BISMARCK, ND — Around 100 students are recognized every year for their service, leadership and accomplishments in areas ranging from academics to volunteerism. On a typical year, these awards are presented by University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea at an elegant banquet with family and loved ones at their side.

The festivities celebrate the University of Mary’s mission of servant leadership as exemplified for us through Jesus Christ, whose witness is particularly lived-out by the individuals recognized at this event.

This year, that ceremony along with other events on and off campus were cancelled based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While these students were unable to take part in an official awards presentation, they’ve demonstrated sacrifice and dedication to academic excellence, leadership, and service to others, worthy of recognition. For their accomplishments, these distinguished students received the following awards:

North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Outstanding Student in Early Childhood Education to Megan Helget, St. James, MN.

This award honors students based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities, and potential for continued success.

 

North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Outstanding Student in Elementary Education to Halli Ackerman, Bismarck, ND.

This award is given to a student who has interest in teaching, has outstanding personal qualities and character, has high academic ranking, and is involved in campus activities and community organizations.

 

North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Outstanding Student in Secondary Education to Landon Dekrey, Bismarck, ND.

This award is given to a student who has interest in teaching, has outstanding personal qualities and character, has high academic ranking, and is involved in campus activities and community organizations.

 

R.D. Koppenhaver Exam Scholarship to Maria McDonald, Eden Prairie, MN.

This award is based on academic achievement and for a student planning to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Marv Borgelt for the Outstanding Graduating Senior of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business to Taylor Pettigrew, Arvada, CO.

This award recognizes a student based on the following criteria: 1) Summa is the top 1 percent – 3.9 or better GPA, 2) Egregia Cum Laude (outstanding praise) criteria – those who receive overwhelming outstanding praise from faculty and/or peers, 3) on and off campus volunteer activities, and 4) on and off campus recognition.

Abby Renschler Memorial Award to Katie Hauser, Yankton, SD.

This award is in memory and honor of Abby Renschler, a 2015 graduate of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business, who passed away on June 27, 2015. The
award is presented to a junior or senior from the Gary Tharaldson School of Business based on the following criteria: 1) demonstration of academic achievement with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, 2) demonstration of passion for learning, and 3) sets a positive example for others. Additional consideration is given to students who have transferred to the University of Mary to complete their bachelor’s degree as Abby had done so.

Senior Nursing Leadership Award to Ali Gellner, Langdon, ND.

This award is given to a student who represents the philosophy and goals of the university and the Division of Nursing, is recognized for professionalism, e.g., accountability, creative leadership, and effective collaboration with others. This may also include involvement in campus activities other than those related to nursing as well as activities in the larger community. The student also demonstrates significant academic achievement, attainment of the university-wide competencies and Division of Nursing Outcomes.

Student Nurse of the Year to Kelly Danielson, Fairview, MT.

This award is given to an outstanding member of the University of Mary Nursing Student Association and is selected by a panel of judges from the nursing community. Winners then compete for the state SNOY title.

Judy Maslowski Award to Molly Buchholz, Sturgis, SD, and Kelly Danielson, Fairview, MT.

The Judy Maslowski Award is given twice a year by the Division of Nursing to a second semester junior nursing student who has demonstrated excellence both in the academic and in the clinical areas of the nursing program at the University of Mary.

Lambda Beta National Respiratory Therapy Honor Society to Alexander Johnson, Bismarck, ND, Thomas Krieger, Bismarck, ND, Katherine Murphy, Jefferson City, MT, and Mikaylah Ross, Valley City, ND.

This award is given to a student who is in top 25 percent of their class and has an overall GPA of 3.50 or higher.

Exercise Physiology Outstanding Researcher Award undergraduate recipients to Jamison Dietrich, Bismarck, ND, Patricia Martin, Helena, MT, and graduate recipient to Jamison Gray, Dickinson, ND, Nicole Rentas, Colorado, Springs, CO.

This award recognizes a student who 1) is currently accepted into the Program in Exercise Science or Clinical Exercise Physiology 2) has potential for research publication in a peer reviewed journal 3) has submitted for presentation at a regional or national professional meeting 4) has met high level of quality of work, including research design, sample size and quantity of measures/variables.

Exercise Physiology Outstanding Servant Leader Award to Haley Hill, Gwinner, ND.

This award recognizes a student who has 1) been fully accepted into the Program in Exercise Science (junior or senior) or Program in Clinical Exercise Physiology (first or second year master’s degree program), 2) demonstrated passing academic performance; total GPA of 2.5 for under- graduate and 3.5 for graduate, or higher, 3) demonstrated active involvement in the University of Mary community, 4) demonstrated active involvement in the greater community, 5) consistently models the Benedictine values of community, hospitality, moderation, prayer, respect for persons, and service, 6) demonstrated outstanding service in the Exercise Clinic, including skills competency (with assessment and exercise monitoring/supervision), communication, reliability and dependability, documentation, and active willingness to learn.

