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Academics

Academic Affairs Awards and Recognition ceremony honors extraordinary faculty

Five faculty members from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University were recognized with top honors at the annual Academic Affairs Awards and Recognition ceremony.

The faculty awards went to:

  • Robert Campbell III, associate professor of mathematics
  • Pedro dos Santos, professor of political science
  • Scott Johnson, professor of political science
  • Jean Lavigne, professor of environmental studies
  • Ed McIntee, professor of chemistry

Academic Affairs also recognized faculty for retirements, tenure and promotions, and contributions as department chairs and leaders during the ceremony in May.

Additional background on the award recipients and retirees can be found on the Academic Affairs website.

Sister Mary Grell/Robert Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award

Recipient: Robert Campbell III, associate professor of mathematics

Robert Campbell III is committed to creating an active and engaging learning environment for students. Since joining CSB and SJU in 2012, he has taught numerous courses in mathematics, as well as honors courses and INTG 105, And he was involved in the development of the new mathematics major and minor programs. He is intentional about creating an inclusive environment to address persistent achievement gaps for underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

Campbell incorporates a flipped classroom model and cooperative learning to enhance engagement and deeper understanding of course concepts. He is a leader in mastery grading – at CSB and SJU and in his field. Campbell is committed to inquiry-based approaches to math education, developing workshops and other opportunities that have benefitted the campus community.

This faculty award is named for two outstanding teachers. 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. Grell served as president of CSB from 1963 to 1968. Spaeth served as dean at SJU for nine years, in addition to his service as a professor of liberal studies from 1979 until his death in 1994. Each year, Grell’s and 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.

Sister Linda Kulzer Gender Educator Award

Recipient: Pedro dos Santos, professor of political science

Pedro dos Santos has made significant contributions to gender education through his research, mentoring, teaching and professional service since joining CSB and SJU in 2018. His research agenda focuses on women’s political representation and empowerment. Since 2018, he has co-authored one book, five scholarly journal articles, three book chapters and three book reviews related to gender issues. He was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award and spent the summers of 2022 and 2023 researching institutional dynamics and women’s representation.

dos Santos makes himself available to students on both campuses and is an important, visible mentor for BIPOC and Q+ students. He served on the advisory board of the Men’s Development Institute and now the Johnnie Development Institute. He’s an advisor for the Exploring Latin American Cultures Club.

His development of global gender issues have strengthened the course offerings of gender studies and political science, while his integration of intersectional gender concerns into his other courses ensures that students from across campus learn to adopt an intersectional gender lens in their analyses of world events and the liberal arts.

He also serves as a member of the Midwest Political Science Association Committee on the Status of Gender and Sexual Minorities in Political Science, as co-chair of the International Political Science Association Gender Politics and Policy Research Committee, and on the editorial board of Politics & Gender.

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. The award is named for Kulzer, CSB’s vice president for academic affairs from 1977 to 1985 and a professor emerita of education who was a pioneer in the colleges’ earliest efforts to integrate gender into the curriculum.

Linda Mealey Faculty/Student Collaborative Research and Creativity Award

Recipient: Ed McIntee, professor of chemistry

Ed McIntee has been teaching in the chemistry department for 23 years and has been conducting research with students for more than two decades. He has mentored an impressive 88 student researchers in several areas of chemistry including drug development. Many of these students have presented at national and regional American Chemical Society conferences and, to date, five have published their work in peer-reviewed journals as co-authors with McIntee. He has given students valuable opportunities to collaborate with other scientists and exposed them to large research labs like the University of Minnesota Center for Drug Design.

McIntee’s research students have had the opportunity to explore local industries such as Medtronic, 3M and St. Cloud wastewater treatment to see chemistry in action outside of the traditional lab and classroom experience. His research is deeply integrated into his courses, both in terms of area of expertise as well as emphasis on teaching scholarship. He establishes and mentors the importance and application of research as scholarship in science in his courses.

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, died in November 2002.

Catholic Benedictine Educator Award

Recipient: J. Scott Johnson, professor of political science

As a political science professor who began teaching at CSB and SJU 32 years ago, J. Scott Johnson has creatively and consistently integrated Catholic social thought and the Benedictine tradition into his teaching on campus and overseas. In 1999, Johnson directed the Greco-Roman program and was the first professor to take his students to Subiaco to visit Benedict’s first monastery.

In Introduction to Political Theory, he integrates Augustine’s political thought and the Rule of St. Benedict as he explains key concepts in the development of political theory. He has also included Catholic and Benedictine writings in his 300 Learning Integrations and Sex, Death, Religion and Politics courses.

