2019–2020 Faculty and Staff Awards Winners

Our Lady of Victory Chapel on St. Kate's St. Paul, MN campus

The success of St. Catherine University is a direct result of the energy and contributions of the members of our community. Together, our dedication to the mission to educate women to lead and influence, is demonstrated in every action we take.

The Year-End Faculty and Staff Awards is an annual celebration that recognizes this exceptional work of University faculty and staff. While we are celebrating the end of academic year 2019–20 safely socially-distanced, we want to share our sincere gratitude for each and every one of you who make this University distinguished, innovative, and powerful.

Staff Excellence Awards

The Staff Excellence Awards honor staff members nominated by their colleagues for their exceptional work and outstanding contributions to the University. The winners are selected from a section of impressive staff who further St. Kate’s mission and values, demonstrate strong team collaboration, and show initiative and creativity in their role. The committee selected three awardees, who received $1,000, and two honorees, who received on-campus parking passes for the next academic year. 

Staff Excellence Awardees

Nancy Hendrickson Director of Academic Technology, McGlynn Information Technology Services

Director of Academic Technology, McGlynn Information Technology Services

Praise submitted in support for Nancy’s recognition by the community:

“Nancy and her team meet faculty where they are at in their use of technology and provide strategies for online learning that are student-centered and geared toward the needs of different schools, colleges, and programs. Nancy and her team have integrated the growing and changing instructional technology needs into our strategic planning and positioned St. Catherine University for success during the COVID-19 crisis. She has made it possible for us to continue our reputation for leadership and influence during an extraordinary time.”

“Nancy is a stand-out among the staff and has deserved this award many times over.” 

Sheila Jackson Certified Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator

Certified Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator

Praise submitted in support for Sheila’s recognition by the community:

“Sheila plays such an important role in the nursing department. She is 100% dedicated to giving above and beyond to meet the needs of faculty and students. She demonstrates this by anticipating student and faculty needs in incredibly thoughtful ways. Sheila is always readily available to assist each time I reach out to her with questions/needs.”

“Sheila always considers what must be done and how it can be done more efficiently. [She] sees what needs to be done and makes suggestions on how it can be done more effectively. She is an innovator with vision.”

Darwin Lindblom Administrative Services Coordinator for Nursing and Respiratory Care

Administrative Services Coordinator for Nursing and Respiratory Care

Praise submitted in support for Darwin’s recognition by the community:

“Darwin was our point person who supported all involved by listening to the endless requests for details to be accomplished and then tracking the changes and completion of work as the department moved through this renovation.”

“In his 16 years as a member of St. Catherine University staff, Darwin models a relational presence that is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and consistent with the mission and vision of the University. He communicates with internal and external stakeholders to advance the work of the nursing department and the respiratory care program by maintaining positive relationships among students, faculty, staff.”

Staff Excellence Honorees

Kimberly Muñoz Assistant Director of Multicultural and International Programs and Services

Assistant Director of Multicultural and International Programs and Services

Praise submitted in support for Kim’s recognition by the community:

“Kim furthers the mission and values of St. Kate's by being a front-line supporter to many of our students of color. Kim has been an advocate for many of our students through matters of housing, mental health, financial insecurity, and personally empowering all students to truly lead and influence. St. Kate's couldn't be a school of social justice if people like Kim didn't exist.”

M. Cat Troche Administrative Assistant for Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

Administrative Assistant for Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

Praise submitted in support for Cat’s recognition by the community:

“Cat's work with clinical contracts for the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health is crucial to positioning St. Kate’s as a leader in healthcare education. She works with 30 programs in 48 states to place 2,500 students into 9000 clinical, fieldwork, internship, and practicum rotations annually. She works with over 1,900 contracts representing 3,000 unique sites for students.”

Honorable Mentions

  • Curtis Buckhanan, Custodian
  • Christine Diaz-Higgins, Associate Director of Global Studies
  • Sarah Gerdes, Program Coordinator in Community Work and Learning
  • Loriene Hammond, Global Programs Coordinator
  • Diana McGrath, Reporting and Data Analyst
  • Deb Miner, Director of Student Center and Activities
  • Neela Nandyal, Study Abroad Advisor
  • Allyssa Van Guilder, Alumni Associate

Faculty Teaching and Advising Award

The Faculty Teaching and Advising Award honors the highest quality of teaching, dedication to effective mentoring, and academic advising. The winners are selected from an impressive faculty that exemplifies the highest echelon of academic excellence and student focus. Each year, St. Kate’s community nominates faculty members for this award and celebrates colleagues who maintain high academic standards, go above and beyond in their teaching, and provide quality mentoring and advising. 

Three winners were chosen from 12 nominees:

  • Rebecca Busanich, PhD, Associate Professor, Exercise Sciences
  • Taiyon Coleman, PhD, Associate Professor, English
  • Darla Coss, OTD, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
  • Mary Henderson ’80, PhD, Professor, Business Administration
  • Anna Hillary, Adjunct, Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Megan Kalina, MBA, Professor, Business Administration
  • David Lesniaski, DMA, MLS, Associate Professor, Library and Information Science 
  • Leso Munala, PhD, Assistant Professor, Public Health
  • Paul Niemuth, PT, DSc, OSC, ATC, LAT, Professor, Physical Therapy
  • Jessica Scholl, PTA, MA, Assistant Professor, Physical Assistant Program
  • Taisha Trotman, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
  • James Wollack, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Associate Professor, English

Taiyon Colema, PhD, has been a member of the St. Kate’s community for four years, teaching in English, the core curriculum, and women’s studies. Coleman has a passion for her work that inspires students, who deeply appreciate her encouragement to connect their course materials to real world issues, including their own lives and stories.

Professor, Business Administration

Mary Henderson, PhD, has been teaching at St. Kate’s for 23 years and has impacted the lives and careers of generations of students. She approaches her students as partners and holds them to high standards, while providing the support to help them grow and succeed.

Anna Hillary Adjunct, Occupational Therapy Assistant program

Adjunct, Occupational Therapy Assistant program

Anna Hillary has been an adjunct in the occupational therapy assistant program since 2017. Hillary takes on many roles to ensure student success, including being an adjunct professor, lab instructor, level 1 fieldwork educator, and fieldwork placement specialist for the OTA online program. She consistently demonstrates excellence in teaching and mentoring by creating impactful learning experiences and inspiring students.

Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Award for Faculty Excellence

The Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Award for Faculty Excellence recognizes outstanding accomplishments in teaching and scholarship that bring external visibility to the University, both regionally and nationally. The Kelly Award winner receives a $10,000 prize.

Associate Professor of Nursing

Jocelyn Gorlin, PhD, is an extraordinary educator who is innovative in her teaching methods to allow students flexibility, promote engagement, and enhance critical thought. She has received awards for her exemplary nursing work in the community and obtained internal and external grant funding for graduate students to expand their evidence-based scholarship.

Patricia O’Connor Myser Award

The Patricia O’Connor Myser Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring honors St. Catherine University faculty members who are exceptional mentors to undergraduate students engaged in research and scholarly work. The winner receives a $5,000 award, plus $2,500 to invest in professional development.