Each year, St. Catherine University recognizes a faculty member and a staff member with the Sister Amata Catholic Mission in Action Award, honoring their commitment to Catholic mission through demonstrated service to faculty, staff, and students and to the building of a more inclusive community.
In January during the 2022 winter Faculty-Staff Institute, Sharon Howell, CSJ, director for the Center for Spirituality and Social Justice, Archbishop Flynn Endowed Chair for Catholic Identity, and director of the Myser Initiative, presented the award to Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, MFA, and Claire Bischoff, PhD.
Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, MFA
Administrative Assistant, School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences
Since she joined St. Kate’s in 2015, Nguyen has engaged meaningfully and personally with students, faculty, staff, and guests in The Reflective Woman courses, Core Convocation, The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery exhibits, Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality, and a rich array of University programming and community partners such as the Minnesota Humanities Center. A gifted writer, artist, educator, and creative collaborator, Nguyen centers the St. Kate’s mission and intrinsic humanity throughout her many diverse endeavors.
Nguyen “is a valuable voice on campus for issues regarding the experiences of refugees, de-centering witness, and engaging social justice through the arts,” said Sr. Sharon, quoting one of Nguyen’s nominations. “Her commitment to social justice, and the way she prioritizes building relationships, guides her work with students, her role as a staff member, and her creative practice. She embodies the charisms of the CSJs.”
Claire Bischoff, PhD
Assistant Professor, Theology
A vital part of the theology department for 10 years now, Bischoff is known for her devotion to meeting students where they are at and building bridges at St. Kate’s. She has been integral not only to theology programming, but to University-wide initiatives especially over the past several years, leading multiple community conversations.
Bischoff’s “generosity, her brilliance in working with students and her commitment to them, her collegiality, with the respect and gratitude students have for her,” Sr. Sharon said, “make her a natural for inspiring students to actively pursue their personal journeys and contribute to responsible stewardship in society.”
About Amata Miller, IHM
The Sister Amata Catholic Mission in Action Award was created in 2017 to honor economics professor emerita Amata Miller, IHM. Sister Amata was the first Archbishop Harry Flynn Endowed Chair in Catholic identity and founding director of the Myser Initiative for Catholic Identity, which has brought numerous Catholic theologians to campus for public lectures since its inception in 2006. Sr. Amata was recognized in 2011 by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities with the Monika K. Hellwig Award for outstanding contributions to Catholic intellectual life — the first non-theologian honored with the award. In 2021, she was one of three first-ever recipients of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Lifetime Achievement Awards.
- 2021: Sister Amata Award honors faculty and staff commitment to Catholic mission
- 2018: St. Kate’s recognizes outstanding community members living our Catholic Mission
- 2017: First annual Sister Amata Catholic Mission in Action Awards presented
- 2016: St. Kate's professor honored for leadership in Catholic social teaching