Whether providing instruction classes or class visits, research help services, night-time study events and participating in the Beaver Success Coach program, they never loses its positive attitude or enthusiasm.
Over the last several years, these staff members also has tackled a number of large projects — including moving their day-to-day operations to a new software platform — and are now managing a significant renovation to their building as a result of the Hagg-Sauer project.
A nominating colleague called this team, “forward-looking individuals who create opportunities for student engagement and new ways to serve their patrons.”
The individual recipient of Bemidji State University’s 2019 Spirit of BSU award goes to an unsung hero whose work supports faculty and staff from behind the scenes.
Chris Haley, of printing services, has consistently advocated for BSU students and has worked to make new technology and services available to them. Whether materials are needed for classrooms, special events or presentations, quality and service are his hallmark traits.
Haley also has provided guidance and support to BSU’s nationally prominent club fishing team, which has become one of the more visible and popular student clubs at the university. His guidance helped the team secure donations of a custom boat and a vehicle to pull it. And through his leadership, BSU was able to host the national collegiate bass fishing tournament in 2017
A nominating colleague said Haley, “…is here early and works late, and nothing ever rattles him.”
Bemidji State University’s 2019 Outstanding Contribution team award goes to the Student Center for Health and Counseling (SCHC) counselors, a group of dedicated professionals who were called upon to support our students during an extremely difficult and sensitive time.
Facing urgent need from dozens of students in the face of tragedy, SCHC made themselves available for as much time as possible to help, with particular effort being made to ensure students were seen the same day as their request for an appointment whenever possible. SCHC also took requests to meet with groups of students, as well. Demand was so great that an additional member was hired for their team.
A nominating colleague said of SCHC, “during a time when the college needed their best effort, they stepped up to the challenge and assured these visits were as successful as they could be.”
One of Bemidji State University’s 2019 Outstanding Contribution awards goes to Jim Stone, assistant professor of human health performance sport and health and head women’s soccer coach, who has guided his team to an unprecedented era of success.
Over the last two seasons, his team has won 33 games — including a school-record 18 victories this past fall season — with six ties and only two losses. Both losses have come in post-season play. This team has not lost a regular-season game since October 15, 2016 — a streak of 40 consecutive regular-season games without a loss.
To cap the team’s remarkable 2018 season, when it was ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation, it won its first-ever NCAA Tournament game, right here on campus at Chet Anderson Stadium.
This nominee also earned the fourth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Coach of the Year award in his remarkable 17-year tenure at Bemidji State.
A nominating colleague said this nominee “is not only a great coach, but simply a great person.”
One of Bemidji State University’s 2019 Outstanding Contribution awards goes to Dr. Misty Wilkie, associate professor of nursing, who is passionate about mentoring the next generation of minority health care professionals.
The driving force behind the Niganawenimaanaanig program funded by a $2 million federal grant, Wilkie has helped BSU dramatically increase its number of indigenous nurses, which will in turn increase health equality and patient outcomes in the communities they eventually serve. This program had a goal to increase the number of indigenous nurses at BSU by 75 percent in four years; in the second year, BSU has seen a 600 percent increase.
This level of success is directly related to Wilkie’s passion for students, her ability to connect with students as a fellow indigenous nurse, and her genuine care for BSU’s nursing program.
A nominating colleague said Wilkie “routinely goes above and beyond to mentor our next wave of health care professionals in Indian Country. Her contributions to the university should not go unnoticed.”
One of Bemidji State University’s 2019 Outstanding Contribution awards goes to Paul Ekhoff, facilities building and maintenance supervisoe who goes “above and beyond“ to create and maintain a clean, comfortable environment for BSU’s resident students.
A caring and dedicated employee, Ekhoff works side-by-side with students and makes the quality of their residential experience his number one priority. He helps instill this ideal in other residential life staff, as well.
Ekhoff is also recognized as an industrious and organized planner and project manager. Overseeing projects valued at around $1 million each year, his relationships with other BSU staff, community contractors, engineers, architects, and suppliers helps ensure our students are safe and comfortable in their homes on campus.
A nominating colleague called him “one of, if not the, most caring, approachable, positive, capable and successful employees with whom I have ever worked.”
Dr. Pat Donnay, professor of political science, received the 2019 Bemidji State University Excellence in Teaching award for being a “phenomenal educator, mentor and colleague.”
For 27 years, Donnay has been preparing students to conduct research, assemble and draft their findings and present locally or regionally as a capstone instructor in their department. He meets with students weekly — outside of class time — and helps students produce “first rate” work. As a result of this extra effort, other faculty in the political science department have noticed improvements in their students’ verbal and written communications skills, as well.
One nominating colleague said Donnay has served as his role model and that his “talents, efforts, and dedication to the students are extraordinary.”
President Faith C. Hensrud recognizes Jean Lanners as the 2019 Distinguished Service award recipient.
Bemidji State University’s 2019 Distinguished Service award goes to Office and Administrative Specialist Jean Lanners who is recognized by colleagues as always makes the person they are working with feel like the most important person on campus.
Described as a “dedicated, distinguished employee,” Lanners was praised for her knowledge and ability to find the answers to any question asked. Seen as the type of person who “has a great day every day,” Lanners has been described as having “the soft skills that we all hope to achieve” and being an “extremely professional individual who will make sure everything is taken care of for everyone.”
A nominating colleague said, “I feel very privileged to work with someone who is such a dedicated, high-quality employee and who has always gone above and beyond.”