Athletic Training Leadership Award to Angeline Nguyen Elk Grove, CA, and Briana Nguyen, Elk Grove, CA.

This award recognizes a student that has leadership or an active involvement with: 1) UMATSA, 2) Club Involvement (ELA, Pro Health, etc.), 3) University Stewardship, 4) Community Involvement, 5) Attending CEU meetings for district or state, 6) Recommendation letter from one preceptor and one peer, and 7) Letter to the award panel.

Outstanding Senior Athletic Training Award to Brooke Nicholson, Chinook, MT.

This award recognizes a senior student with: 1) above average grade point Average, 2) above average evaluations from preceptors, faculty, peers, and underclassmen, 3) service learning hours, 4) volunteer hours, and 5) involvement in the university.

Outstanding Student in Civil Engineering to Logan Mahoney, Parkston, SD.

This award is givien to a student based upon 1) his/her outstanding character, 2) academic excellence and professionalism in civil engineering, and 3) demonstration of leadership.

Outstanding Student in Mechanical Engineering to Peter Collart, Covington, GA.

This award is givien to a student based upon 1) his/her outstanding character, 2) academic excellence and professionalism in mechanical engineering, and 3) demonstration of leadership.

Outstanding Student in Electrical Engineering to Snaedis Danielsdottir, Reykholahreppur, Iceland.

This award is given to a student based upon 1) his/her outstanding character, 2) academic excellence and professionalism in electrical engineering, and 3) demonstration of leadership.

Outstanding Student in Construction Management to Jacob Lantz, Dickinson, ND.

This award is given to a student based upon 1) his/her outstanding character, 2) academic excellence and professionalism in construction management, and 3) demonstration of leadership.

Outstanding Freshman in Chemistry Award to Gabriel Suda, East Grand Forks, MN,

This award is given to the top freshman student in general chemistry.

Dr. Marla Behm Scholarship to Paige Ehlis, New England, ND, Dillon Kovash, Manning, ND.

This award is given to a student who demonstrates academic excellence, service to community, and has completed Organic Chemistry I.

Outstanding Senior in Biology to Jenna Ehlis, New England, ND, Sam Wilke, Bismarck, ND.

This award is given to a student based upon his/her character, academic excellence in the biological sciences, and demonstration of leadership.

Outstanding Senior in Biology Education to Ashley Kling, Escanaba, MI.

This award is given to a student based upon his/her character, academic excellence, and leadership in pursuit of a career in biology education.

Sandra Nicholson Award to Sarah Gellerman, Bismarck, ND.

This scholarship was established by the family of the late Sandra Nicholson, who was a member of the University of Mary faculty and is awarded to an outstanding junior vocal music major.

Terry and Cathy Kristensen Award to Abigail Lynch, Holcombe, WI.

Terry and Cathy Kristensen of Bismarck, long-time friends and supporters of the University of Mary, endowed this award in the spring of 2014 to recognize and support an outstanding freshman music major. Recipients are selected on the basis of musical and academic merit, and their contributions to the ensembles and programs within the music department.

Kenneth and Patricia Porter Award to Sarah Pankratz, Billings, MT, Lucas Schlosser, Mandan, ND.

This award is endowed by Kenneth and Patricia Porter and their children to recognize and support an outstanding freshman music student with preference for students from Mandan and Bismarck. Recipients may major in any area, but must demonstrate leadership and service through participation in a major music ensemble on campus.

Beverly Huschka Award to Mackenzie Houston, Almonte, Ontario, Canada, Taylor Lassiter, Bismarck, ND.

The Beverly Huschka Award honors a junior Communication major who, like the award’s namesake, shows commitment to professional communication goals and a vision for accomplishing those goals.

Outstanding Communication Senior Award to Samuel Garvey, Marshall, MN.

The Outstanding Communication Senior Award honors a senior Communication major who, shows initiative, innovation and servant leadership.

Student Government Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards to Dr. Daniel Sportiello, Meagan Kline, and Scott Peters, Bismarck, ND.

This award recognizes staff or faculty members who have made an impact on students academically and/or personally.

Sr. Thomas Distinction of Service Award to Phillip Jacobs, Dickinson, ND.

This award recognizes a senator, serving at least one year on Senate, who has exemplified premier service to the University of Mary Student Government. He/she has shown leadership and service to Student Government and embodies the Benedictine value of service in their everyday life.

First Year Senator of the Year Award to Matthew Potoniec, Mount Prospect, IL.

This award recognizes a first year student senator, regardless of the academic year, who has demonstrated commitment
to Student Government. He/She has created an immediate impact on Student Government through excellence in filling the duties of his/her office.

