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Board of Trustees Awards


The Board of Trustees Awards for Excellence acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement of our college and university teaching and service faculty.

2023 Board of Trustees Awards

The 2023 BOT Award Nominations were due at 5:00 p.m. November 1, 2022.

Minnesota State faculty and staff can learn more on the BOT Awards page of ASA Connect (Sign in with

Erika Bailey JohnsonErika Bailey-Johnson 

Sustainability Director
Bemidji State University

A vocal champion for the ideals of equity and inclusion, particularly for Indigenous communities, Bailey-Johnson mentors students and serves as a coordinator and one of the instructors for the People of the Environment course.

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Abdullah Abu HusseinAbdullah Abu Hussein 

Information Systems 
St. Cloud State University 

Using creativity and a passion for mentoring and advising students, Dr. Abu Hussein carefully crafts his labs and assignments and taps a wide spectrum of teaching tools and techniques to accelerate student learning.  



Heidi AndersonHeidi Anderson 

English Language Learners/English 
Minnesota State Community and Technical College 

Highly focused on transforming the lives of students, Anderson improves student learning by building relationships, promoting a sense of community, and limiting barriers to students access and understanding of course materials.  



Carina BelincoCarina Belinco  

Normandale Community College   

Recipient of many teaching awards, Dr. Belinco works tirelessly to help students make connections between science and their lived experiences, fostering their curiosity and helping them understand biological concepts and their impacts. 



Brian BichBrian Bich 

Lake Superior College 

 Appreciated for his teaching style and welcoming learning environment, Bich engages students with memorable real-life examples and other approaches to help them master complex material and creates learning resources for them.  



Boyd BradburyBoyd Bradbury 

Leadership and Learning 
Minnesota State University Moorhead 

 A true innovator, Dr. Bradbury developed the first stand-alone doctoral program in the history of Minnesota State and expanded accessibility through fully online graduate programs, among other milestones. 



Susan BremerSusan Bremer 

Healthcare Administrative Specialist 
Central Lakes College   

A pioneer, Bremer developed hybrid and online options to meet student needs for flexibility well before their popularity grew and helps student embrace questioning as a normal part of the learning process.



Aaron BrownAaron Brown  

Hibbing Community College   

Brown fosters student interest and enthusiasm through real-life assignments that include producing newscasts, completing community solution projects, and writing and delivering a speech that persuades fellow students to make charitable donations. 



Andrew CarlsonAndrew Carlson 

Professional Communication 
Metro State University 

Dr. Carlson brings the classroom to life for his students through engaging discussions, team-based assignments, projects for community organizations, and other activities based on adult learning principles.



Joan CarterJoan Carter 

Inver Hills Community College 

A licensed professional engineer, Carter helps students understand complex concepts, works to make all students feel a sense of belonging in the classroom, and has developed courses that easily transfer toward bachelor’s degrees. 



Simran ChahalSimran Chahal 

Saint Paul College   

Dr. Chahal strives to show students the relevancy of chemistry inside and outside the classroom, helping them connect with STEM mentors and leaders and encouraging them to apply what they are learning. 



Jenny Corey-GruenesJenny Corey-Gruenes  

Riverland Community College   

With a clear focus on student growth, Corey-Gruenes spends time one-one-one with students to understand and guide them, develops assignments that support their learning, and started the Liberal Arts Club for students.  



Kristina EhnertKristina Ehnert 

Accounting and Business 
Central Lakes College 

Ehnert’s teaching philosophy “I do. We do. You do.” helps her reach students with all learning styles and shape engaging experiences that help students overcome barriers and meet high academic expectations.  



Alejandra Estrin DasheAlejandra Estrin Dashe 

Social Science 
Metro State University 

Dr. Estrin Dashe applies high-impact learning practices, such as the flipped classroom where work outside of class serves as preparation for in-class discussion, activities, and project-based assignments, to ignite student learning. 



Sandra GustafsonSandra Gustafson 

Hibbing Community College   

A gifted teacher and leader, Gustafson has engaged students, supported nursing faculty, led the introduction of a simulation experience for students, and helped drive new course assessment approaches.  



Renee GuyerRenee Guyer 

South Central College 

Named the college’s 2021 Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year, Guyer shares her passion for science with her students, incorporating strategies and approaches that help students grasp often complex material. 



Amanda HakemianAmanda Hakemian 

Normandale Community College 

Dr. Hakemian embraces instructional experimentation, exploring formats such as online learning and using real-world examples, demonstrations, and short animations to prepare students for working on “Now You Try” problems, among other strategies. 



