2021 Honors and Awards Highlight Academic Excellence

View of Our Lady of Victory Chapel and Derham
Students and honorees join a long list of Katies who have distinguished themselves in their communities and the world.


The traditional year-end recognition events are continuing virtually this year at St. Catherine University, starting with the 2021 Honors and Awards

A capstone for student leadership, the St. Catherine University Honors and Awards Ceremony celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of the leaders within the St. Catherine University community and not only recognizes them for their efforts, but also the legacy they leave behind. 

“These awards celebrate the many ways you have engaged in your St. Kate’s education, the leadership skills you have honed and applied, and the knowledge you have gained to make our world a better place,” said Becky Roloff ‘76, president of St. Catherine University. “These honors and awards are but one measure among many of your success.”


Helen B. Lemmer Award given to Isabel Pastoor

Traditionally seen as the University’s highest academic award, the Helen B. Lemmer Award in Honor of Mother Antonia McHugh recognizes a student who is intending to pursue a career in college or university teaching and exemplifies the high academic ideals cultivated by Mother Antonia.

Completing a challenging double major in Economics and Women and International Development, Isabel has a clear sense of her goals and research questions, what she wants to know, and what she wants to get out of every learning experience. She has done outstanding co-author work, from literature review to solving difficult econometric issues with our factor analyses. Even before she starts her graduate studies, she will have a World Bank Policy Research Paper and journal articles under review. Isabel plans to attend American University to earn her PhD in economics and further her study of applied microeconomics, gender, and development.


Michael J. Baynes Reflective Life Award Given to Carolyn Johnson

The Michael J. Baynes Reflective Life Award recognizes a student in the Associate Degree program who, through leadership, service to peers and community, and adherence to high personal and academic standards attempts to do good in the world. 

This year the award goes to Carolyn Johnson for reflecting Michael’s challenge to “bring good” to her peers and community. Carolyn served as a peer tutor spending many hours patiently working with her peers during a difficult transition from face-to-face course delivery to hybrid course delivery. She worked with the O’Neill Center to develop innovative and safe ways to tutor her peers online.


Mary Alice Muellerleile Student Leadership Award Given to Natalia Mendez

The Muellerleile Award is named in honor of the first director of continuing education. Each year, this award is presented to a College for Adults student who has not only demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to their peers and to the University, but further been an active advocate for the development and leadership of women of all ages.

On-campus, Natalia is an active participant in the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women community, asking insightful questions at the Center’s events and contributing to a sense of community online during the pandemic. In the local community, Natalia’s contributions benefitting women are outstanding. Most notably, their leadership and service have been evident as the founder and key leader in organizing a recurring fundraising event benefitting the Minnesota Sexual Violence Center for the past several years.


Thomas More Award Recipients

The Thomas More Award is presented to students who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service, as well as integrity and campus spirit. These students may have made a major contribution to a particular organization, department, program or issue, or may have consistently contributed to a broad range of activities. This year 77 students were nominated for this award and 18 are recipients.

The 2021 Thomas More award recipients are (in alphabetical order): Haley Dammar, Myles Daoust, Justice Fisher, Tina Fortunato, Ella Graham, Ellen Hiestand, Morgan Howard, Solveigh Johnson, Tessa Jones, Mackemeh Kamara, Arianna Marashi, Megann Meier, Porhouy Minh, Erica Olson, Nimo Omar, Kieu My Phi, Rachel Schauer, and Kai Tiede.


Dean of Students Award given to Molly McMahon

The Dean of Students Award recognizes a senior from the College for Women who has made an outstanding contribution to the University’s mission, throughout their years at St. Catherine University. 

This year, with 26 nominees for this award, Molly shows how she is a Katie through and through. Her belief in the mission and purpose of a St. Kate’s education is evident in the daily interactions with the community across a wide array of service and support activities for others. Molly is always smiling, even with a mask on, and willing to help with whatever one might need just to ease their workload, despite the heavy workload she carries by being a student athlete, in a doctorate program, balancing being a student employee in many roles and volunteering on several campus committees. Molly is dedicated to creating the best possible experience for students and making sure they find a connection with St. Kate’s!


Mary E. McCahill Award given to Jasmin Yangwaue

The University’s most prestigious award, the Mary E. McCahill Award recognizes both academic excellence and extraordinary student leadership and is presented to the senior who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership, loyalty and service to the University. This year's award goes to Jasmin Yangwaue. 

A member of the Antonian Scholars Honors program, Jasmin has done impressive work since the beginning of her time at St. Kate’s, starting with her service in the College for Women Student Senate, which she continued to grow in, becoming the Student Senate President for this academic year. The challenges of virtual and remote environments have not reduced Jasmin’s ability to carefully represent the diverse needs of all students.

Jasmin was also active leading within the Asian Women’s Association club and LEAD Team, and was a Peer Mentor with the Multicultural and International Programs and Services office, mentoring BIPOC students and building inclusive communities. Jasmin leads with a collaborative and inclusive manner that engages her team members and co-workers in the work. Her calm and uplifting demeanor is contagious, and she enables groups to focus on solutions, even amid complex situations and trying times. 

The virtual Honors and Awards celebration may be viewed online; a PDF of the commemorative booklet is also available to download. 

Each award recipient is truly deserving. St. Catherine University congratulates each of these outstanding leaders.