2007 President's Award for Outstanding Service Recipients

2007 Recipients of President's Award for Outstanding Service

2007 Recipients of the President's Award for Outstanding Service pictured with President Robert H. Bruininks and Pete Magee.

Jacqueline "Jaki" Cottingham-Zierdt

Jacqueline "Jaki" Cottingham-ZierdtJacqueline "Jaki" Cottingham-Zierdt is an equal opportunity consultant in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. For more than fifteen years, she has served the University in a variety of positions working to improve academic and work environments and the academy's commitment to diversity. She is the creator of many innovative programs such as Film Fridays, a film and discussion group focusing on specific discrimination issues; and Flaming Rainbow, a traditional American Indian woman's group, which strives to improve family finances and provide a culturally-appropriate structure for discussing challenging life circumstances. Jaki has served as a member on as many as 25 committees, councils, and commissions including the University Senate, the Senate Consultative Committee, the Strategic Positioning Task Force on Collegiate Design, University Women of Color, and the Aurora Center for Education and Advocacy, to name a few. She has served as chair of CAPA (Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators) for the past two years. Described as a persistent advocate, role model and adviser, Jaki has devoted much of her time outside of the regular workday to meet with students, to speak on behalf of minority communities, and to reach out to the broader public in the state, region, and around the country. One person wrote, "Jaki has the qualities that make an excellent employee, a dedicated servant to the University, a passionate advocate for the disempowered and underrepresented, and a grand and loyal friend."

William DeJohn

William DeJohnWilliam DeJohn, director of MINITEX Library Information Network, has served the University and the citizens of Minnesota for more than 20 years by ensuring access to information resources. Because of his vision and leadership, MINITEX has grown significantly since it was created in 1969 and the University has consistently ranked as the #1 lending library within the 114-member Association of Research Libraries. He is considered to be a tireless advocate for libraries at the legislature or within professional organizations and committees. He was successful in obtaining Minnesota Legislative funding for scanning of documents to desktops of students and faculty members and for the creation of the Electronic Library for Minnesota. One person wrote, "Bill DeJohn's contributions to the University of Minnesota have been innovative and have the enduring, substantial quality that many in public service seek and rarely accomplish. He has been a team player with his library colleagues with the effect of improving and advancing the image and impact of the University. The legacy of quality service he has built at MINITEX and its affiliated institutions will provide lasting benefit to all Minnesotans."

Jigna Desai

Jigna DesaiJigna Desai, associate professor in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, began her academic career at the University of Minnesota in 1992. She has played a pivotal role in developing an Asian American Studies undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Currently, she serves as the director of the Asian American Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts. She is the Midwest representative to the Association of Asian American Studies, which is the national professional organization in the field. She is also a leader in the establishment of a new consortium for Asian American Studies with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). She spearheaded a CIC Asian American group charged to develop best practices in the consortium (the CIC is comprised of the Big Ten schools and the University of Chicago). In addition, she has worked collaboratively to strengthen ethnic studies through the establishment of a CLA minor in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies and by drafting a major proposal for fellowships to recruit graduate students of color. This initiative became part of the College's Strategic Plan. Professor Desai has served on numerous College and University committees and is the author of Beyond Bollywood: The Cultural Politics of South Asian Diasporic Film (2004). A colleague wrote, "Jigna's sustained efforts in creating an institutional space for this kind of richness have been considerable, and they demonstrate not only her loyalty and dedication to the University, but also her capacity for vision and her commitment to the hard work of turning dreams into reality."

Joycelyn Dorscher

Joycelyn DorscherJoycelyn Dorscher has been a faculty member of the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth since 1997. Dr. Dorscher is currently the director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health and an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine. One of her major contributions is the development of programs to attract and retain minorities in the Medical School. Because of her leadership and dedication, the University of Minnesota's Medical School now has the second largest contingent of Native American medical school graduates in the nation. She is recognized nationally for her accomplishments and is considered an expert in physician work force diversity. She has served as a member on numerous committees both at the University and on national organizations. Dr. Dorscher has also participated in a variety of national forums regarding the mentoring of minority physicians. She has served her local community through her membership on the Duluth American Indian Commission and by serving on the local reservation's cancer education team, and through her work with the Duluth-Superior area Community Foundation. One person wrote, "Dr. Dorscher has personally mentored a number of young, Native American physicians over the past several years and we have seen them, in turn, continue the mentoring process themselves. What a legacy!"

