She currently works as a campaign manager for the DFL.

CSB/SJU Multicultural Center, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

The Multicultural Center at CSB|SJU empowers students to navigate difference and new environments as an essential part of a liberal arts education. Through collaborative partnerships, the Multicultural Center promotes diversity and inclusion campus-wide and engages students through a variety of educational and social programs. The student leadership team ensures that student voices, perspectives, and experiences drive community-wide programming.

Great River Children’s Museum, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

College of Saint Benedict Great River

Great River Children’s Museum (GRCM) is an emerging children’s museum serving all children and families of Central Minnesota. Our partnership with CSB/SJU and other area institutions of higher learning is essential to our efforts to create opportunities for informal learning through play. With volunteer support from CSB/SJU students we have been able to serve more children in this stage of our development. As we continue to grow, so too will the relationship between the museum and the students.

Brian Orellána, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Drake Brian OBrian Orellána is a committed student leader who engages Drake students in meaningful dialogue and service in the community, with equity and inclusion at the forefront. He has served as an AmeriCorps member, Community Engagement Peer in the Office of Community Engaged Learning, Student Senator for Community Outreach, and many other leadership roles on campus.

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Drake PCHS

When COVID vaccinations become a reality, CPHS identified an opportunity to help our community with the hundreds of student pharmacists and faculty who were trained vaccinators. Lacking the infrastructure to do this alone, they formed partnerships with Hy-Vee, Polk County Public Health, Boys & Girls Club, Des Moines Public Schools, and the Harkin Institute. Though these partnerships, they administered over 10,000 doses of hope, including one day when they vaccinated over 1000 teachers!

Above and Beyond Cancer, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Drake PCP

Above + Beyond Cancer, founded by Dr. Richard Deming, in partnership with the Drake Community Press, has illuminated the experience and stories of hundreds of individuals touched by cancer through the creation of a full-color book. All proceeds from sales benefit programming of Above + Beyond Cancer.

Gustie Buddies Coordinators, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Gustie BuddiesGustie Buddies is a mentorship program that pairs Gustavus students with youth from the community who have developmental delays to foster friendship and personal growth. At the start of the pandemic in spring 2020 and ever since, the Gustie Buddies Coordinators (a team of five students) have developed ways in which Gusties volunteers can stay engaged with the youth involved. The coordinators of the program were innovating and determined to make this program engaging and meaningful to all.

Heather Dale & Barb Larson Taylor, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Gustavus PCE

Barb Larson Taylor leads the COVID-19 Leadership Team and Heather Dale leads the Health Service. They have formed strong, effective and valuable partnerships at many levels to provide effective planning that has helped ensure safety for both Gustavus and Saint Peter. They met regularly with Nicollet County Public Health to discuss protocols and developed a relationship with the Minnesota Department of Public Health that in many ways serve as a model for higher education institutions.

Jody Fischenich, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Gustavus Jody F

Jody Fischenich was the Nicollet County Disease Prevention & Control Coordinator Emergency Preparedness Coordinator during COVID. She was integral to our response during the first year of the pandemic. Jody made the Gustavus and NCPH relationship a priority through her collaborative and supportive work. Gustavus staff met with Jody weekly. She shared insights on local case transmission, provided N-95 fit testing training, offered guidance on re-opening plans and isolation/quartantine protocols.

Deangela Huddleston, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Hamline Deangela HThrough Deangela Huddleston’s involvement with the Wesley Center, New Student Mentor, and Center for Academic Success and Achievement programs she has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment the vision of being “the change you want to see in the world.” She is currently serving as a Catalyst Alternative Spring Break Trips Executive Planning Board member after previously participating in trips on the themes of Hunger & Homeless in Washington D.C and Youth Intervention in Milwaukee and Chicago.

Jane Krenz, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Hamline Jane K

Jane Krentz has served as the Director of McVay Youth Partnership at Hamline University for since 2003. She’s been foundational in the creation of this after-school program that serves to create a safe environment for St. Paul youth and leadership opportunities for Hamline students. She was a MN State Senator for 10 years and continues her commitment to civic engagement by serving on committees such as Diversity Initiatives Committee (DISC) and Hamline Votes.

Sophia Brown, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Hamline Sophia B

Sophia Brown became the AmeriCorps VISTA Worker at the Food Resource Center (FRC) at Hamline in 2019. They have worked tirelessly to address food access issues including working with local community organizations to secure 100% coverage of food costs for the FRC. They also launched the SNAP referral program and led a Community of Practice on basic needs for Campus Compact. Sophia is passionate about providing direct resources and working to create systems change.

Emma Kirby, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Inver Hills Emma KEmma serves as the Director of Communications for Student Senate and as a Civic Engagement work study employee. Emma is entirely remote, and over the course of the year has done countless classroom visits related to civic engagement and voting, has attended club meetings to promote these topics, and has planned monthly service events, virtual fun events (like Constitution Day trivia through Zoom) and has been one of the primary planners of the last three Blood Drive efforts.

Randi Goettl, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Inver Hills Randi G

Randi has effectively and passionately engaged our campus community in sustainability initiatives which is above and beyond her campus role as Director of Accessibility Resources. Because of her leadership, faculty, staff and students are involved in our Bee Campus USA designation, recycling and energy initiatives, and much more. Her leadership has forged and strengthened community partnerships that benefit so many facets of campus life.

Jen Moe, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Inver HIlls Jen Moe

The pandemic eliminated all community-based experiences for our Education students. Thanks to Ms. Moe and the AVID program she leads, she created a partnership with our Education department that hired our students as paid AVID tutors and allowed them to gain the essential classroom experience they needed. Without her vision, creativity, and flexibility, our students would have missed a key component of their education. Inver Hills is so thankful for the AVID program’s partnership and support.

Alyssa Rauschenberger, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Macalester Alyssa RAs the Housing, Work, & Food Justice Issue Organizer, Alyssa has built strong relationships with community partners and has fostered significant student engagement. Her deep involvement with several local partners demonstrates significant leadership in supporting peers to engage with economic justice issues. She has been the main leader of our Habitat for Humanity student organization, demonstrating significant leadership in keeping students involved and connected throughout the pandemic.

Hana Dinkku, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Macalester Hana D

Hana’s deeply rooted leadership is focused around the education and empowerment of marginalized communities in the Twin Cities. Her mission is to build strong communities and empower students through liberatory education. She is an exceptional mentor to BIPOC student leaders and organizers which was further illuminated recently with her facilitation of the plenary panel “College Student Protests: Activism in Higher Education in the United States” during Fall 2021 International Roundtable.

East Side Freedom Library, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Macalester ESFL

With a mission is to inspire solidarity, advocate for justice and work toward equity for all, the East Side Freedom Library is a key community partner for Macalester classes, off campus work-study positions, internships, and faculty & staff development. Over many years, ESFL has facilitated numerous connections between Macalester College and East Side neighborhoods, and it has inspired and modeled mutually beneficial collaborations and projects that are co-created with in community.

Keno Evol, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Metro State Keno EKeno founded Black Table Arts to provide space, education, and a network for Black artists to thrive and participate in justice movements. His work blends writing, spoken word, art, Black liberation, civic engagement and education. He has organized more than 100 racial equity trainings and intensives, Free Black Table open mics, and founded the “Because Black Life” conference. His academic focus is on Ethnic Studies and Political Science, infused with the intellect of the arts.

Jennifer DeJonghe, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Metro State Jennifer DJ

Since the 2004 opening of the Metro Library and Learning Center, one of the few joint use academic and public libraries in the country, Jennifer has been integral to a range of university-community partnerships between St. Paul Public Library and Metro State. She engages in the planning and provision of literacy support and cultural programs including Teens Know Best book club, digital inclusion committee, and the creation community programming of the David Barton Community Labyrinth and garden.

Urban Roots, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Metro State Urban Roots

Urban Roots was instrumental in realizing the GROW-IT Center through a deeply collaborative planning process for the facility. UR brought vision, strategic leadership, fundraising acumen, design insight, public testimony, creative program ideation and rich networks to the effort. The result is a unique hub for community-university exchange related to urban food production, healthy food access and environmental restoration, and serves as a catalyst for new curriculum, research and programs.

Insia Kizilbash, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Normandale Insia KInsia has been a leader in Phi Theta Kappa, Normandale’s Honor Society, and in the Leadership Through Service program. In these roles she has been an advocate for the Campus Cupboard, Normandale’s food shelf, such as speaking in a promotional video to increase student awareness and reduce stigma.

Nancy Johnson, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Normandale Nancy J

Dr. Nancy Johnson teaches Health courses and routinely incorporates service-learning into her Stress Management courses. Professor Johnson demonstrates positivity and flexibility when promoting community-based learning with her students.

MN Central Kitchen, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Normandale MN Central Kitchen

MN Central Kitchen, a program of nonprofit Second Harvest Heartland, partners with our Campus Cupboard food shelf so we can provide 200 fresh, free, and delicious meals per week to our students. Students regularly comment that these meals save them time, reduce stress, and help them eat more nutritiously.

