2019 President's Award for Outstanding Service

Recipients are pictured above with President Eric W. Kaler and Professor Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award for Outstanding Service Committee, at a reception at Eastliff on June 17, 2019.


Tammy Berberi

Tammy Berberi receiving award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Professor Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award CommitteeTammy Berberi is an associate professor of French, Division of Humanities, and interim director of Equity, Diversity and Intercultural (EDI) Programs, and interim chief diversity officer, University of Minnesota Morris (UMM). Her accomplishments and outstanding service is commendable. Berberi is recognized campus-wide, state-wide, and nationally as a leader in disability advocacy, language studies, and diversity and inclusion for the disabled and for ethnic minorities. An internationally known expert in French disabilities studies, Berberi has given numerous keynote addresses at domestic and international conferences in the area. She is credited with organizing several conferences for the Modern Languages Association and for her leadership of the Office of Community Engagement program called TERCERO, a community translation and interpretation program, which provides translation and interpretation services to Spanish speaking families in the Morris area. She has served on countless committees at the campus level and at the system level. At the campus level, she served on the Campus Disability Resource Advisory Group, the Campus Assembly Steering Committee, and on several ad hoc committees on accessibility and mental health. At the system level, she has served on the University Senate on Disabilities Issues Committee, the University of Minnesota Interdisciplinary Graduate Group in Disability Studies, and on the review committee of Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED), to name a few. She also served as the co-chair of the second annual Minnesota Symposium on Disability Studies. At the national level, Berberi has served as an elected member of the Modern Language Association’s “Transdisciplinary Connections” forum in Disability Studies as well as an elected board member, president, vice-president, and a member of the editorial search committee and national committee search for the executive officer of the Society for Disability Studies. Because of her significant outreach and civic engagement efforts, she was recognized in 2016 by the Minnesota Compact with the President’s Civic Engagement Steward Award, and by the UMM Office of Equity and Diversity with the Cesar E. Chavez Faculty Award and with the Faculty/Staff Community Engagement Award. One person wrote, “In addition to a model of how to bridge academic specialization with service, Tammy is a profoundly human individual whose compassion for others moves her to go far beyond the call of duty in her service activities.”

Jenny Casper

Recipient Jenny Caper receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Jenny Casper, director of community engagement and career development, University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR), has been on staff at UMR since the campus first enrolled students in 2009. She is credited with contributing significantly to UMR’s success by streamlining the multi-layered course registration processes, growing community partnerships, developing more internship placements and contacts, increasing student research opportunities, enhancing career development programming, and engaging alumni in career initiatives for students, all in a single-person office. Over the past decade, Casper has held three official long-term positions spanning across academic and student affairs and has juggled multiple add on or short-term appointments to assist during staff transitions or to advance a specific initiative. One such initiative was her revamping of how UMR showcased career offerings to students. Because of her vision and leadership, the quality and attendance of the programs increased, as did regard for these career and community related offerings. In all of her efforts, students are at the forefront of her vision. Casper’s contributions to the construction of UMR’s student-centered approach to innovative practices both inside and outside of the classroom are significant. One person wrote, “Jenny has contributed to it all. She operates with such efficiency and puts out amazing results but is also the first to credit those around her. Her humility often masks the incredible amount of work and quality of work she put out. There is no other person that I think deserves this award more than Jenny.”

