CSB and SJU faculty honored with Academic Affairs Awards

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July 14, 2020

Faculty and staff members from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have again been honored with Academic Affairs Awards this year, but in an entirely new way.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, an awards presentation was out of the question.

Instead, the Academic Affairs office created a digital Academic Affairs Awards Program, which is posted on the Academic Affairs Web page. 

Ken Jones, professor of history, received the Sister Mary Grell/Robert Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award.

The S. Linda Kulzer Gender Educator Award was awarded to Madhu Mitra, professor of English and gender studies.

The Linda Mealey Faculty/Student Collaborative Research and Creativity Award was presented to Annette Raigoza, assistant professor of chemistry.

The first Jennifer Galovich Service Award was presented to Kaarin Johnston, professor of theater.

Academic Affairs also recognized faculty for years of service, retirements, tenure and promotions and contributions as department chairs and leaders.

The following awards were presented:

S. Mary Grell/Robert Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award

Ken JonesKen Jones, professor of history

This combined award recognizes the best of teaching and learning at CSB/SJU.

Grell, a noted biologist who was a 1933 graduate of CSB, served students at CSB and SJU for more than 35 years with intelligence, dedication and affection. Her lifetime of teaching at CSB is celebrated through the recognition of a faculty member who represents the best teaching and learning at CSB and SJU. Grell served as president of CSB from 1963-68.

Spaeth served as dean at SJU for nine years in addition to service as a professor of liberal studies from 1979 until his death in 1994. Each year, Spaeth's commitment to teaching is remembered by honoring a faculty member who brings a special passion and mastery to the classroom and the learning community. This award has been presented yearly since 1995.

Jones has taught a variety of popular classes at CSB/SJU since 1976. He served as the director of the Common Curriculum, and has been a long-standing leader in Learning Enhancement Service (see below). Jones has focused his recent scholarship on pedagogy improvement.

He is a national authority on teaching and learning, and has delivered presentations at the Professional and Organizational Network of Faculty Developers and the annual conference on the First-Year Experience. In addition, many institutions have sought his expertise in evaluating their own faculty development and curriculum reform efforts.

“We need to consider what our audience brings to the class, and how to help them see the meaning/value of the course in their lives,” Jones said in his teaching philosophy statement.

S. Linda Kulzer Gender Educator Award

Madhu Mitra
Madhu Mitra, professor of English and gender studies

This award recognizes a member of the CSB and SJU faculty who has contributed to students' gender education through curricular leadership, courses taught, scholarship and mentoring of students independent of normal classroom teaching. This person demonstrates leadership and fosters an atmosphere that encourages exploring gender issues from many angles. Kulzer, CSB's vice president for academic affairs from 1977-85 and a professor emerita of education, was a pioneer in the colleges' earliest efforts to integrate gender into the curriculum.

And Mitra has had a distinguished career fostering gender education at CSB/SJU.

Mitra has taught gender-themed First-Year Seminar course and topics through Education Abroad. It was under her leadership that the colleges established the Gender and Women’s Studies program, serving as its director from 1997-2000, continuing her participation in the program by serving on the Steering Committee and then serving as director of the now renamed Gender Studies program.

In addition to her work on campus, Mitra has a gamut of peer-reviewed and other scholarship in the areas of gender and post-colonial studies. 

Linda Mealey Faculty/Student Collaborative Research and Creativity Award

Annette Raigoza
Annette Raigoza, assistant professor of chemistry

The Linda Mealey Faculty/Student Collaborative Research and Creativity Award is given annually to a faculty member who exemplifies demonstrated excellence in scholarship as well as teaching, conducts student/faculty collaborative research or creative work and excels in the mentoring of students. The award, which was established as the Teacher-Scholar Award in 2000, was renamed for Mealey in 2004. Mealey, who had received the award in the spring of 2002, passed away in November 2002.

Raigoza’s passion for instruction, care for student development and creativity in the classroom make her a deserving winner of the award.

She has taught at CSB and SJU since 2014, and has been actively involved in research, finding ways to include students in all aspects those endeavors. She has also been integral in the revamping and growth of the CSB/SJU Chemistry Department’s research program.

Over the past six years, Raigoza has mentored 42 students, applied for over two grants per year, helped reevaluate the resources and courses in chemistry and developed the “Introduction to Research Lab” class. She applied for and received funding from a U.S. Army grant to help her high school summer students conduct research and prepares them for college.

Jennifer Galovich Service Award

Kaarin Johnston
Kaarin Johnston, professor of theater

Johnston has served the CSB/SJU community in various ways, much like the namesake of this inaugural award.

Galovich, who retired in 2019 after serving on the mathematics faculty for 28 years, was known for her commitment to her students but especially as having strong and exemplary service to the institutions. She served as chair and vice chair of the Joint Faculty Assembly, and also served on numerous other committees at CSB and SJU. However, she is best known for her exemplary work as the Faculty Handbook chair.

Johnston has served as a mentor to junior faculty, serving on numerous search committees and a wide range of standing and non-standing committees. She served as the second director of the Core Curriculum and served as the head of the Fine Arts Division while maintaining her position as professor of theater, and also as the chair of the Theater Department.

She is also passionate for women’s issues, serving as the faculty adviser to the CSB Student Senate for four years and her mentorship of the Sister Nancy Hynes Institute for Women’s Leadership student productions during Women’s Week. Johnston also served on the national committee of the Women’s Theatre Program.

