2001 President's Award for Outstanding Service Recipients

Zbigniew Bochniarz

Zbigniew Bochniarz, senior fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs directs the Center for Nations in Transition. The center is an umbrella organization for about ten multiyear research and training projects dealing with the economic, ecological, and political changes in Central and Eastern Europe. Most of his work has addressed the serious problem of sustainable development in those countries. He has been an extremely effective collaborator with colleagues from these various countries to develop "blueprints" for new institutional arrangements and policies that would lead to sustainable development in the region. His work has had a significant impact on the lives of millions of people in not just today's population as well as into the future. His work in developing graduate education programs at a number of universities in the region also has the feature of having large multiplier effects. Dr. Bochniarz and his programs exemplify in an outstanding way just how the University can help to make this a better world for everybody - a world of peace and sustainable development.

Keumhwa Choi

Keumhwa Choi works in the department of Clinical and Population Sciences as a researcher and laboratory director. She received her veterinary degree in Korea and was trained in both western and traditional Chinese medicine. Through her work she emphasizes the importance of the integration between conventional medicine and traditional Chinese medicine as a new therapeutic modality for both humans and animals. She has been instrumental in forming and developing relationships with Kyung Hee University and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Seoul National University with the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Choi is also forging links between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for Spirituality and Healing with the goal of expanding curricular offerings and initiating collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects focusing on evidence-based approaches to TCM. In addition, she has been an advisor to a number of graduate students, served as an unofficial advisor to many Korean visitors and students, acted as a translator to visitors at the College of Veterinary Medicine and has hosted visitors from abroad for seminars, short-term stays and professional visits.

Marjorie K. Cowmeadow

Marjorie K. Cowmeadow is the Director of Student Services and Associate Dean, General College. Dr. Cowmeadow is a change agent, always looking for ways in which the University can better serve students. Through her work, thousands of students have been better served and able to attain their educational goals. She has played a role as mentor for many colleagues, has been a vocal witness for human rights and justice, has advocated for system change to benefit students and staff, and, as an administrator, she has been vigorous and creative in helping to craft the General College's award-winning developmental education program. Dr. Cowmeadow's ability to bring people together to accomplish concrete and significant changes in the academic climate has had profound influence upon the overall work of the University. The legacy of Marjorie Cowmeadow includes a campus climate that is more humane; policies, programs, and procedures that are more responsive to student needs; and numerous colleagues who have been mentored and coached toward larger visions of their capacities.

Robert John Falk

Robert John Falk, Emeritus Associate Professor of Psychology, is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota from two campuses. After graduating in 1950, Dr. Falk worked in Student Personnel Services at UMD for fifteen years. As a faculty member and administrator, he was an active supporter of student services for the duration of his career and initiated a number of programs that focused on services to students. He remains an active participant in a thriving program on campus, which he founded, the Darland Intergenerational Program (DIP) at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The DIP is currently an award winning and grant getting operation that links college students to younger students in schools and human service agencies for individual attention and tutoring. As a faculty member Dr. Falk taught courses emphasizing person, career, and organizational development. After fifty-four years of service to the University, Dr. Falk leaves a legacy of tens of thousands of students who have benefited from his teaching and program development activities.

William Larson

William Larson was a Professor of Soil Science and former head of the Department of Soil Science. He retired in 1989 after having had a distinguished career as a research scientist, educator, and administrator. He was a pioneer in bringing forth the concept of soil quality and an early leader in promoting precision agriculture. He continues to make significant contributions to soil science on the national level, having authored a book that has been used to set policy guidelines on legislation on water quality. He was one of the first recipients of the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture for his academic leadership and achievement in working to "feed the world." Dr. Larson is a tireless promoter of the University and the Department of Soil Science. He is deeply committed and devotes constant effort to fund-raising for the University. He is described as a model citizen and actively supports civic and church community activities.

Mary Jo McCracken

Mary Jo McCracken is a nurse practitioner for the Cystic Fibrosis Center at the University of Minnesota. She is actively involved in patient education, research, coordination of special programs for families, and follows her own caseload of patients. Ms. McCracken organized the first ever, education day for parents of and patients with cystic fibrosis. With her perseverance and dedication this has become an annual event and has served as a model for other cystic fibrosis centers throughout the nation. Currently she is involved in working on establishing the country's first clinic for adolescents. She also was instrumental in making a video that deals with the challenges of being an adolescent with chronic illness. Her expertise in the area of adolescents with cystic fibrosis and self-care is recognized nationally and internationally. A colleague wrote the following about Mary Jo. "I have been profoundly moved by the exceptional degree of service, commitment, and loyalty that Mary Jo embodies in her position as a pediatric pulmonary nurse practitioner. Her exquisite care of children and their families is exemplary of the values that the University promulgates throughout the greater community."

