2019 Faculty and Staff Award Winners

Associate Registrar Katy Maas accepts a staff of the year award at the 2019 faculty staff awards celebration
Annual Faculty and Staff Awards

The success of St. Catherine University is a direct result of the hard work and contributions of the members of our community dedicated to our mission of educating women to lead and influence. The Faculty and Staff Awards is an annual celebration that recognizes the exceptional work of faculty and staff at the University. 

Staff of the Year Awards

The Staff of the Year Awards honor staff members nominated by their colleagues for their exceptional work and outstanding contributions to the University. The winners are selected from a collection of impressive staff that exemplify the highest echelons of academic excellence and student focus.

Service and Support Staff Award

Josephine Heyl
Program Coordinator/Interpreter, ASL/Interpreting
Josephine joined the ASL and interpreting department in August 2017 and has cultivated an impressive list of achievements. She stepped up to help when the primary interpreter coordinator in the O’Neill Center resigned, and she quickly became the interpreter coordinator for the entire University. Her warmth, collaborative work style, grace, approachability, and strong interpersonal skills make her an outstanding employee.

Administrative Staff Award

Caitlyn Keo
Economics Research Specialist, Economics
A member of the Economics department, Caitlyn is efficient with her time, is helpful, positive, and demonstrates caring qualities toward the University community and our students. She was instrumental in creating the economics research lab and transformed it from being just a place to do research and homework into a welcoming environment to share ideas, collaborate, and be productive.

Katy Maas
Associate Registrar
Working in the registrar’s office, Katy assists with things big and small on a regular basis. This past year, she has proven herself invaluable to the EMS project, putting great effort into learning the software and making it work efficiently and creatively. She has a breadth of knowledge she willingly shares with others, working towards understanding difficult situations, and suggesting solutions.

2019 Faculty Teaching and Advising Awards

Faculty members selected for this honor represent the highest quality of teaching, dedication to effective mentoring, and academic advising. The winners are selected from an impressive faculty that exemplifies the highest echelons of academic excellence and student focus. Members of the St. Kate's community nominate faculty members for this award each year and celebrate colleagues who maintain high academic standards, go above and beyond in their teaching, and provide quality mentoring and advising.

Adjunct Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award

Fiyyaz Karim
Adjunct, Psychology
Fiyyaz, an adjunct professor for the past five years, consistently demonstrates excellence in teaching by creating impactful learning experiences for students. He structures his courses to be challenging and engaging, using various methods to help students deeply learn the material and explore critical concepts. In so many ways, Fiyyaz exemplifies what it means to be an excellent teacher.

Full-Time Faculty Awards

Holly Clynch
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
Assistant Physical Therapy Assistant Program Director
Holly has been an educator at St. Kate’s for 21 years. In the classroom, she always strives for new ways to deliver content or develops new activities to help students actively learn. She is always careful to weave liberal arts, sciences, and Catholic social teaching into her curriculum. She educates her students about how power and privilege are addressed within healthcare, building awareness for their roles as providers and patient advocates.

Leso Munala
Assistant Professor, Public Health
Leso has been a faculty member in the Master of Public Health program for three years. Her courses explore difficult topics, and she often has students seeking opportunities to work with her. Her calm and engaging approach to teaching has built trust and respect among her students. Leso maintains high academic standards for her students and supports them in reaching their academic and professional goals. Colleagues across the University refer students to her for advising regardless of degree level and program of study.

Myser Mentor 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.

Kristine West
Associate Professor, Economics
Kristine is committed to engaging students in the full process of scholarly research, from understanding the literature to disseminating their work at national conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. She is an extraordinary mentor who creates a space for students to act as lead authors in collaborative scholarly work and provides meaningful frameworks for them to develop as scholars. Kristine also serves as a mentor and model to faculty on how to effectively engage undergraduates in collaborative research.

Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Award

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.