Nathan Meyer, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

SJ Nathan MThis year Nathan Meyer has led with goals of improved equity, justice, and student visibility. Through his work with the Bonner Leader Program, he helped to improve student engagement at on-campus events and protests. Additionally, he holds positions as a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC), a student representative for the Communications Department, and a spot on the roster of the St. John’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams.

Honors Scholars for Community and Collaborative Leadership, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award


Honors Scholars transform knowledge into action. They belong to a supportive, 60-person cohort that engages with the campus and local community. They define success not as “getting ahead” but as discovering their unique gifts, paths and destinies-and helping others to do the same. Through this experience, students are challenged to apply concepts, methods, theories and skills to complex social social issues. They engage in community-based research and are mentored by a select group of faculty.

St. Cloud Rotary Richard C. Wilson Community Outpost, Presidents’ Community Partner Award


The St. Cloud Rotary Richard C. Wilson Community Outpost (COP House) is a community initiative of the St. Cloud Police Department, Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation, and numerous service organizations and companies. The house serves as a community connecting space where residents can access needed health, wellness, education, youth recreation and empowerment and other social services. The COP House partners with CSB/SJU students to mentor area youth through the College Buddies program.

Elise Sturgeon, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Simpson EliseElise has demonstrated outstanding leadership of civic engagement initiatives on camp as Lead Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s & Everywhere program, which achieved the highest student voter turnout & registration rates in college history in the 2020 presidential election. She has excelled in leadership roles such as Culver Center’s Voter Engagement Team co-chair, SC Leader, First-Year Experience UGA, & is a highly decorated member of Simpson’s national champion Speech & Debate Team.

Culver Public Policy Center’s Voter Engagement Team, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Simpson Voter Team

The student-led Voter Engagement Team developed & implemented a new civic engagement & voter registration module that was imbedded into Foundations I classes Fall 2021. The module goes well beyond previous class presentations that focused solely on voter registration to include a broader focus on the full range of civic & community engagement opportunities available to Simpson students. Student leaders of the Voter Engagement Team are: Elise Sturgeon, Kylie Doupnik, Will Keck & Kylie Banouvong.

West Hill Brewery, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Simpson West Hill Brewery

West Hill Brewing Company owners and Simpson alumni, Heather Norris Gaumer and Doug Gaumer, came up with the idea to create a unique new beer brewed from butterflies. In collaboration with Simpson Biology professor Aswati Subramanian & student Ethan Madden, the Pearl Crescent Butterfly IPA was created. Proceeds will benefit butterfly conservation at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, providing funding for internships and research on native butterfly species.

Isatu Shirek, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

SMSU Isatu ShirekIsatu Shirek’s work and dedication as an intern with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and with Pioneer Public Television modeled deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership. She has worked to create and have aired two short pieces that promote positive change in rural communities, shining a light on gender and racial equity and the importance of mental health as a tool for resilience when facing adversity.

May Lee Moua-Vue, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Dr. May Lee Moua-Vue is leading the Center for International Education (CIE) in a new and exciting direction. By hosting weekly International Coffee Hours, she has engaged not only the SMSU community with international students but the surrounding Marshall community. She had re-envisioned the annual international food event and expanded it to become WorldFest, a collaborative festival between the city of Marshall and local organizations to include not only SMSU’s international students but lo

Marshall Public Schools, Presidents’ Community Partner Award


Marshall Public Schools has been a constant support to the SMSU School of Education and the Placement and Licensure Office. MPS administration, staff and teachers consistently provide a professional learning environment for over 100 clinical experience placements for SMSU Teacher Candidates on a yearly basis, making them our largest E-12 partner. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit E-12 education especially hard and it would have been easy for MPS to not accept our students for placements.

Ania Salcedo, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

St Kate Ania SAnia Salcedo is a senior International Studies and History major, Political Science minor. As a bilingual, first-generation student, Ania is committed to immigrant advocacy and equitable education opportunities. Her leadership on and off campus has had an incredible impact, from her work with St. Kate’s Civic Engagement Collective and Student Senate to Immigrant Law Center of MN and oral history work with WSCO. Ania has demonstrated her commitment to creating a more inclusive democracy.

Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? Project, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

St Kate Welcoming the Dear Neighbor

“Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” (WTDN) is an interdisciplinary community-engaged, multi-year effort exploring how welcoming was – and is – Ramsey County to BIPOC residents, exploring racial covenants and their present-day legacy. Faculty and staff have supported hundreds of students learning about systemic racism, analyzing housing deeds to help build the map of racial covenants with Mapping Prejudice, and many working on projects per their discipline in support of ongoing community efforts.

Roosevelt High School, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

St Kate RHS

Roosevelt High School has been a steadfast community partner of St. Catherine University, partnering with our America Reads and Community Leaders programs as well as service-learning courses. This year our collaboration with the Health Careers Program expanded to the English Language Learning program. Roosevelt High School staff support this collaboration in ways that truly mentor and impact St. Kate’s students as well as the amazing Roosevelt High School students.

Meredith Kevan, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

TCSS Meredith KMeredith is Student Coordinator for the student group that partners with Duluth’s Loaves and Fishes community. The group provides weekly meals to two hospitality houses and organizes service opportunities. Meredith also developed the Justice Café program focused on peer led conversations around pressing societal issues and Catholic Social Teaching.

National Center for Computer Science Education, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award


The National Center for Computer Science Education is a partnership of the CIS department and the School of Education. The Center champions, researches, and provides equitable computer science education opportunities for K16 students and educators. CSS is one of less than 10 schools in the country that provide this type of education in Computer Science.

Loaves and Fishes, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

TCSS Loaves and Fishes

Loaves and Fishes is founded on the belief that the world is abundant with resources and love. Inspired by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement, they hospitality to people experiencing homelessness, promote shared economics, and study and practice nonviolence. St. Scholastica students partner with Loaves and Fishes in service.

Molly Falnes, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

UMN Morris Molly FalnesMolly’s leadership and optimism has drawn students and community members into volunteer opportunities ranging from the local food shelf to the campus Saddle Club and French Club, but it’s her collaborative and inclusive style that has resulted in a deeper engagement between the campus and community. She has done everything she can to leave the Morris campus and community a better place and prepare others to continue her amazing work.

James Wojtaszek, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

UMN Morris James W

James, Associate Professor in Humanities, began incorporating Community Engaged Learning into his 3000-level Spanish course in the Spring of 2019 and continues to provide his students with opportunities to create Spanish-language resources for use by Morris Public Library patrons. UMN Morris students have realistic opportunities to enrich both their scholastic work and resources for the local Hispanic community by developing reviews and discussion questions for Spanish chapter books and videos.

Peggy Kill, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

UMN Morris Peggy K

Peggy has dedicated her life to serving the Stevens County Community. Over the course of 45 years she has taken the toy distribution from a small program that initially handed out used toys to young children; hundreds with new toys, hat sets, blankets, games. Her enthusiasm has inspired the local high school and university to create supporting programs that help garner additional donations. And this is but one of the many projects that Peggy has supported throughout her time in Stevens County.

Fadumasahra Farah, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

UMN Roch FSFadumasahra has been a part of the SARS-CoV2 testing in wastewater project, a partnership involving many: the city of Rochester, Olmsted County Public Health, Mayo Clinic, and UMR. Fadumasahra uses her skills in the lab to test wastewater for Covid in order for the city to track rising case levels. This collaboration aims to publish the results of the joint effort that could prove useful in disease prediction in the future. She also volunteers with organizations in the Rochester community.

Yuko Taniguchi and Jered Bright, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

UMN Roch Yuko Jered

University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) faculty members Yuko Taniguchi and Jered Bright collaborate each spring semester to offer HUM 3401: The Contemplation of Mental Health Using Creativity and Qualitative Analysis. The course was developed in collaboration with the staff at the Inpatient Psychiatric Acute Care (IPAC) for Children & Adolescents at Mayo Clinic. UMR students participate in workshops with IPAC adolescents creating valuable learning experiences and impact to adolescent patients.

April Sutor, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

UMN Roch April Sutor

Sutor began as a community engagement partner with UMR in 2013 as a part of UMR’s Community Collaboratory course. UMR students are matched primarily with older adults to provide companionship in the form of in-person visits. The collaboration has expanded, thanks to Sutor, to include working with the core team of Age Friendly Olmsted County on an asset and gaps analysis study. The study entails students engaging in on-line research as outlined by the Core Team. The partnership runs all year.

Jessica Forrester, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Jessica ForresterMs. Forrester is a PhD candidate who has provided leadership for Prepare2Nspire, a near-peer tutoring program dedicated to supporting underrepresented middle and high school scholars. She has trained undergraduate mentutors (mentors+tutors) in effective mathematics tutoring strategies, created communication opportunities between parents, students, tutors, and community partners, and conducted research to document the success of programs such aa Prepare2Nspire.