Raymond Duvall

Recipient Raymond Duvall receiving his award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Raymond Duvall, professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts (CLA), and special assistant to the provost for Grand Challenges Research Initiative, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, has served the University for more than 40 years. He is a premier scholar and teacher and an accomplished administrator. He was recognized for his teaching in 1988 with the Horace T. Morse Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He has worn many hats, including teacher and mentor; department chair and interim dean of CLA; one of the founders and leader of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC); and chair of the Task Force on Academic Freedom, to name a few. Most recently, in his role as special assistant to the provost, Duvall is credited with helping to shape the processes that defined the priorities, the design of funding schemes, and the implementation of the mission of the Grand Challenges initiative. In addition, in this capacity, he also chaired a review committee charged with exploring the possibilities for promoting interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of cognitive science, and has overseen the University’s contract with Minute Earth, involving the production and dissemination of about two dozen science videos for school children that have amassed millions of views and have raised the national and international profile of the University. One person wrote, “Bud has rendered extraordinary service in every administrative position he has held during his 43-year career at Minnesota. He has championed scholarly excellence and intellectual pluralism. He has devoted countless hours to realizing these commitments through the hard, painstaking work of building institutional and policy capacities. He has done all of this and more with uncommon decency and grace. Bud has always cared deeply about the health and wellbeing of the units, the college, and the University. Just as importantly, if not more so, he has always cared deeply about the health and wellbeing of the people that work here—students, staff, faculty, colleagues, alumni. He is most deserving of this high honor.”

Gary Gardner

Recipient Gary Gardner receiving his award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Gary Gardner, professor, Department of Horticultural Science, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, has shown visionary leadership in his 29 years at the University. He believes passionately in the importance of science, science literacy and science education. In 2000, Gardner led an effort to establish the Center for Plants and Human Health, starting a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists and clinicians in the disciplines of biology, agriculture, and health sciences. As the center’s director, Gardner brought together input and innovation from various disciplines towards addressing issues of human health. The Center for Plants and Human Health is part of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, which Gardner and other University colleagues established. Along with serving on every standing committee in his department (many of them multiple times), Gardner is active in University Senate Governance. He has served on the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Consultative Committee, and as the University Faculty Legislative Liaison. He leads by example, and works to create a community of leaders where service is recognized as a noteworthy endeavor. Gardner has worked ambitiously to raise funding to improve and modernize facilities in his college. He led an effort to renovate the Plant Growth Facilities on the St. Paul Campus (an $18 million state-funded project) and received $740,000 from the National Science Foundation which was matched by the University. The improvements in the facilities have broadened the types of research that can be conducted and serve as a recruitment incentive for bringing outstanding faculty, staff, and students to the University. One person wrote, “It is one of the hallmarks of Gary’s campus service to bridge across disciplines, build bridges that connect new ideas, and serve to make successes in new ways.”

Maria Gini

Recipient Maria Gini receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Maria Gini, College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, is a world-renowned scholar and researcher in the field of computer science. She is an outstanding teacher, advisor, and mentor and has been routinely recognized with teaching awards, including the University-wide Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, the College of Electrical Engineering Distinguished Award, the Distinguished Women Scholars Award, the Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture, the Mullen Spector Truax Award, the University of Minnesota Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education, and the National Center for Women and Information Technology Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award. In 1982, she joined the Department of Computer Science at the University as its first female faculty member. Since then, she has worked tirelessly for over 35 years to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the computing field. Gini has sought to make involvement in the computing field more accessible to these populations at every stage of education—from K-12, to undergraduate and graduate students, to faculty and researchers, at the state, national and international levels. To that end, she has regularly pursued graduate assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) funding from the Department of Education, with which she has supported 19 PhD students, most of whom were women or from underrepresented populations. Another of Gini’s initiatives has been to redesign entry level college courses in the computer science field to make them more accessible and inviting to students who are undecided or changing majors. As a result of her efforts, the number of women in the computer science major at the University has grown from 11% in 2013 to 17.5% in 2017. She has a stellar international reputation for her research in robotics and artificial intelligence, and her work with autism detection in young children has been featured in the University’s Driven to Discover campaign. One person wrote, “I am impressed with the breadth of her vision, and the amazing work that she puts into making our field welcoming to all.”