Foot Print Award to Maura Stevenson, Woodbury, MN.

The Foot Print Award is given to an outgoing senior Student Government member who has provided an outstanding contribution to the Senate and the student body throughout their entire career at the University of Mary.

Senator of the Year Award to Taylor Lassiter, Bismarck, ND.

This recognizes a student senate member who has contributed outstanding service to the student senate and student body.

Student Organization of the Year to Marauders on Media.

This award is in recognition of exemplary service and commitment by a student organization to the University of Mary. As part of this recognition, this organization will receive $1,000 from the Sister Jude Braus Grant.

Student Organization Advisor of the Year to Anne Yantes, Bismarck, ND.

This award is in recognition of exemplary service and commitment to students as an advisor to a student organization. As part of this recognition, this advisor’s organization will receive $500 from the Sister Jude Braus Grant.

Outstanding Marauders Activities Committee Board Member to Anna Picasso, Sioux Falls, SD.

This award is presented to the student(s) who have shown the most dedication to providing quality entertainment to their peers. They have gone above and beyond to serve their fellow students and did so with pride.

Resident Assistant of the Year to Daniel Digiallonardo, Huntsville, AL.

This award is given to a second or third year RA who exceeds the expectations of the RA position in offering students an on-campus living experience based upon the university’s mission and Benedictine values to his or her residents while providing outstanding programming, outreach, and service to the entire university community. The recipient of this award is an example to all other RAs and leads the department to a higher standard of performance.

Rookie RA of the Year to Nicholas Herman, Saint Clair Shores, MI.

This award is given to a first year RA who exceeds the expectations of the RA position in offering students an on-campus living experience based upon the university’s mission and Benedictine values through outstanding achievement in the RA position while participating successfully in other student organizations on campus. The recipient of this award build community through programming, counseling, and exceptional performance on a residence life staff by remaining available, accessible, and approachable- an extraordinary accomplishment for any RA, but especially for a first-year RA.

Outstanding Rec Crew Member of the Year to Jackson Penner, The Pas, Manitoba, Canada.

This award is given to a Rec Crew Worker who exceeds the expectations of the Rec Crew position by role modeling the University’s Mission and Benedictine values to all students that take part in student recreation and going above and beyond the call of duty to provide organized and fun recreational events to their peers. The recipient of this award is an example to all other Rec Crew workers and leads the department to a higher standard of performance and fun.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta Award to Jenna Ehlis, New England, ND.

This award is given to a student who has beautifully exemplified the Benedictine Value of Service. The recipient of the St. Teresa of Calcutta Service Award has been a true servant leader and has followed the example of Jesus Christ who “did not come to be serves, but to serve,” and recognizes that service is a way of living, not simply an act done to earn credit of some kind.

Service for Life Award to Talon Bitz, Bismarck, ND, Cassandra Johnson, Moorhead, MN, Morgan Remboldt, Bismarck, ND, Kiaya Schwab, Mandan, ND, Luisa Garcia Michel, Tlanepantla, Mexico, Katherine Murphy, Jefferson City, MT, Ashley Robledo, Las Vegas, NV.

This award is presented to those students who have participated in 50 or more hours of service in the Bismarck-Mandan community. They are recognized for their devotion to our Benedictine value of service and a willingness to give of their time and talents to those in need.

Outstanding University Ministry Team Member to Abby Hill, Glendive, MT.

This award recognizes a member of the University Ministry student leadership team who exemplifies the mission of the Saint John Paul II Center for University Ministry and has made an extraordinary contribution to the spiritual life of the university community.

Outstanding Peer Leader to Amber Dix, Aberdeen, SD.

This award recognizes a Welcome Week Peer Leader who excelled in their position. They warmly welcomed all those who they met on campus; worked well with students and fellow peer leaders; generated enthusiasm and excitement for Welcome Week events; and went above and beyond to serve their fellow students. The recipient of this award is an example to all other peer leaders and is a role model for the university’s mission and Benedictine values.

Meritorious Peer Tutor Award to Luisa Garcia-Michel, Tlanepantla, Mexico.

This award recognizes the outstanding service of a peer tutor for the academic year, who has exemplified servant leadership and dedication to the academic excellence of University of Mary undergraduate students through exceptional instructional tutoring. He/She has demonstrated mentorship through their work experience with a variety of tutorial assistance programs and created a positive impact on tutoring services.

TRIO Elite Graduate Award to Samantha Wiechman, Freeport, MN, Lucia Bolibruch, Jamestown, RI.

This award exemplifies all the attributes of a successful TRIO student by taking full advantage of the TRIO program, demonstrating outstanding leadership skills, exhibiting a positive attitude, and achieving a GPA of 3.5 or greater.

Outstanding Service as an Admissions Intern to Tommy Rumpza, St. Paul, MN.