Tonya Jo HansenTonya Jo Hansen 

Minnesota State University Moorhead 

 With a rare ability to guide, advise, and mentor students in ways that help them achieve their goals, Dr. Hansen excels at connecting with students and adapts her teaching to meet student needs. 



Catherine HaslagCatherine Haslag 

Riverland Community College   

Not only has Haslag created courses for students and helped them understand and apply scientific methods, but she also developed the Science Fair Mentoring Project to introduce elementary students to the joys of science. 



Alex HowellAlex Howell  

Minnesota State College Southeast 

Deeply committed to students, Howell encourages them as prospective students, sets lessons plans that make learning interesting, helps them learn from each other, coordinates clinical rotations, and treats each student with respect. 



Simon HuelsbeckSimon Huelsbeck 

Rochester Community and Technical College 

Winner of awards for both art and art education, Huelsbeck shares his love of art with students, as a teacher in the classroom, director and curator of the RCTC Gallery, and mentor to students and local artists.  



Mark JohnsonMark Johnson 

Political Science, History, and Geography  
Minnesota State Community and Technical College 

Johnson blends perspectives from history, political science, and geography for lessons, assignments, and other activities, such as podcasts, which help students understand and connect historical context to the issues that matter to them today.  



Katey LeversonKatey Leverson 

Liberal Arts and Sciences 
St. Cloud Technical and Community College 

Leverson strives to stimulate student interest in psychology, encourage and challenge thinking skills, and make the course material relevant through approaches that include discussions, writing assignments, and a variety of creative activities.  



Michelle MaldonadoMichelle Maldonado  

Anoka-Ramsey Community College   

From the beginning of every term, Maldonado centers her teaching philosophy around building relationships and mentoring her students, helping visualize themselves as nurses and working on individualized plans for success. 



Anthony MarchettiAnthony Marchetti 

Anoka-Ramsey Community College 

A 2016 Fulbright Teaching/Research Scholar, multiple Minnesota State Arts Board grant recipient, and well-regarded photographer with numerous solo and group exhibitions of his work, Marchetti offers his students a wealth of experience. 



Paul MelchiorPaul Melchior 

North Hennepin Community College 

Melchior applies a learning by doing philosophy in his courses, finding new ways to hook students and trigger their curiosity, as well as working with others to expand offerings for students, such as the Biology Study Abroad Program in Ireland.  



Sara MorganSara Morgan 

Anoka-Ramsey Community College   

An unwavering advocate for expanding access to nursing education, college alumnus Morgan supports students with care and responsiveness, brings her professional clinical work experiences into the classroom, and embraces new teaching strategies. 



Mark NovotnyMark Novotny  

Construction Electrician 
Anoka Technical College 

A Construction Electrician program graduate, Novotny returned as faculty to share valuable content expertise and experiences as an electrician with students, always adapting assignments and approaches to ensure student success. 



Donna PawlowskiDonna Pawlowski 

Sociology and Communication Studies  
Bemidji State University 

Architect of the BSU Communications Studies program, Dr. Pawlowski focuses on improving student learning with community-based capstone projects, assignments, and work to train others in service-learning.  



Catherine PullingCatherine Pulling 

Normandale Community College 

Dr. Pulling has devoted her career to serving students in language instruction, expanding their global and cultural opportunities and perspectives and along the way receiving 40 Phi Theta Kappa Golden Apple awards for teaching excellence.  



Amy RawsonAmy Rawson

Century College 

Instrumental in the development of many courses, including the Certificate Capstone Course, Dr. Rawson employs collaborative teaching strategies in the classroom, making the most of various types of technology and innovative activities. 



Jitendra SinghJitendra Singh  

Health Services Administration 
Minnesota State University Moorhead   

Known for his productivity, dedication to student success, and unfailing positive attitude, Dr. Singh constantly creates new content and uses a wide set of teaching tools to reach traditional and non-traditional students.  



Jennifer SippelJennifer Sippel 

Information Studies and Library Information Technology 
Minneapolis College 

Whether adopting materials so students never have to purchase a textbook, incorporating new technology, or leading two Minnesota State Shark Tank Innovation grants projects, she constantly looks to innovate and support student growth.  