Melissa J. Hansen

Melissa J. HansenMelissa J. Hansen is a community program specialist/research coordinator in the Cancer Center. She is also the study coordinator of the Childhood Cancer Research Network (CCRN), a unified pediatric cancer registry within North America. She is described by her colleagues as knowledgeable, dedicated, organized, and systematic. She is the "go to" person who is called upon to handle the most delicate of issues. Because of her involvement with patient enrollment at hospitals in Minnesota for an adult leukemia study, Melissa is on the front line representing the University of Minnesota not only to the greater community but nationally and internationally. The goodwill she has fostered on behalf of the University of Minnesota is unparalleled. A colleague wrote, "Melissa Hansen is one of the most impressive co-workers I have had the pleasure to know during my many years at the University of Minnesota. She shows extraordinary commitment and competence. She inspires excellence and enthusiasm in others around her and is in every way deserving of an Outstanding Service Award."

Sande Hill

Sande HillSande Hill is an administrative director in the Department of Educational Psychology. Her service to the University began in 1980. She has served the Department of Educational Psychology for the past twenty years. She is described as someone who goes well beyond what is expected in her position, especially as it relates to major initiatives such as the planning and designing of the Educational Sciences Building. She also played a pivotal leadership role during the transition of the old College of Education and Human Development into the new College that includes nine departments, and nearly 200 faculty. Sande received the Educational Psychology Outstanding Civil Service Achievement Award in 1992 and in 1997. One person wrote, "I can not imagine anyone more committed to service to the University of Minnesota. Ms. Hill gives of herself unstintingly in the service of others in our department, our college, and the University to really move the University of Minnesota forward."

John O. Look

John O. LookJohn O. Look, senior research associate, School of Dentistry, joined the faculty in the School of Dentistry in 1977. Prior to 1977, Dr. Look provided health care services and set up and trained health care providers in the People's Republic of Congo. In addition to dentistry, he was licensed to provide health care services for ophthalmology, leprosy, tuberculosis, and other tropical diseases. Since 1998, he has served as director of Global Health Services, which provides services in ten countries around the world. He has set up clinical programs for the detection and treatment of sleeping sickness and leprosy in the Republic of Congo, and medical and dental services in the rural areas in Honduras, Belize, and Boliva. He has also been involved in remodeling a hospital in the Republic of Congo, which includes a hospice service for HIV/AIDS patients. Most recently, Dr. Look began working on a centralized community health care facility in India. His future plans include the development of a hospital in Sierra Leone and medical and dental care in rural areas of Burma. One of Dr. Look's colleagues wrote, "The intellectual, clinical, and service contributions of Dr. Look would be extraordinary for any group of people, let alone a single humanitarian. He is truly a citizen of the world and more than deserving of any recognition he is given."

Jan Morlock

Jan MorlockJan Morlock, director of community relations in University Relations, is described as an exemplary representative of the University to both internal and external constituents. She is considered "the face" of the University and her exceptional work invaluable to the University's relationship with surrounding neighborhoods, the City of Minneapolis, and the state legislature. Because of her leadership, commitment, and dedication, efforts such as "Light Up the Night, " a program conducted by sororities to develop awareness of safety and security issues in neighborhoods, have been implemented. Jan also serves on the Community Board of the University YMCA, as chair of the Strategic Planning and Board Development Committee and as a mentor to student board members. Her effective leadership for the Stadium Area Advisory Group has resulted in a better understanding of the impact of the new football stadium on the University's neighbors. She served as the primary author of the Neighborhood Impact Report. Mayor R.T. Rybak wrote, "Most recently I witnessed her work on the Neighborhood Impact Report. Her leadership style gracefully brought together many interests and resulted in one of the most collaborative efforts I have seen as Mayor. She has earned a reputation for someone with a vision for the future who takes her work to a new level of commitment and cooperation. Our City is deeply affected by the strength and success of the University of Minnesota and Jan is a unique asset in this relationship."