As his colleague Phil Kronebusch acknowledged in his letter of support, “The political science curriculum at CSB and SJU is distinctive (maybe unique in the country) because of the attention to St. Benedict that Scott has embraced himself and encouraged in others.” In 2023, Johnson also presented at the Benedictine Pedagogy Conference on how he integrates the Rule and Catholic social thought in his political theory course.

The Catholic Benedictine Educator Award recognizes creative engagement between the Catholic Benedictine tradition and teaching throughout the curriculum. This award affirms a CSB and SJU faculty member whose exemplary teaching successfully integrates the Catholic Benedictine tradition with courses in their academic discipline and/or the Integrations Curriculum.

Jennifer Galovich Service Award

Recipient: Jean Lavigne, professor of environmental studies

Jean Lavigne’s efforts consistently extend beyond what is expected, embodying the very essence of this award. She began her service early in her career and has been a tireless advocate for the faculty and a staunch supporter of the liberal arts tradition. Lavigne’s significant service speaks volumes about her dedication and leadership.

Through her 15 years of service, she has shown a willingness to delve into unfamiliar territories, conducting research and becoming proficient (often an expert) in various subjects. Lavigne’s approach to decision making, always guided by the question of whether it serves the best interests of maintaining and strengthening the faculty, demonstrates her profound sense of responsibility and integrity.

Her willingness to take on challenging roles, such as the JFA chair/vice chair an unprecedented two consecutive terms row shows her persistent efforts to serve the faculty. Her re-election underscores the immense trust and respect colleagues have for her. Lavigne’s leadership during a particularly vulnerable time for shared governance at CSB and SJU – marked by her four-year tenure in JFA leadership, during which she played an instrumental role in the passage of the Integrations Curriculum – showcases Lavigne’s visionary leadership and dedication to the betterment of the community.

The Jennifer Galovich Service Award is named for Galovich, who retired in 2019 after serving on the mathematics faculty for 28 years. She served as chair and vice chair of the Joint Faculty Assembly and served on numerous other committees at CSB and SJU. However, she is best known for her exemplary work as the Faculty Handbook chair. This award was presented for the first time in 2020.

Additional recognition

Academic advising awards:

The Academic Advisor of the Year Award was established in 1985. It is awarded to two faculty and/or professional advisors who have distinctly contributed to the advising program, as well as to individual student development and growth throughout the academic year. This year’s recipients include:

Nelsy Echavez-Solano, Hispanic studies

Don Fischer, exercise and health science

Tenure and promotion to associate professor:

Peter Ohmann, computer science

Tenure and promotion to professor:

Pedro dos Santos, political science

Promotion to professor:

Whitney Court, political science

Kari-Shane Davis Zimmerman, theology

Tania Gomez, Hispanic studies

Rachel Melis, art

Jason Schlude, languages and cultures

Special appointments:

Terry Johnson, Marie and Robert Jackson Professorship of Education

Louis Johnston, William E. and Virginia Clemens Chair in Economics and the Liberal Arts

Rachel Marston, John and Lois Welshons Professorship of English

Kingshuk Mukherjee, Ralph Gross Chair in Business and the Liberal Arts

Professor emeriti and retirements:

Jeff Anderon, peace studies

Charles Bobertz, theology

Kathleen Cahalan, theology

Jeanne Cook, communication

Tony Cunningham, philosophy

Dan Finn, economics and theology

Mary Jepperson, accounting and finance

Brian Johnson, chemistry

Kaarin Johnston, theater

Michael Livingston, psychology

Marina Martin, Hispanic studies

John Merkle, theology

Madhu Mitra, English

Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, theology

Michael Reagan, biology

Vincent Smiles, theology

Special thanks

Department chair, program director term completion:

Whitney Court, political science

Don Fischer, exercise and health science

Bob Kachelski, psychology

Jean Keller, gender studies

Deborah Pembleton, Asian studies

Beth Wengler, honors program

Joint Faculty Senate Chair term completion:

Carrie Hoover, nursing

Fostering a Culture of Belonging:

The following faculty completed Fostering a Culture of Belonging, an eight-week national development opportunity during the 2023-24 academic year. This course, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), equips participants with actionable practices they can immediately implement to contribute to whole-campus reform and ensure all students and colleagues feel seen, heard and valued.

Boz Bostrom, accounting and finance

Emily Esch, philosophy

Peter Ohmann, computer science

Paul Schumacher, computer science

Steve Schwarz, global business leadership

Vijay Srinivas Tida, computer science

Laura Taylor, theology

Robert Campbell III, associate professor of mathematics

Pedro dos Santos, professor of political science

Ed McIntee, professor of chemistry

J. Scott Johnson, professor of political science

Jean Lavigne, professor of environmental studies