1999 President's Award for Outstanding Service Recipients

1999 Recipients of the President's Award for Outstanding Service

Recipients of the 1999 President's Award for Outstanding Service.

Philip Baird

Philip Baird is a professor in the Natural Resources Department at Crookston. He is an innovative and dedicated teacher who's teaching extends beyond the traditional classroom setting. For example, seventeen years ago, Phil had a vision of students volunteering service in the natural resource field. Since then he has taken his students each spring to the Deer River District on the Chippewa National Forest for a long weekend of planting trees and experiencing the meaning of service, hard work, teamwork, responsibility, challenging field conditions and the value of the resources. His crews have now planted more than 120,000 trees for the U.S. Forest Service. Phil is also a leader on the Crookston campus working with educational opportunities available to students at a rural campus. He was the first to implement distance delivery of courses using the Internet and the World Wide Web. He taught some of the first classes to students and faculty in using laptop computers. In addition, Phil spearheaded a partnership between the City of Crookston and the University of Minnesota, Crookston designed to improve the urban forestry program for cities and countries in northwestern Minnesota. The program has grown from some forty participants to over one hundred and fifty. With his guidance this program has become a hallmark for urban forestry information and training. He has served as an advisor and mentor for numerous students and has positively impacted their lives.

Walter "Tom" Carpenter

Walter "Tom" Carpenter is a Research Plot Coordinator at North Central Experiment Station in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Tom is a graduate of the U of M North Central school of Agriculture and has been employed by the University since 1962, except for the time in the military. He plans to retire July 1, 1999. During his tenure, the horticulture program has grown from a small seasonal program with 8 or 9 projects to a year around program working with over 35 projects. His positive attitude and initiative have led to many innovations, translating ideas into reality. He is considered an exemplary role model and a leader in the community. Tom has monitored and supervised 219 juvenile and adult community service files that have completed 10,403 hours. As a graduate of the NCES School of Agriculture, Tom is in active and loyal alumnus, organizing regular alumni days and has solicited funds to donate to student loans and the NCES Research Fund. His efforts have helped maintain strong NCSA alumni support for the University and the Experiment Station. Tom is described as a dedicated, hard working, loyal University employee who has worked exceptionally hard to maintain a high quality horticulture program that brings credit to the University of Minnesota.

Anne Caton

Anne Caton is the Administrative Director in the College of Biological Sciences. Beyond her work as an Administrative Director, she has served the University in numerous ways through her volunteer work with the Program Against Sexual Violence, the Civil Service Committee, and the Commission on Women. Anne has worked at the University for nearly 30 years. In 1997 she assumed the directorship of the Civil Service Bargaining Unit Initiative (CSBU), an important leadership position requiring 25% release time from her department. Under her leadership the CSBU Initiative hosted three roundtable events for support staff, professional development workshops, and a spring recognition event. Today, Anne continues to lend her expertise to the Office for University Women and the Office of Multicultural Affairs by agreeing to serve as co-director of the Civil Service Bargaining Unit Initiative. In addition, Anne has provided a strong voice for improving the campus climate for women support staff. She has given countless hours of her personal time to make this a safe campus for students and staff, to increase professional development opportunities for staff and to make this a better environment to work and learn. Because of her commitment, service and dedication to sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, The Program Against Sexual Violence established in 1994 the Anne Caton Volunteer Service Award. She has demonstrated creative leadership and a strong commitment to the University community.

Sara Evans

Sara Evans is a Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of History. She is a scholar, teacher, and historian. She is a citizen of the University par excellence and her leadership has had a profound and lasting impact on the University and many units within it. That she has taken on so many critical assignments is not only a mark of her deep commitment to the University but of the high regard in which colleagues and administrators hold her judgment and administrative skills alike. When the University needs a wise and experienced voice, it regularly turns to Sara Evans. She has served as Chair of the Department of History, Chair of the CLA Council of Deans, Director for Advanced Feminist Studies, Chair of the CLA Assembly and a key member on numerous College and University-wide committees. She has served on the University Task Force on Faculty Workload and the Rajender Salary Settlement Committee. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Senate Faculty Consultative Committee. She played a pivotal role in the settlement of the tenure crisis. Serving as a leader of the AAUP and also of the Faculty Consultative Committee. She is an able and effective advocate for the faculty. Her deep commitment to stimulate public debate on important policy issues has touched the lives of thousands of our state's citizens and strengthened connections between those citizens and the University, particularly through such campus institutions as the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, the Women's Studies Department and the Commission on Women. As director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, Professor Evans built a relatively small interdisciplinary unit into a powerful, nationally recognized center for cutting-edge feminist scholarship. She is described as a generous, effective, and visionary leader, and inspires trust.