Kelly SjervenKelly Sjerven 

Biology and Natural Science 
Rainy River Community College 

A leader in assessment practices, Sjerven helped revamp the college’s assessment process and embraces new methods of teaching and learning, as well as experiential learning, translating into a hands-on active learning environment for students.  



Heather SklenickaHeather Sklenicka 

Rochester Community and Technical College 

With a keen focus on students, Dr. Sklenicka adjusts her approaches to homework, format, and assessment to help students reach learning outcomes, builds community in the classroom, and shares her expertise with other faculty.  



Kari SlindenKari Slinden 

Ridgewater College 

Kari Slinden has forged partnerships that give students valuable field experience, and thanks to her ability to connect with students, faculty, and industry, she serves as a role model and informal leader in the college and community.   



Carie StatzCarie Statz 

Dakota County Technical College 

Dr. Statz strives to bring the real world into her teaching, tapping an advisory committee of marketing professionals and incorporating activities and projects that offer students opportunities to develop professional work for their portfolios.  



Thomas SundquistThomas Sundquist 

Normandale Community College 

The winner of 17 Phi Theta Kappa Golden Apple awards for his inspirational teaching, Dr. Sundquist believes that learning should be a joy, and students recognize that he genuinely cares about their learning and success.  



Ann Tuoy-GielAnne Tuoy-Giel 

Health Sciences and Nursing 
St. Cloud Technical and Community College 

Tuoy-Giel dedicates her teaching to ensuring that she meets and supports her students where they are in their academic journey, helping them connect theory with real-life situations to enhance clinical judgment and nursing decisions. 



Sara Van AstenSara Van Asten  

North Hennepin Community College   

No matter the course, Van Asten takes a collaborative approach to actively involve students in the material and remains committed to championing student success and advocating for resources to advance teaching and learning.  



Kristyn VanderWaal MillsKristyn VanderWaal Mills 

Saint Paul College 

Dr. VanderWaal Mills engages students with high-impact teaching methods and supports the education of low-income students through her successful pursuit and administration of a grant that provides scholarships and mentoring.  



Jay VargasJay Vargas 

Minnesota West Community and Technical College 

Going the extra mile for his students, Dr. Vargas guides and encourages them to build a stronger foundation of cultural competence, helping them to expand their perspectives, as well as to apply course material on a real-time basis.  



Gus VettlesonGus Vettleson 

Northwest Technical College 

Vettleson works to both reduce barriers for students and to offer a curriculum that allows students to easily see how classroom concepts will help them on the job and that relates to hands-on instruction in the college’s technical programs.  



Valerie WallingfordValerie Wallingford 

Business Administration 
Bemidji State University 

A tireless student advocate and mentor, an exceptional scholar and teacher, and believer in the inclusive classroom, Dr. Wallingford sets the stage for success by building bridges between students’ learning and their lived experiences.  



Breann WozniakBreann Wozniak 

Ridgewater College 

Wozniak engages students through meaningful small group work and related assignments, lessons that are tailored to student backgrounds and interests, and applied work, always encouraging students to take ownership of their learning.

Sara Granberg-RademackerSara Granberg-Rademacker 

Director, University Advising 
Minnesota State University, Mankato 

Granberg-Rademacker developed a successful plan to focus the advising center on the most vulnerable populations who were disproportionately struggling and led the transition to a new centralized, expanded advising model.  



Julia RolandJulia Roland 

Director, First Year Programs
Minnesota State University Moorhead 

Roland works closely with staff and faculty to provide a better experience for first-year students, whether that involves infusing new technology, helping transform curriculum and services, or advancing equity and inclusion. 



Paula ScheevelPaula Scheevel  

Director, Housing and Residence Life 
Winona State University   

Sheevel navigated the pandemic’s impact on student housing wisely, effectively, and safely, adding to many other milestones that include starting a night student security program and pioneering new living and learning communities. 



Sam VangSam Vang  

Academic Advisor, College of Management
Metro State University

Through his strong leadership, Vang has helped build a community for Asian American Pacific Islander students, sharing his cultural knowledge and advocating in many ways for equity and inclusion.  



Kathryn YoungKathryn Young  

Director, Office of Clinical Experiences
Co-Director, Center for Excellence in Professional Practice
St. Cloud State University 

Young supports the development of prospective teachers through her collaborations with faculty, staff, and school districts, as well as through partnerships to increase the diversity of teaching staff in Minnesota K-12 schools.


Email Catherine Ford at with questions.

Visit the BOT Awards page in ASA Connect for guidelines and rubrics for nominees. Sign in with

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