Duncan Okello

Duncan OkelloDuncan Okello is a supervisor for the Graduate and Student Health Benefits Office at Boynton Health Service. He began his academic career in 1989 as an international student from Kenya. He has been a full time employee at Boynton Health Service since 1993. Throughout his tenure, he has provided exemplary service to the University through his exceptional dedication and commitment in assisting international students, often in crisis situations that include complicated evacuation and repatriation issues. He works tirelessly to obtain necessary information and resources to help students. Duncan makes himself available twenty-four hours a day when needed to ensure students, family, or staff receive the services they need. This extraordinary service is not a requirement of his position. He is truly an effective advocate for students. He is described as someone who is motivated by the needs of the students while juggling the concepts of excellence service to the person he is working with and keeping the larger goals and needs of the University in mind. One person wrote, "Duncan is an indefatigable and effective advocate for the University's international and scholar population. He is an enthusiastic, positive, and resourceful consultant to staff and faculty. He makes an invaluable contribution to the health and well-being of the University of Minnesota."

Gyles Randall

Gyles RandallGyles Randall is a professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate, at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center located in Waseca. He is described as the "soil scientist with the greatest impact on development and adoption of improved agricultural practices leading to the economic viability of agriculture and the preservation of natural resources for future generations." The contributions he has made in the field of soil fertility and nutrient management have significantly benefited the economy of Minnesota as well as other states. He has played a pivotal role in the development of policy and in the education of decision makers, which has lead to the improvement of agriculture production and to the quality of our environment. He has served on numerous University committees and professional organizations and has served his local community as well. He is considered to be an excellent communicator and thus creates a positive image for the University. One person wrote, "Dr. Randall is a great ambassador for the University of Minnesota wherever he goes. He interacts well with people of all backgrounds, speaks exceptionally well, and is always a gentleman. He is widely known throughout Minnesota, the Upper Midwest, and indeed the national and international scientific community. He has served his community, his state, and the world exceptionally well."

Philip M. Raup

Philip M. RaupPhilip M. Raup, professor emeritus, retired from the Department of Applied Economics in 1984 after serving the University of Minnesota for 54 years. He is world renowned for his contributions in the areas of land economics, agricultural policy, and economic development. His expertise on land economics and land reform was particularly valuable to countries that had been a part of the Soviet Block in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1981, he was recognized for his scholarship when he was named a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association. He is also known for the much-valued survey, "The Real Estate Market in Minnesota," which he organized from 1954-93. His outstanding record of service to the University include chairing and serving as a member on several Senate and college committees. He has also been active in his community. His involvement in the design of Minnesota's revenue sharing program through which the state funnels money to local communities was a key component of the "Minnesota Miracle" of the 1970's, which continues to benefit the people of the state today. As a speaker and activist, he has touched the lives of thousands of his fellow citizens. A colleague wrote, "I can think of no one who would be more deserving of this award for service to the University and the community it serves. For over 50 years, Professor Raup has made extraordinary contributions to our University and to the Twin Cities, State of Minnesota, and the larger world."

Lynne R. Schuman

Lynne R. SchumanLynne R. Shuman is the director of career services in the Graduate Programs Office of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She is described as a dedicated professional who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and creativity and has gone above and beyond to provide the highest quality of service to graduate students and alumni. She developed the Humphrey Institute's mentor program, which has served more than 1,000 students; and has launched several other significant projects in student and career services in collaboration with others both within and outside of the University. She has demonstrated effective leadership on University committees and within national and state associations. She was instrumental in organizing P&A's to form the Humphrey Institute chapter of CAPA, which has now helped to shape the future direction of the Institute. One of her colleagues wrote, "Lynne Schuman is one of the best and most supportive colleagues with whom I have ever had the opportunity to work. If we can get more people working to the examples and standards she sets, the University of Minnesota will achieve its goal of becoming a top three public research university."