Barbara Stephens Foster

Barbara Stephens Foster is the Senior Administrative Director for the General College. In July 1999, she will retire, having served the University for 34 years. She embodies the best traditions of the University of Minnesota. She is an alumna of the University. She is a product of the General College and best reflects the spirit of that college as it pertains to service and commitment to students. She has been an articulate spokesperson for the scholar, the student and the professional staff member. She has successfully managed the financial affairs of an academic unit for 18 years. She has capably served and been the confidante of at least five General College deans. Within the University community, Barbara has been active in the University Association of Black Employees, the Black Alumni Association, and the General College Alumni Association. She has served on the General College Civil Service Committee. She was instrumental in setting up the Civil Service Award that is presented each quarter for employees whose work goes beyond the call of duty. Over the years, she has been responsible for establishing a number of other awards and recognition for outstanding contributions to the General College community. Barbara was single-handedly responsible for making Appleby Hall user friendly. For the past eight years, she has served as a mentor to several African-American student-athletes in the Women's Athletic Department. Over the last 34 years she has mentored, coached and served as a role model for hundreds of students. She has been a supporter of the University HELP center; an office housed in General college for student parents. She has worked effectively to insure that the University is a diverse community of scholars and learners.

Shirley Nelson Garner

Shirley Nelson Garner is a professor in the Department of English. In her 30-year career at the University of Minnesota, Shirley has worked tirelessly to invigorate the intellectual life of the University, to raise its standards of teaching and service, and to foster a spirit of cooperation between it and the greater Minnesota community. She has headed three central units on campus: Women's Studies, the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, and most recently the English Department. Shirley has served as Chair of the English Department for the past 5 years - successfully stabilizing a unit in budgetary crisis and shepherded a dramatic growth in both faculty size and quality. In addition, she has established a Planning and Development Committee that has undertaken the task of reformulating the mission of the English Department and publicizing its activities to alumni. Since its creation the English Department has increased contributions to two existing endowments and acquired new gifts. Recently it became the beneficiary of a million-dollar endowment to host Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award Winners are visiting lecturers. She has led transformation of the Joseph Warren Beach Lecture Series into a celebration of some of the world's most talented scholars, writers, critics, and playwrights. She was a key figure in the founding of the Women's Studies Department, which was created in the mid 1970's and has since become of the models for Women's Studies departments throughout the country. Shirley has also helped to found Feminist Studies in Literature in the English Department; she was also one of the founding members of Hurricane Alice: A Feminist Review. She was elected Chair of CLA's Council of Chairs, including service on CLA's Executive Committee. She is also a member of the College's Strategic Investment Pool Languages and Literatures Committee. Shirley is instrumental in developing the University of Minnesota Humanities Institute. In addition, Shirley has been active in University governance having served for a number of years on the Senate Judicial Committee.

Robert Holt

Robert Holt is a professor in the Department of Political Science. Bob is a dedicated member of the University community since 1956. He has held important administrative posts, from chair of his department to Dean of the Graduate School; he has always been willing to step into special assignments in times of need, such as the Interim Deanship of the College of Liberal Arts in 1996. He directed in interdisciplinary research center dealing with technological development and social changes in 1968 and created a nationally and internationally renowned center. In the mid 1970's, he was asked to set up and direct a new office called The Office of Research Development. Under his directorship sponsored research in the College of Liberal Arts grew by 50%. It was in 1982, that Bob was asked to serve as Dean of the Graduate School. He agreed to do the job for five years but ended up staying for nine years. During this time he was successful in seeking legislative or internal funds for research and graduate education, including nearly $5 million in graduate fellowship funds, and $1 million for interdisciplinary research center projects. He successfully raised funds for the McKnight Land-Grant Professorships, a unique junior career development program that he single-handedly created. He has been very active in national graduate school organizations. He laid the groundwork for the expansion of the University of Minnesota Center at Rochester. Bob initiated numerous activities so that eased graduate programs' ability to recruit high-quality graduate students. He has served extensively in the faculty governance system, including the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, the Senate Research Committee, and the Faculty Consultative Committee. He has been the Vice Chair of the University Senate.

Linda Larson

Linda Larson is the Coordinator of Athletic Programs at UMD. Known for her passion and dedication, Linda is described as a tireless worker and promoter of the values of education and educational sport. She is one who lives a life of service to others. She has taken initiatives to develop new and better ways of serving student-athletes and the UMD campus generally. She has forged alliances with various community service organizations such as Girl Scouts, Special Olympics, local community associations, etc., to build bridges between the community and the University. Linda established a student-marketing group, which promotes and manages special activities as various sporting events, providing students with tangible job-related experience while assisting in the promotion of athletics to the student body. She has been active in several regional and national associations and was instrumental in establishing the Northern Sun Conference for women's athletics. Linda has actively involved herself in numerous committees and advisory panels dedicated to raising the standards of competition and opportunity for women. She has been the driving force behind the addition of women's hockey that will participate at the NCAA Division I level beginning fall 1999. She has served as a system-wide representative and now currently heads the Commission on Women on the Duluth campus. Linda volunteers her time, talent, and resources to the many community events sponsored by UMD. She is also eager to help students by volunteering to greet students and help them move into dorms each fall. Her commitment to UMD is unequivocal and her pride in being affiliated with the University shines through in all she does.

