St. Kate’s congratulates the 2022-23 faculty and staff award winners

On May 12, the St. Kate’s community gathered to celebrate our faculty and staff at the annual Year-End Staff and Faculty Recognition Ceremony. Our dedicated community members live the St. Catherine University mission every day, and their hard work and commitment make the success of the University possible. 

“It has been a year of determination and persistence, which makes today all the more important to recognize the accomplishments of our colleagues,” said President ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76 at the ceremony. “The work each of us brings to the greater whole strengthens the St. Kate’s community that we have built – and continue to build – together.” 

Please join us in recognizing our outstanding colleagues, friends, and teachers below.

Staff Excellence Awards

The Staff Excellence Awards honor staff members who have been nominated by their colleagues for their exceptional work and dedication to the University. The winners are chosen from a wide pool of accomplished staff who demonstrate commitment to excellence in all arenas. 



Mary Bock

Grant Management Specialist, SPREE

Kim Osland

Senior Programmer Analyst, IT

Martin Wera

Major Gift Officer, Major and Planned Giving



Abigail Choyce

Academic Information Specialist, Registrar

Kate Schmit

Area Director, Residence Life

Faculty Teaching and Advising Awards

The Faculty Teaching and Advising Awards honor faculty members who demonstrate the highest quality of teaching and dedication to effective mentoring and academic advising. Chosen from a field of impressive faculty committed to academic excellence, these honorees, nominated by the St. Kate’s community, go above and beyond in their roles as teachers and mentors. 

Lanlan (Lacey) Chu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Economics

Hui Wilcox, PhD

Professor, Sociology

Kabo Yang MAOL’09

Adjunct Faculty, Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Award for Faculty Excellence

The Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Award for Faculty Excellence honors outstanding accomplishments in teaching and scholarship that bring external visibility to the University, regionally and nationally. The award was established by Joan Kelly, a 1946 graduate and lifelong supporter of St. Kate’s, to honor the memory of her sister, Bonnie Jean. 

Katherine Campbell, PhD

Assistant Professor, Interprofessional Education

The Patricia O’Connor Myser Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring

The Patricia O’Connor Myser Award for Faculty Excellence was established in 2015 to honor St. Catherine University faculty who are exceptional mentors to undergraduate students engaged in research and scholarly work. 

Kim Ha, PhD

Associate Professor, Chemistry

The Denny Prize for Distinction in Writing

The Denny Prize for Distinction in Writing was established by the Denny family in 1994 in honor of their mother, Eleanor McCahill Denny, to fund an annual series of prizes for distinguished faculty and staff writing. Denny Prize winners are chosen by an external panel of judges, made up of prominent writers, scholars, and thinkers from the Twin Cities region.

Valerie Barbaro

Director, Academic Technology

Stacey Hurrell, DNP, RN, LSN

Associate Professor, Nursing

Megan Retka Tidd

Director, Alumni Relations

Holman Tse, PhD

Assistant Professor, English

Adam Zahller

Facilities Project Supervisor, Environmental Service

The Carol Easley Denny Award

The Carol Easley Denny Award recognizes excellence in teaching, research, and community service. It is named for the late Carol Easley Denny, wife of the late Charles M. Denny, Jr., trustee emeritus and former chair of St. Catherine University’s Board of Trustees. The Denny Award is considered one of St. Catherine University's most prestigious faculty development awards. The award amount is up to $20,000. One to two awards may be given annually; the minimum award is $5,000.

Daron Janzen, PhD

Professor, Chemistry

Sister Amata Miller Catholic Mission in Action Award

The Sister Amata Miller Catholic Mission in Action Award is presented each year to a member of faculty and staff who have demonstrated commitment to St. Kate’s Catholic mission. The award is named in honor of Sister Amata Miller, who carried out that mission as the Endowed Mission Chair for Catholic Identity and director of the Myser Initiative for Catholic Identity from 2006–2016. 

Carol Geisler, PhD, RN

Associate Professor, Holistic Health Studies

D’Ann Urbaniak Lesch

Director, Center for Community Work and Learning; Director, Office of Scholarly Engagement

Milestone Recognition Awards

A special thank you to these dedicated faculty and staff members who are celebrating anniversaries of 25 years or more with the University.

Paul Buttenhoff, Assistant Professor of Biology
Holly Clynch, DPT; Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Todd Deutsch, MFA; Professor of Art and Art History
Amy Hilden, PhD; Associate Professor of Philosophy 
Bill McDonough, STD; Professor of Theology
Kim Osland, Senior Programmer Analyst, IT
Steve Prusha, Custodian
Eric Stacey, Athletic Director, Athletics

Cort Cieminski, PhD; Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Candalee Hill, Assistant Professor of Nursing
Michael Peterson, Associate Director, Counseling Center


Osiris Abrego Guzman, Director of Enterprise Systems


Jerry Beckman, Carpenter


Photos by Rebecca Slater ’10