Additional recognition

Special appointments

Mary Jepperson, to the Ralph Gross Chair in Business and the Liberal Arts. The Chair was established to bring focus on business and the liberal arts. Jepperson will lead the Global Business Department as it revises its curriculum.

Allison Spenader, to the Marie and Robert Jackson Professorship of Education. The purpose of the Chair is to recognize excellence in the field of education and to provide support for the leadership of the CSB a nd SJU Education program. Spenader will assume the role of department chair of the Education Department.

Manuel Campos, to the Cyprian Weaver Professor of Biological Sciences. Campos is the inaugural recipient of the Professorship, which was established by students of the biology teacher at CSB and SJU. Campos will develop, support and oversee pre-health programming at CSB and SJU.

Special acknowledgement: Ken Jones, Learning Enhancement Service (LES) Director. Jones served two assignments as director of the LES. The mission of LES is to enhance student learning by providing opportunities for good teachers to become better at their craft. Under Jones’ direction, LES has provided teaching seminars, instructional diagnoses, individual consultations, programs and retreats for new faculty, grants to attend pedagogical conferences and a pedagogical library. 

Academic advising awards: Corrie Grosse, assistant professor of environmental studies; and Ben Trnka, visiting assistant professor of accounting and finance. The Academic Adviser of the Year Award was established in 1985. It is awarded to two faculty and/or professional advisers who have distinctly contributed to the advising program, as well as to individual student development and growth throughout the academic year.

Tenure and promotion to associate professor: Ellen Block, sociology; Clark Cotton, biology; Jeff DuBois, languages and cultures; Emily Heying, nutrition; Wei Huang, accounting and finance; Annette Raigoza, chemistry; Joseph Storlien, environmental studies; Laura Taylor, theology; Justin Zanchuk, music.

Promotion to professor: Boz Bostrom, accounting and finance; Sucharita Mukherjee, economics; Corey Shouse, Hispanic studies; Anne Sinko, mathematics.

Retirements: Sr. Patricia Kennedy, OSB, theology; Lisa Lindgren, global business leadership.

Professor Emeritus and retirement: Joe DesJardins, philosophy; J. Andrew Whitford Holey, computer science; Henry Jakubowski, chemistry; James Makepeace, sociology.

Professor Emerita and retirement: Meg Lewis, economics; Janet Neuwirth, nursing; Wendy Sterba, languages and cultures.

Special thanks

Department chair, program director term completion: Jeff Anderson, peace studies; Pam Bacon, psychology;  Carol Brash, Asian studies; Jayne Byrne, nutrition;  Brian Campbell, music; Don Fischer, exercise science and sport studies;  Matthew Harkins, English; Theresa Johnson, education; Nicholas Jones, chemistry; Brian Larkin, history; Derek Larson, environmental studies; Jen Schaefer, biology; Steve Welch, accounting and finance; Beth Wengler, history.

Joint Faculty Senate Chair term completion: Kris Nairn, mathematics.


10 years of service: Bob Bell, accounting and finance; Todd Johnson, physics;  Jen Schaefer, biology and integrative science; Christi Siver, political science; Mary Stenson, exercise science and sport studies; Laura Taylor, theology.

15 years of service: Mary (Mickey) Cunningham, first-year seminar; Samuel Johnson, art; Roy Ketchum, Hispanic studies; Matt Lindstrom, political science; Sanford Moskowitz, global business leadership; Cindy Peterson first-year seminar; Imad Rahal, computer science; Sarah Schaaf, Hispanic studies; Stephen Schwarz, political science; Laura Sinville, psychology; Parker Wheatley, economics;  Adam Whitten, physics; David Zoeller, global business leadership and accounting and finance.

20 years of service: Kathleen Cahalan, theology; Karyl Daughters, communication; Nicholas Hayes, history; Pamela Immelman, first-year seminar; Sr. Patricia Kennedy, OSB, theology; Brian Larkin, history; Rodger Narloch, psychology and director of Benedictine Institute; Susan Riley, first-year seminar; Christina Tourino, English; Elisabeth Wengler, history.

25 years of service: Br. Dennis Beach, OSB, philosophy; Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, theology; Andrea Shaker, art; Bruce Thornton, music.

30 years of service: Joe DesJardins, philosophy; David Hartz, mathematics; Ellen Jensen, biology; Sr. Jeanne Lust, OSB, biology; Cynthia Malone, English; Marina Martin, Hispanic studies.

35 years of service: Philip Byrne, mathematics; Noreen Herzfeld, computer science and theology; Kaarin Johnston, theater; Michael Livingston, psychology.

40 Years of Service: Fr. Bob Koopmann, OSB, music.

Becoming Community

Practitioner Certificate recipients: Laura Bauer, nutrition; Carol Brash, art and Asian studies; Chris Conway, theology; Karyl Daughters, communication; Dana Drazenovich, communication; Karen Erickson, languages and cultures; Alexa Evenson, nutrition; Betsy Johnson Miller, English; Kaarin Johnston, theater; Ken Jones, history; Jean Keller, philosophy and gender studies; Trevor Keyler, biology; Janna LaFountaine, exercise science and sport studies; Carl Lindgren, first-year seminar; Julie Lynch, communication; Elisheva Perelman, history; Cindy Peterson, first-year seminar; Sarah Pruett, languages and cultures; Shannon Smith, history; Erica Stonestreet, philosophy; Laura Taylor, theology; Ben Trnka, accounting and finance.

Advanced Practitioner Certificate recipients: Jean Keller, philosophy and gender studies; Elisheva Perelman, history.