Andrew Furco, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Andrew Furco

Dr. Furco served as the University’s Associate Vice President for Public Engagement for fourteen years. Now returning 100% to his faculty role, Furco’s work institutionalized public engagement at the University of Minnesota. Under his leadership, the University advanced its public engagement agenda through initiatives such as the Engaged Department Program, Issue Area Networks, and the Review Committee on Community-Engaged Scholarship.

Communities United Against Police Brutality, Presidents’ Community Partner Award


CUAPB ongoing work to champions Police Reform locally, statewide and often nationally. Travis’ Law which was passed in the Spring 2021 Minnesota Legislative Session was informed by years of research CUAPB did as part of their Mental Health Work Group. University of MN students in community-engaged learning courses have been regular members of all work groups throughout the pandemic including the mental health, legislative and policy change, and DOJ investigations work.

Black Student Union, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

UNI BSUThe Black Student Union (BSU) has been a student organization at UNI for 50 years as of Fall ’21. BSU serves the purpose of enhancing knowledge as people and promoting the spirit of unity, consciousness, history and diversity among students, faculty, staff, and the community. They have a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership, evidenced by initiative, innovative and collaborative approaches to addressing public issues on campus and in the community.

John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award


UNI’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) has advanced the campus’ mission by forming a strong partnership supporting civic and community engagement with The Cedar Valley Black Business Entrepreneurship and Accelerator program, conceived by the 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium. The free, six-month program uses the expertise of staff and faculty in UNI’s College of Business Administration, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and Business and Community Services.

Veridian Credit Union, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Veridian Credit Union

Veridian Community Credit Union is a leader in the Cedar Valley in enhancing the quality of life for the university and community in meaningful and measurable ways. Since 2005, Veridian has awarded over $77,000 to support UNI faculty and staff in their community engagement efforts, inspiring meaningful partnerships between the university and the Cedar Valley. Veridian is a valued partner in our commitment to solving our community’s toughest challenges.

Association of Women in Science, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

WINSThe Association of Women in Science (WINS) at the University of St. Thomas has been significantly impacting the community through their weekly science classes at Ramsey Middle School. The WINS e-board creates their own lesson plans to inspire middle schoolers to use the scientific method of reasoning and recently hosted a science fair on the St. Thomas campus featuring experiments created by their middle school students.

Amy Gage, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Amy Gage

Amy Gage is the ultimate relationship builder, nurturing strong, meaningful partnerships with organizations such as the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Council (WSNAC) and Keystone Community Services. She does so through her role at St. Thomas as well as through her volunteer commitments as a citizen in the community. Additionally, she has done incredible work to institutionalize civic engagement through her work on the Civic Engagement, Voter Education & Advocacy (CEVEA) team.

Brenisen Wheeler, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Brenisen Wheeler

Brenisen has collaborated with multiple courses through the Criminal Justice and Social Work programs to provide meaningful service-learning opportunities for students. Brenisen has co-developed projects so that students not only have the chance to dig deeper with their understanding of domestic violence, a critical topic for professionals working in these fields, but also have the opportunity to hone skills such as networking, research, and team-building as they prepare for their careers.

Kendra Nusbaum, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Kendra NKendra Nusbaum is a Nursing and Spanish major, Child Advocacy Studies Minor, who has spent the last year applying her skills at Bridges Health, a free health clinic in Winona MN. She also serves as a Vida Volunteer participating in two service-learning programs to Guatemala and Chile, and serves as President of Circle K. Her “take action” attitude and enthusiasm is contagious and is best expressed in her own words: We have an ethical obligation to advocate for those who do not have a voice.

Dawnette Cigrand, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Dawnette C

Dr. Cigrand provides consultation, training and advocacy services to schools, their students and staff. She not only has developed long standing partnership with districts but has also engaged her students in learning first-hand how to pursue social justice through sharing their time, knowledge and experience through engagement in academic, career and social-emotional curriculum, needs assessments in the classroom, cognitive coaching, and mental health topics of relevance in the schools.

Nicholas Whaley, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Nicholas Whaley

For over 10 years Mr. Whaley has been an instrumental component in the development of our Health Education and Physical Education students. He has been a staple field experience for all of our Health Education students. Even during the pandemic, when locating field experiences was a challenge, Mr. Whaley’s classroom was open to our students. He went above and beyond in not only being accessible but in providing high quality mentoring to our students.