May 22, 2017

University honors staff, faculty and trustees during commencement ceremonies

Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Anne McKeig '89 delivered the commencement address at the College for Women ceremony Sunday. Photo credit: By Rebecca Studios LLC.
Categories: Awards

St. Catherine University’s three commencement ceremonies on May 20 and 21, 2017 honored eight professors, three trustees and a staff member, as well as conferring degrees to over 850 students at the associate, undergraduate and graduate levels.

College for Adults and Graduate College professors honored

During commencement ceremonies for the College for Adults Saturday morning, Patricia Nanoff ’81, MAT’84, professor of liberal arts and sciences, was honored as professor emerita for her 32 years of preparing students to become ethical, compassionate and holistic caregivers.

Three professors were honored during Saturday afternoon’s Graduate College commencement ceremony.

Barbara Gilbertson, assistant professor of occupational science and occupational therapy was honored for her innovative approach to preparing OT students for fieldwork and her commitment to sustaining international programs.

Carol Kuechler, professor of social work, was commended for serving as the first program director of the Doctor of Social Work program that was launched in 2014, and for mentoring students and advising colleagues.

Rebecca Hawthorne, director and associate professor of the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program, was honored for being a tireless advocate for women’s leadership, for bringing greater visibility to the MAOL program and for her work the past nine years on the Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership.

L to R: Mary Ann Brenden, Nasrin Jewell, Trudy Landgren and David Luedtke. Photo credit: By Rebecca Studios, LLC.

College for Women professors honored

During the College for Women commencement ceremony Sunday afternoon, professor emeriti honors were bestowed on Mary Ann Brenden, associate professor of social work, Nasrin Jewell, professor of economics, Gertrude Landgren, associate professor of apparel, merchandising, and design, and David Luedtke, associate professor of nutrition and exercise sciences.

Brenden was honored as a passionate teacher who prepares students for engaged, ethical citizenship and participation in the profession, community, and world with an emphasis on social justice.

Jewell was honored as a trailblazer and advocate for women in economics. She is credited with founding the University’s first department of economics and serving as its first chair as well as helping to launch the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program and also serving as its director.

Landgren ‘72 was commended for her work in bringing sustainability practices and concepts into the curriculum of the Apparel, Merchandising and Design program.

Luedtke was honored as a coach and teacher, who helped transform the Nutrition and Exercise Sciences program and served as swimming and diving coach for over 20 years.

Alexandrine Medal awards and honorary degree conferred

Alexandrine Medal honoree Ruth Haag Brombach '60 noted that the number of St. Kate's alumnae has grown from 8,000 to nearly 50,000 during her tenure. Photo credit: By Rebecca Studios LLC.

Ruth Haag Brombach ’60, alumnae relations liaison, was honored for her more than 50 years of serving St. Kate’s graduates.

In presenting the award, President Becky Roloff '76, commended Brombach for long service to the alumnae of the University. Brombach noted that when she began volunteering, St. Catherine alumnae numbered 8,000 and that number now is closing in on 50,000 alumnae across the country.

Jean Wincek ’61, current vice-chair of the St. Catherine Board of Trustees, was honored for leadership and commitment to the University that helped guide St. Catherine from college to university and strengthen governance practices.

College for Women commencement speaker Anne McKeig ’89, an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court who is the first Native American woman to serve on any state supreme court, was honored for her trailblazing leadership and advocacy for children and families.

Honorary Degree
Karen Dolan Rauenhorst was honored for her long tenure as a trustee of the University, including chairing the board for four years and serving as interim president during the summer of 2016. She is a community leader whose philanthropy supports Catholic education, families locally, nationally and internationally.

by Julie Michener