Linda R. Hinderscheit

Recipient Linda Hinderscheit receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Linda R. Hinderscheit, clinical supervisor, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, has, for 37 years, focused on the core missions of her job: to provide hands-on clinical training to graduate students in speech- language pathology, and to deliver clinical services to individuals with communication disorders. Her deepest commitment is demonstrated by the work she does to improve the lives of people who stutter. Hinderscheit has developed programs and outreach to improve the quality of life for those who stutter, moving beyond the clinical aspects of treatment and supporting their emotional growth and well-being. To that end, Linda conceived of and developed the Kids Who Stutter Camp, the focus of which is on the social, emotional, and attitudinal aspects of stuttering. The goal of the camp is for kids to accept themselves as people who stutter who can also be very good communicators. Hinderscheit has served on over 35 committees at the University of Minnesota, many of them for multiple years. Since 2006, she has been the co-facilitator of the Twin Cities Chapter of the National Stuttering Association, which is a self-advocacy, self-help group for people who stutter. Beyond the University, Hinderscheit has devoted many years of service to the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MNHSA). She has served on numerous MNHSA committees and as the association’s president, and received its highest award, Honors of the Association. She has also been a MNHSA liaison to the Minnesota Department of Health and a member of the Legislative Council of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. One nominator wrote, “To see the heartfelt caring, dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm Linda and her staff demonstrate at the camp is such an inspiration. Linda’s service to the people in the greater community, the profession of Speech-Language Pathology, and the University has been immeasurable.”

Christine Mueller

Recipient Christine Mueller receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Christine Mueller, professor and senior executive associate dean for academic programs, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, is described as a most admired colleague who leads with wisdom, humility, and steadfast dedication. She holds the Endowed Long-Term Care Professorship in Nursing, and is a fellow in the Gerontological Society of America as well as the American Academy of Nursing. In 2006, she received the Minnesota Association of Colleges of Nursing Educator of the Year Award. Time and again she has gone above and beyond expectations in her 22 years of service to the University. While in her current position, Mueller stepped into an additional leadership role as interim associate vice president for education in the Academic Health Center (AHC) during its restructure, and worked with directors in the AHC to support and advance the president’s initiatives. Similarly, in the past, she filled unexpected vacancies in leadership in the Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Specialty program, as well as the Nurse Anesthesia Specialty program. Mueller has advanced a number of innovations in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, including the development and implementation of the DNP Enhancement and Engagement program for improving student and faculty interaction. She has been instrumental in the advancement of best practices standards to ensure integrity in online testing procedures. When a generous donation was made to the University to advance its impact on health care, particularly in rural areas and those with vulnerable populations, Mueller led an initiative to create the largest Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in the nation. One person wrote, “Dr. Mueller has dedicated her professional life to expansive and unwavering transformation of nursing; higher education with the University, state and nation; improving the quality and state-of-the-science of education; and shaping policy to advance professional education.”

Noelle A. Noonan

Recipient Noelle Noonan receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Noelle A. Noonan, registrar and director of Student Affairs, Law School, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, is described as an invaluable colleague, a creative strategic thinker, and a champion for students. Her dedication to diversity and inclusion within and beyond the Law School is a hallmark of her engagement with students, staff, and the larger University community. In 2012, seeing a rise in the number of students with disability and mental health concerns enter the Law School, Noonan collaborated with the Disability Resource Center to create exam accommodations for Law School students with disabilities. When the Mental Health Advocate Initiative was launched in 2016, Noonan became an advocate and continues to serve as a source of information for Law School students and staff seeking mental health resources at the University. As co-director of the Structured Study Group (SSG) academic support program, Noonan brought her pedagogical expertise to the Law School, and thoughtfully matched student instructors to faculty members for leadership training. Noonan has served many years in University Senate Governance, as academic professional senator in the University Senate, as alternate, senator, and chair-elect of the P&A Senate and as chair-elect of the P&A Consultative Committee (PACC), and she will serve as chair of the P&A Senate and the PACC for the 2019-20 academic year. She was also appointed by the dean of the Law School to serve on the college’s Employee Engagement Committee and Faculty Staff Consultative Committee. While Noonan herself is an extremely competent leader, she is only satisfied when her leadership allows others to find their own, authentic path toward their goals. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the University of Minnesota’s Council of Graduate Students Leadership Award, the Graduate Research Partnership Program Award, and the United States Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. One person wrote, “Dr. Noonan is the superglue that allows the Law School to serve…those with disabilities, those with challenging events, and those that have shifting paths and definitions of success.”

Riv-Ellen Prell

Recipient Riv-Ellen Prell receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Riv-Ellen Prell, professor emerita, Department of American Studies, College of Liberal Arts (CLA), University of Minnesota Twin Cities, is a distinguished scholar, valued mentor, and visionary leader whose renowned exhibit, A Campus Divided: Progressives, Anticommunists, Racism and Antisemitism at the University of Minnesota 1930-1945, has had a profound and lasting impact on the University. The exhibit brought more visitors to Andersen Library than any previous exhibit at the University of Minnesota, and the expanded web version of the exhibit has drawn 11,000 viewers, 39,000 page views, and viewers from nearly every state in the nation and every continent except Antarctica. Prell’s service to the University is exemplary. She was a member of the University Senate from 1980-1983 and 2009-2014, and initiated a year-long process with the University Senate’s Social Concerns Committee to introduce morally responsible investment choices into the University’s retirement plan investment options. She held the position of chair for the Council of Chairs CLA, the Women’s Studies Department, the Graduate School Policy and Review Council, the Interdepartmental Major, and the Department of American Studies. While serving in the latter role, Prell organized the department’s annual David Noble lecture, among other events, to make the work of the department’s scholars accessible to the public. Prell served on numerous committees, including the CLA Dean’s Search Committee, the Academic Advisory Committee for the Immigration History Center, the Steering Committee for the Center for Jewish Studies, the Governing and Admissions Committees of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, the Graduate and Undergraduate Committees of the Anthropology Department, the Graduate School Executive Committee, the CLA Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the University of Minnesota Use of Human Subjects Committee for the Social Sciences. Prell’s awards include the National Jewish Book Award for her book Prayer and Community: The Havurah in American Judaism; the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry’s Marshall Sklare Memorial Award for distinguished scholarship; and the Scholar of the College Award, the College of Liberal Arts’ highest faculty recognition award. She is the inaugural recipient of the Jim and Diane Shneer Fellow in Post-Holocaust American Judaism, University of Colorado, and a distinguished lecturer with the Association for Jewish Studies. One person wrote, “I experienced first-hand her admirable and intense commitment to faculty, graduate students and undergraduates; she was a much valued mentor and advocate for so many students and junior scholars throughout her illustrious career.”

Lisa M. Warren

Recipient Lisa Warren receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Lisa M. Warren, assistant vice president and chief of staff, Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, has the unique ability to bring together diverse groups of colleagues, for which she is well known across the institution. Warren is consistently asked to serve on committees and working groups associated with complex policy, and organizational and operational issues. As a member of the President’s Health Sciences Restructuring Workgroup, Warren’s commitment to collaboration encouraged innovative solutions across varied departments. Her superior project management skills were instrumental in helping the workgroup and the President’s Health Sciences Restructuring Steering Committee coalesce around common goals and recommendations to support all units involved in the restructuring. She is a notable champion for diversity and inclusion, as is evidenced by her chairing of the Equity Lens Subcommittee of the Policy Advisory Committee. The subcommittee was charged with implementing an equity lens process for analyzing the impact of the design and implementation of University policies on marginalized individuals and groups. Warren’s tireless leadership and work on the subcommittee resulted in system-wide implementation that now includes a seamless review of all University policies with the application of the equity lens. Warren is an executive committee member of the Campus Club Board of Directors, and has served on numerous committees, including the Issues Management Committee, University Policy Advisory Committee (PAC), President’s System-wide Strategic Planning Implementation Committee, Academic Health Center Restructuring Workgroup, and steering committees for Enterprise Data Management and Human Resources Analytics. Warren is also frequently sought out as a mentor at the University, and gives generously of her time and expertise to guide staff members who are interested in advancing their careers into leadership roles at the University. One person wrote, “I have grown to admire…her genuine interest in and caring for people, her vision and commitment to ethical leadership, her willingness to listen deeply and respond thoughtfully, her creativity and innovation, her common sense and good judgement, and her willingness and stamina to consistently go beyond what is expected to get work done on task and on time.”