Richard McGehee

Richard McGehee is a faculty member in the School of Mathematics. He is considered a truly exceptional mentor of graduate students and teacher. He is particularly known for his leadership as chair of the Task Force that began to study the issues of the University's health care program. He has given much of his talent, time and energy to an important issue affecting all employees at the University. He helped guide the entire process to the point where the University can make a decision about how it should proceed in the future. Professor McGehee has made other major contributions to the University. He successfully served as head of the School of Mathematics for five years and saved the Geometry Center from an immediate funding cancelation by the National Science Foundation and led it through five more fruitful years. His other service activities include work on the intellectual property, the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs, Distance Education and promotions and tenure. Richard McGehee has truly made a difference.

V. Rama Murthy

V. Rama Murthy, Professor, Geology & Geophysics has served the University as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and as Provost, and that he has been Acting Dean of IT, the Head of the School of Earth Sciences, as well as the director of the Space Science Laboratory. He championed building an infrastructure of computing services and networking at the University and was chair of the Board of Directors of the SuperComputer Institute. As president of the Twin Cities AAUP he displayed great leadership and earned the respect of faculty groups and administrators for his ability to help them coalesce as a community. Professor Murthy has served on numerous University and governance committees including the Provost's Community Service Award, the President's Service Award, the All-University Honors Committee and the Task Force on Civic Engagement, to name a few. He is also active in the Capital Campaign as chair of the Faculty and Staff Committee and member of the IT Campaign Committee. One of his colleagues wrote the following. "Rama has lived the life of an ideal faculty member. Not only has excelled in teaching and research but he has given himself through administration, through faculty oversight duties and through innovative redesigns of introductory course teachings."

James M. Olson

James M. Olson is an Associate Professor of Chemistry in the Division of Science & Mathematics, Morris campus. He is the last member of the "original thirteen," faculty members who were hired for the University of Minnesota, Morris' first academic year, 1960-1961. He was the only chemist that first year but began planning and building a chemistry program for the fledgling college. As enrollment grew and faculty were added, he remained a driving force in the division and on campus. Dr. Olson spend much of his career as chair or acting chair of the UMM Science and Mathematics Division. However, his focus has always been on service to students. His innovative service to students has taken many forms over the course of his forty years of service to the University. During his tenure, he has served on essentially every committee at UMM and chaired many of them. He has also been active in teacher education locally and regionally. Professor Olson's innovative teaching, outstanding advising, visionary leadership, and exemplary service have had a profound impact.

Anita M. Rios

Anita M. Rios, Coordinator for the Office of University Women, has been a constant source in generating and implementing ideas to improve the climate for women and the commitment of the University to diversity. She was pivotal role in the creation and implementation of the National Teleconference for Women in Higher Education, an event that placed the University of Minnesota at the forefront of shaping new approaches to changing the climate for all women in higher education in the 21st century. She created the vision and grew it into a movement. Because of her commitment to improving the climate for women, Ms. Rios has spent countless hours in building bridges not only at the University of Minnesota but across the country as well. She is recognized nationally for her work in this area and has galvanized people across the nation to work within their own institutions to enhance the climate for women. A colleague wrote the following about Anita. "Anita's style of leadership is inclusive and respectful, and also influential. She leads by example, by her ability to bring together people in dynamic ways, and by her commitment to bringing out the best in the University of Minnesota."

Joseph Ruiz

Joseph Ruiz has provided outstanding service to the University of Minnesota since 1973. Wilson Library was his first assignment where he stayed for eighteen years as a buildings and grounds worker. He then moved to the Humphrey Center where he has become the most admired and appreciated person on the floor. Mr. Ruiz is described as a good, decent, caring citizen. He always puts other first, even at his own personal risk. He has stopped robberies and assaults on more than one occasion. A colleague wrote the following about Joe. "Joe Ruiz is one of the two or three finest persons I have ever known at the University of Minnesota. Never anywhere have I known a person who is as quick to help other persons when they have a serious problem. When Joe helps someone out, he truly does what is needed in the situation and he does it diligently and selflessly."

Frank Sorauf

Frank Sorauf, is a Regents' Professor Emeritus. His record of service to the University, the community and his profession extends over a time period of almost forty years. He served as chair of the Political Science Department and as dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 1973-78. Most important to him when he assumed the dean's post was to maintain and foster quality research, scholarship and graduate study. After serving as dean, Professor Sorauf returned to scholarship and teaching and continued his service to the University through actively participating on governance committees, including the Faculty Consultative Committee and as vice chair of the Senate. He has also been prominent on the national level and in the community. Professor Frank Sorauf has rendered exceptional service on behalf of research, scholarship and graduate study in the liberal arts and contributed directly toward the formulation of the university promotion and tenure process by which academic excellence is verified and recognized.