CSB honors three seniors with “Exceptional Woman Award”

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May 8, 2007

Three students from the College of Saint Benedict received the “Exceptional Woman Award” during the college’s Senior Dinner May 6 at Clemens Field House, CSB campus.

Jennifer Busse (senior, Burnsville, Minn.), Eve Vang (senior, St. Paul, Minn.) and Lindy Watanaskul (senior, St. Cloud, Minn.) each received the award, which acknowledges women who have gone “above and beyond” what is expected of them. The honor was presented by Laura Kelly Lovdahl '85, president of the CSB Alumnae Council.

The students have excelled scholastically, have promoted social justice, actively volunteered within their communities, demonstrated an awareness of issues impacting CSB and the broader community and consistently exhibited leadership over the last four years.

The award is sponsored by CSB, in collaboration between the President’s and Alumnae offices, and was awarded for the first time. The award was created by a student-led group working in conjunction with the President’s Office to increase Bennie pride and celebrate students’ accomplishments.

The honorees will receive a crystal trophy to commemorate their achievements. In addition, their names will be engraved on a plaque near a statue that is being commissioned by a local artist, which will be placed in the Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, currently under construction on the CSB campus.

Here’s a brief look at the winners, listed alphabetically:

Busse is a double major in accounting and economics. In February, she presented her honors thesis, “The Long Run Growth of the Minnesota Economy: How Did We Become Above Average?” during the fourth annual Private Scholars at the Capitol event at the Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul.

She also went to China to study the Chinese economy. While there, she took the initiative to involve herself with students from a local university. She also volunteered at a halfway house in St. Cloud assisting ex-convicts returning to society.

Vang is a political science major. She has been awarded the John E. Robson Scholarship for Public Policy, the Collegiate Women of Color Leadership Institute Grant, the Hitachi Foundation Service to Community Award and received a Fulbright fellowship to teach in Thailand. She has also received a grant to study Hmong social issues in the Twin Cities.

She has worked in the St. Paul Housing Agency and the St. Paul mayor’s office. Vang has been an RA at CSB/SJU, a student assistant for the Learning Through Difference Community, a tutor/mentor in Minneapolis for Youth, a head counselor for the 2006 International Student AmeriCulture Camp, and a co-chair for Cultural FUSION.

Watanaskul is an English and biology double major. In April, she presented her research findings on heart rate in fruit flies at the 11th annual Council on Undergraduate Research’s “Posters on the Hill” event in Washington, D.C.

Watanaskul has been active in volunteering, including being a teaching assistant; a nursing assistant at St. Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud; a volunteer in the emergency room at St. Cloud Hospital; with BirthLine; working in TeamUp, which helps integrate Somali youth into American culture; and a youth tutor in math, science and English. She has been a member of the Model United Nations in Boston.

At CSB/SJU, she is the opinion editor of The Record, the schools’ newspaper; she is the vice president and treasurer of the biology club; the coordinator of the Discovery Elementary School tutoring program; club liaisons and academic advisor for the Cultural Affairs Board; a member of the Honors Advisory Board and treasurer of the International Affairs Club. She has participated in Alternative Spring Breaks promoting non-violence.