This award recognizes a graduating student who has contributed outstanding service to the university through his/her years as an admission intern.

Outstanding Service as an Admissions Administrative Intern to Mikayla Lindquist, Saint Francis, MN.

This award recognizes a graduating student who has contributed outstanding service to the university through his/her years as an admissions administrative intern.

Student Ambassador of the Year to Mallory Sharp, Savage, MN.

This award recognizes an outstanding Student Ambassador who has excelled in representing themselves and the University of Mary to prospective students and their families.

UMTFO Academic Excellence Scholarship to Reece English, Lakeville, MN.

The University of Mary Teaching Faculty Organization gives this award based on GPA, university and community activities, academic excellence, and nomination by a faculty member. The winner receives a $1,000 scholarship.

St. Catherine Medal

Undergraduate Recipient to Abby Hill, Glendive, MT.

Graduate Recipient Matthew Gallegos, Grand Junction, CO.

The Saint Catherine Medal for Student Achievement is an annual award for presentation at colleges and universities affiliated with Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society. Each year, University of Mary awards up to two medals: one to a graduating senior and one to a graduate student who is completing his/her studies. These students must exemplify leadership, service, and the ideals of a Catholic education. Recipients are nominated by faculty and selected by a committee composed of a representative from the Catholic Studies Program, an instructor from the Emerging Leaders Academy, and the Office of Academic Affairs. This year, 14 outstanding students were nominated.

Presidential Student Leadership Awards

This award is given to students who are sophomores or above who have attained a grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 and higher. The honorees are selected based upon 1) exemplary dedication to the mission and Benedictine values of Mary, 2) involvement and responsibility in Mary’s organizations and activities, 3) demonstration of leadership and initiative in eliciting the participation of others, and 4) mature desire to be involved in projects that further one’s own educational goals.

From Austin, Texas, Gabriela Castillo. Gabriela is a Communications Sciences and Disorders major. She is a very service-oriented person, always helping others by volunteering on and off campus. Gabby was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council that helped to coordinate service events, and she has also taught English and volleyball to Puerto Rican children while on a FOCUS mission trip.

From Aberdeen, South Dakota, Amber Dix. Amber is a double major in Sports and Leisure Management and Marketing. Amber has been a Welcome Week Peer Leader for the past two years, assisting new students in transitioning to the academic, intellectual, and social culture of the University of Mary as well as an active member of the Student Senate.

From Louisville, Kentucky, Zoe Krauskopf. Zoe is a Social Work major and has been active in many activities on and off campus. She has been involved in the Emerging Leaders Academy, Collegians for Life, mission work in Guatemala, and has been a mentor for Youthworks and youth transitioning out of the Youth Correctional Center. She has a heart for serving others and is authentically joyful in doing so.

From Salem, South Dakota, Rachel Laetsch. Rachel is a double major in Mathematics and Special Education. Rachel is one of the captains of the University of Mary softball team as well as a Bible study leader for her teammates. She has been very active in volunteering both on and off campus as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as well as helping out with the North Dakota Special Olympics State Bowling Tournament.

From Morrison, Colorado, Erin Nestorick. Erin is a double major in Criminal Justice and Social Work. Erin is one of the captains of the swim team and she exemplifies true student leadership in the way she welcomes and mentors her teammates. She is an active member in the Emerging Leaders Academy and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as well as a regular volunteer at Ministry on the Margins and the Soup Café.

From Burnsville, Minnesota, Cecilia Nicklaus. Cecilia is a Philosophy major and also a member of the Gregorian Scholars Honor Program. She has been serving as a Resident Assistant for the past two and a half years where she contributes to the formation of her residents through thoughtful programming. She was also a member of the first cohort of the Mary College at ASU experience.

From Leymone, Pennsylvania, John Paul (JP) Oscilowski. JP is a Computer Information Systems Major. JP has served as a Peer Leader as well as a Peer Team Leader for Welcome Week. During this time as a Peer Team Leader, he demonstrated his dedication to the university mission by serving the needs of our incoming students and those of his fellow Peer Leaders.

From Chanhassen, Minnesota, Dominic Streeter. Dominic is a double major in Computer Information and Information Technology Management with a minor in Catholic Studies. He has been a member of chapel choir and the GTSB Emerging Leaders Academy. He has also worked at the IT help desk on campus for a number of years and has even turned down higher-paying opportunities, preferring to serve our campus community instead.

From Bismarck, North Dakota, Brianna Vetter. Brianna is a Music Major. She is a past president of the Music Student Organization, where her main goal was promoting the value of community. She has been instrumental in planning and executing events on campus such as the “Christmas at Mary Food Drive” and “The Big Band Dance.” She is quick to serve and embodies the Benedictine values in her daily interactions as a student, organization council member, and peer.