Four Faculty Recognized with Awards for Excellence

Posted: April 17, 2024

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 17, 2024 – The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities today recognized four individuals with Awards for Excellence. These awards are conferred annually to college and university teaching faculty and university administrative service faculty to acknowledge and provide systemwide recognition for consistently superior commitment to student learning and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence at the colleges and universities of Minnesota State.

“Outstanding educators and administrative and service faculty make it possible for us to provide an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans,” said Roger Moe, chair of the Board of Trustees. “The programs our faculty deliver – academic programs, advising, financial aid, registration, residential life, and student affairs, just to name a few – are vital to our ability to serve students and communities in every corner of the state. The board established the Awards for Excellence to honor this exceptional work, to shine a spotlight on it, and to share it far beyond a single campus.”


William Baldus
Director of the Career Center
Metro State University

“Bill is a creative career professional who is highly respected at the university, within and across Minnesota State, by employers and in the career services profession,” said Ginny Arthur, president of Metro State University. “It has been a joy to see Bill grow his leadership, confidence, and voice. I cannot imagine a better representative of the values of Minnesota State, our Board, and our chancellor than Bill Baldus.”



These awards are bestowed upon faculty within Minnesota State to acknowledge and reward exceptional commitment to student learning, and to encourage ongoing excellence in teaching. The award proclaims, on behalf of the entire Minnesota State system, the Board of Trustees’ pride in the dedication and accomplishment of its faculty who provide instruction that prepares Minnesota State college and university students for their professional, scholarly, and civic lives. This year, the Educators of the Year are:

Karim Ismaili headshotHope Doerner
Early Childhood Education
Minneapolis College

“Hope works tirelessly to make a difference in our college, Minnesota State, and the child-care industry,” said Sharon Pierce, president of Minneapolis College. “The very fact that Hope knows how to navigate systems to make these changes is impressive. But even more impressive is why she does it – everything Hope does is driven by her love for students and her desire to be part of the solution to the ongoing crisis in the availability of high-quality day care.”



Mónica García-Pérez
St. Cloud State University

“Dr. García-Pérez has contributed immensely to the university’s mission to achieve distinction in student success,” said Robbyn Wacker, president of St. Cloud State University. “She has been a leader in her discipline both within the state and nationally. She combines a strong research agenda and attention to scholarship of teaching and learning which provides her students with an extraordinary learning experience.”



Kendra-Ann Seenandan-Sookdeo
Minneapolis College

“One of the things that stands out about Kendra-Ann is her understanding of and compassion for students in the Nursing program,” said Sharon Pierce, president of Minneapolis College. “As a former nursing faculty myself, I understand that aside from the rigor of the program itself, one of the greatest challenges nursing students face is the stress and anxiety that accompanies the rigorous curriculum and the high-stakes nature of either making it or not making it as a nursing student. I am impressed with the ways in which Dr. Seenandan-Sookdeo responds to that reality both in and out of the classroom.”


Minnesota State includes 26 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 300,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.