Coronado Relopez

Coronado Relopez is a custodian at the Management Economics Building. Coronado is described as a dedicated and exemplary employee. He has given all he can in the form of selfless service to the University community. He is always going the extra mile for those around him. He continually demonstrates his resourcefulness by initiating innovative recycling efforts in the building he is responsible for. These efforts have saved the University thousands of dollars. Without hesitation, Coronado goes well beyond his job description by taking on the responsibility without being asked. He has been involved with many detail projects such as implementing the moving out of occupants and the moving in of new occupants. Coronado takes the initiative to help the occupants move furniture, recycles items and has rearranged his schedule to give service to an area that has sensitive issues. He has also taken the time to see how former occupants of the building are doing and passes the information on to his supervisor. He is a team worker and the high level of service he provides does not go unnoticed by those within the building as well as outside. Contractors have given him high praise. Employees such as Coronado often work invisibly and silently and keep the University going. He cares about the University and the people he serves. One of the individuals writing a letter of support for Coronado wrote, "When I think of 'Customer Service' I think of Coronado Relopez".

James H. Rothenberger III

James H. Rothenberger III is a professor at the School of Public Health. Jim has been recognized inside the University for his exemplary teaching ability as well as his major contribution to student advising. He is well recognized and sought after in the community at large for his unique expertise and contribution. His many outreach contributions to Minnesota and the nation as well as his outstanding teaching ability truly make him a credit to not only the school of Public Health, but especially to the University.

Mariah Snyder

Mariah Snyder, professor in the School of Nursing, has devoted 25 years of her professional life to the University of Minnesota. In addition to being an outstanding teacher and excellent scholar, she has provided exceptional service in multiple arenas of the University as well as in the larger professional community both nationally and internationally. Through her advising capacity, she has touched the lives of many students. She led faculty efforts to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum in complementary and alternative health care. As a result of her leadership, the Board of Regents approved in December 1998 a graduate minor in complementary therapies and healing practice - this is the first program of its kind in the country. She is a founding member of both the federally funded Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center and the Geriatric Interdisciplinary Team Training Project. She has made a significant contribution to nursing and to aging at the University of Minnesota. She has chaired several faculty search committees and served as a member on numerous committees and organizations. Mariah has contributed her leadership on various athletic committees for the past 16 years. Since 1993, she has served as the faculty representative for Women's Intercollegiate Athletics. She brings a strong ethical and academic perspective to her work in athletics. Her contributions to the nursing profession are lengthy. She has been involved in professional organizations at the local, state, regional, and national levels. In particular, she has been a key participant in the founding of the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS), the leading regional nursing research organization in the country. Whether it is in all-University governance, clinical agencies, or professional associations, Mariah is an outstanding ambassador for nurses, nursing, the University of Minnesota and the Gophers.

George Winter

George Winter is the Program Associate for the Managerial Communication Program at the Carlson School of Management. "Committed" is the word used most to describe George Winter. He is an advocate for students, particularly the international students. He has served as the initiator and the continuing drive behind an innovative program designed to upgrade the education and enhance the experience of international students at the Carlson School of Management. Not only have students provided positive feedback regarding his efforts, but their parents as well applaud the goodwill George has generated by making these students feel that there is someone who deeply care about them. Although it was in his job description to only coordinate existing training programs and handle over-load resume coaching, George saw a greater need of individual students dealing with multiple challenges of language and culture. He responded to their needs by freely giving of his time to help each one. He tirelessly insists on raising the School's standards with respect to the job search process for the Carlson School's graduate students and spends many hours with each student, customizing their resumes. He serves as both a resource and a voice for many students, faculty, and staff. He is known as a problem solver. He extends his expertise, leadership, and helping hand to the greater community. He serves on the Committee for the Teachers of English as a Foreign Language; was the volunteer coordinator for the Midwest Regional Conference of the Association for Business Communication; and has served as a regular reader and evaluator, grading the writing samples of students taking the writing assessment that accompanies the GMAT exam. George Winter brings to the University a unique blend of integrity and experience, and he does it all with a sense of humor, compassion, and wisdom. In doing so, he has endeared himself as a trusted friend and an admired colleague to those in the Carlson School of Management.