Mary Hearst
Program Director, Master of Public Health
Mary is a gifted faculty member who demonstrates outstanding teaching and has a great ability to connect her public health practice and research experience with her teaching. She has been awarded more than $1.7 million dollars in external grant funding since 2013 and has published more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts. In her teaching, scholarship, and service, Mary centers on addressing the mechanisms by which social, political, and economic factors negatively impact health outcomes in order to promote a just society, to challenge injustices, and to value diversity.

Faculty Emeritae

This honor grants continued recognition to distinguished faculty as they retire from their roles as St. Catherine University faculty. Known as emerita or emeritus status, the designation is a formal statement of the University’s appreciation and gratitude for the many ways long-term faculty have advanced the mission of St. Kate’s and the innumerable ways they have supported students, colleagues, their disciplines, and the University during their time here.

Joanne Cavallaro
Faculty Emerita, English
Joanne has dedicated 34 years to the University as an English professor. She served as Chair of the English Department and established the programs and practices for the Writing Intensive requirement. She also directed the Women’s Studies Program, and is one of the three editors of Liberating Sanctuary: 100 Years of Women’s Education at the College of St. Catherine. Joanne co-developed the annual Scholars’ Retreat and has co-facilitated it for nearly twenty years.

Diane Compo Milow
Faculty Emerita, Nursing
Diane came to St. Kate’s in 2000, to the nursing department. During her 18 years of service she has taught across nearly every nursing program. With her background in midwifery, Diane has maintained a focus on women’s health, and obstetrical and midwifery care. Her scholarly work focuses on culturally sensitive healthcare and women’s health.

Susan Nelson
Faculty Emerita, Physical Therapist Assistant
Susan served as the director for the physical therapist assistant program, which she led through two successful national re-accreditation visits. She co-developed the original associate degree co-curriculum courses, Core Integrated Learning. Susan has maintained an active clinical practice within the University of Minnesota Fairview system and carried that expertise over to her teaching. Students connected with her passion for physical therapists, calling her very encouraging, knowledgeable, and kind.

Margaret Pharris
Faculty Emerita, Nursing
Maggie has served as faculty, director, and associate dean of nursing since joining St. Kate’s in 2000. Throughout her impressive career, Maggie has represented both the profession of nursing and the academic community with joy and incredible energy. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and is past president of the Minnesota Association of Colleges of Nursing. She has written and been awarded many grants and has published numerous articles and books.

Debra Sheats ’75
Faculty Emerita, Nutrition and Exercise Science
Deb Sheats, a 1975 graduate, has been dedicated to the University, returning to teach in 2001. She is a strong proponent of a liberal arts education and frequently taught The Reflective Woman and Global Search for Justice courses. Deb has been active and involved on numerous University committees, most recently volunteering with the Food Insecurity Project at St. Kate's, helping coordinate the bi-monthly food shelf that strives to eliminate food insecurity among our students.

Years of Service

Each year we recognize those who achieved 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of service, as well as celebrate those with milestone years of service.

25 Years of Service

  • Sharon Doherty, Mission Chair for Women’s Education, director of the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women, professor of Women's Studies
  • Shawn Field, custodial supervisor, Custodial Services
  • Lynne Gildensoph, professor of Biology
  • Cynthia Graham, assistant professor in the Library
  • Cecilia Konchar Farr, professor of English and English Department Chair
  • John Pellegrini, professor of Biology
  • Amy Shaw, associate professor in the Library
  • Catherine Sullivan, associate professor of Occupational Therapy

30 Years of Service

  • Ronnie Carlson, media services supervisor in Media Services
  • Deitra Collins, associate director of Financial Aid Office
  • Robert Grunst, professor of English
  • Kevin Jones, production manager at The O’Shaughnessy
  • Debra Miner, director of Student Center and Activities
  • Ellen Richter-Norgel, interim dean of students
  • Janet Winsand, academic technology specialist in Information Technology

35 Years of Service

  • Deborah Churchill, associate professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences