Finley, Poff Receive Teacher of Distinction Awards

August 11, 1999

St. Joseph, Minn.- The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University recently presented Teacher of Distinction Awards to Carolyn Finley, assistant professor of music and Jim Poff, professor of biology, for their work during the 1998-99 academic year. The awards publicly celebrate the importance of excellence in teaching at CSB and SJU.

Finley was presented with the Sister Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award. "Carolyn, as you know, is an esteemed teacher of voice. Her students recognize her abilities through glowing evaluations which give testimony to her many accomplishments," said CSB President Mary E. Lyons in making her presentation to Finley. "Carolyn works intensely with each student. Her schedule runs from morning to late at night."

The Sister Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award is named for Sister Mary Grell, who taught biology for 30 years beginning in 1933 and was CSB president from 1963-68. She later served as superior of dependent priory of Saint Anslem's College in Manchester, N.H., before her death in 1981.

Poff received the Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award. The award is named in honor of Spaeth, who died in 1994. He served as dean of the college at SJU for nine years in addition to offering lengthy terms of service as professor of liberal studies and director of Freshman Symposium.

"I could go on and on about the creativity and diligence of Jim Poff. He has played a vital role in the Concepts of Biology teaching team whose members provide the keystone experience for all biology majors," said Br. Dietrich Reinhart, SJU president, in his comments on Ford. "He has provided massive support and encouragement to students who take their learning from his courses to conferences and symposia on the state and national level, winning a trophy case of awards."

CSB and SJU also presented Advising Awards to faculty for outstanding work in advising students in each of the colleges' four divisions during the 1998-99 academic year: Ed Turley, associate professor of music, and Bob Koopmann, professor of music, fine arts division. Mara Faulkner, professor of English and Rob Buffington, assistant professor of history, humanities division. Mani Campos, assistant professor of biology, Amy Olson, professor of nutrition and Dean Langley, associate professor of physics, natural sciences division. Sheila Nelson, assistant professor of sociology and Katie Johnson, associate professor of communication, social sciences division.

Faculty receiving promotion to the rank of professor were Lucy Larson, accounting; and Ann Marie Biermaier OSB, education.

Faculty members receiving promotion to the rank of associate professor were J. Scott Johnson, political science; and Jeanne Lust, biology.

Faculty receiving tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor were Charles Bobertz, theology; Jose Antonio Fabres, modern classical language; Sheila Nelson, sociology; and Joyce Simones, nursing.

CSB President Mary E. Lyons appointed professor Ingrid Anderson OSB, nutrition, to the rank of professor emerita.

SJU President Br. Dietrich Reinhart OSB appointed professor Patrick McDarby OSB, English, to the rank of professor emeritus.

Recognition of service as department chairs was given to Carol Berg OSB, history; Bill Cahoy, theology; Ron Henry, biology; Noreen Herzfeld, computer science; Rene McGraw OSB, peace studies; and Chuck Rambeck, economics. Service as a faculty chair was awarded to Michael Livingston, associate professor of psychology.

The College of Saint Benedict for women and Saint John's University for men are partners in liberal arts education, providing students the opportunity to benefit from the distinctions of not one, but two nationally recognized Catholic, Benedictine, residential undergraduate colleges. Together the colleges challenge students to live balanced lives of learning, work, leadership and service in a coeducational environment.