Julie Westlund

Recipient Julie Westlund receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Julie Westlund, director, Career and Internship Services, University of Minnesota Duluth, has provided extraordinary support to students and professionals at the University for more than 40 years. With creativity, boundless energy, and tenacity, she has made significant contributions to all branches of career development and elevated the standards for career services at the University. Westlund will be remembered for her leadership role in the design, implementation, and launch of the University of Minnesota Job and Internship Fair, which began in 2004 and has grown to be a statewide collaboration supporting University of Minnesota students, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Building on the success of the Job and Internship Fair, Westlund coordinated efforts to collect data from the fair and developed the first comprehensive Fair Annual Report. Westlund has also served thousands of University of Minnesota education candidates through the Minnesota Education Job Fair since its inception in 1987. She has been an active member of the Minnesota College and University Career Services Association since 1982, serving as president and Executive Board member. She has served on many department, Duluth campus, and University committees including the Executive Board of the University of Minnesota Job and Internship Fair, University of Minnesota Duluth Campus Governance, the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee for Academic Support and Student Life, the Student Development Assessment Team, and the Core Values Team. She is a founding member and past president of the Northland Career Development Professional Association, and a member of the Minnesota Leadership Group for development of the GoldPASS software system. Westlund has been honored with numerous awards during her distinguished 40-year career at the University. They include the University of Minnesota Career Development Network Lifetime Achievement Award, the Minnesota Career Development Association Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award, the Minnesota College and University Career Services Association Distinguished Service Award, the University of Minnesota Tate Award for Outstanding Advising, and the University of Minnesota Duluth GLBT Services Staff Member of the Year Award. One person wrote, “There is so much more I could say about all that Julie does and has done. What I have mentioned is only scratching the surface of a career focused on innovative service to students and the University. She is a remarkable person who would never seek recognition for herself, and yet, her actions affect so many.”

Anna Wirta Kosobuski

Recipient Anna Wirta Kosobuski receiving her award pictured with President Eric W. Kaler and Robert Geraghty, chair, President's Award committee.Anna Wirta Kosubuski, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth, joined the faculty of her department in 2015 after receiving her doctorate in education. She is described as dedicated, devoted, compassionate, and a trusted collaborator with Native American leaders. Wirta Kosubuski’s dedication not only to her students, but to the greater community of Native American students and families in Minnesota, is unparalleled. For more than 20 years she has been a mentor and advocate for Native American medical students, diligently supporting and encouraging them to become the next generation of scientists and health care providers. Her service goes beyond the University and her community, having served in the Gulf War as a United States military medic. Wirta Kosubuski was also part of a team of authors that developed the Association of American Medical Colleges’ first publication addressing the critical need for Native American physicians. She is a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Student Diversity Affairs, the University of Minnesota Medical School Admissions Executive Committee, the Native American Mentoring Program Executive Committee, and the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus Admissions Committee. Wirta Kosubuski was awarded three consecutive Regenerative Medicine Minnesota Education Awards (2016-2018). With funding from the awards, Wirta Kosubuski created a series of educational outreach programs for Native American communities in northern Minnesota, bringing science and learning opportunities to underserved students in the region. One person wrote, “I greatly admire her outstanding dedication to supporting and encouraging our students and working to develop the next generation of scientists and healthcare providers while ensuring equitable access to excellent education for all of our state’s youth.”