Metropolitan State University appreciates and acknowledges the dedication and hard work of faculty and advisors to foster student success. The Excellence in Advising and Excellence in Teaching Awards is a means for students to nominate faculty and advisors to receive official recognition at the annual Fall Teaching Workshop.

Access to nomination forms:

The Teaching and Advising Award recipients are announced and honored during the annual Fall Faculty Conference.

Access Excellence in Teaching Award (1976-2012) recipients.  

Current Advisors and Faculty Award Recipients:

2016-2017

Anne Aronson, professor in the College of Liberal Arts, received the 2016-2017 Outstanding Teacher Award, the highest teaching honor at Metropolitan State. Dr. Aronson received the 2004-2005 Excellence in Teaching Award. She has been a professor at Metropolitan State for over 24 years. She teaches courses in professional writing, information literacy, rhetorical theory, and gender and sport. In recent years, she has studied digital storytelling, created her own digital stories for both personal and professional contexts, and taught the art of digital storytelling to students and faculty.

Renée Cedarburg, community faculty in the College of Management, received the 2016-2017 Excellence in Teaching Award. Cedarberg earned her undergraduate degree in history from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Education, with a focus on Human Resource Development and Adult Education from the University of Minnesota. Ms. Cedarburg has been a community faculty in the College of Management for eight years, with a focus on teaching classes in the Human Resources department. In addition to teaching, she is a Quality Matters Master and Program Reviewer and supports the university's Center for Online Learning by leading workshops and course reviews.

Daniel Abebe, professor in the College of Individualized Studies, received the 2016-2017 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. Joined Metropolitan State in fall of 1989. Since then, he has taught courses in the College of Individualized Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Abebe earned his Masters and PhD degrees in Adult Education from the University of Minnesota and holds a BA in Economics from Hamline University. In the last 28 years Abebe has been at Metropolitan State, he coordinated the Perspectives Center, served as the first Dean of Metropolitan State's First College (now, the College of Individualized Studies), founded and served as the first co-chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, served as acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, assumed a permanent dean position in First College where he served for 10 years and, while he was there, was appointed simultaneously as the acting dean of the College of Professional Studies for one year.

Karin Jax, academic advisor in the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs, received the 2016-2017 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. Ms. Jax joined Metropolitan State in February 2011. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Master of Science degree in Community Health with an emphasis in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Judith Minning, academic advisor in the College of Individualized Studies, received the 2016-2017 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. For many years, Ms. Minning worked as a business development/human resource management consultant for a global technology corporation in Minnesota and in Maryland. Ms. Minning earned her BA and MA degrees from Concordia University-Saint Paul and completed graduate research in China and Taiwan. Ms. Minning has taught university/college courses and coached students in various outreach initiatives at 28 locations.


2015-2016

Faisal Kaleem, associate professor in the College of Sciences, received the 2016-2017 Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Kaleem received his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Florida International University. He is serving as an associate professor in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences at Metropolitan State and a Senior Fellow at The Leadership Institute (TLI) at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kaleem's teaching philosophy is quite simple: Teaching should be full of learning, and learning should be fun.

Nancy Miller, associate professor in the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs, received the Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. Ms. Miller came to Metropolitan State University in August 2005.  She earned a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Human Services Practitioner.   

Birtukan Abebe, academic advisor in the College of Sciences, received the 2015-2016 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. Ms. Abebe came to the United States as international student in 1985 and pursued an education in economics and clothing design. She never planned to be an advisor, but after she started working as an advisor, she found that she enjoyed working with students, faculty and staff; it seems it was meant to be. As a past international student, her cultural background and educational experience are very similar to many of Metropolitan State students, which helps her relate to students on a more personal level. Ms. Abebe has never forgotten the advisors who made a difference in her educational journey, and she hopes she does the same for her advisees at Metropolitan State.

2014-2015

Ruth Staus, associate professor in the College of Health, Community and Professional Studies, received the 2014-2015 Outstanding Teacher Award, the highest teaching honor at Metropolitan State. Dr. Staus earned her Bachelors in Nursing from Metropolitan State and was among the first four nurses to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Metropolitan State.

Rose McKinney, community faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the 2014-2015 Excellence in Teaching Award. Ms. McKinney received her bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication with an emphasis on public relations from Drake University in Iowa. Rose has since become a highly respected, award winning public relations professional who has served in a number of executive roles in the industry for many years. Currently, Rose is founder and CEO of Pineapple RM, a strategic communications firm focused on reputation management including public relations. Recently, she was inducted into the Public Relations Society of America's College of Fellows - an honor bestowed to an elite group of senior-level practitioners who have demonstrated significant impact on the industry. Locally, she has been recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as a "Woman to Watch."

John Schneider, associate professor in College of Arts and Sciences, received the 2014-2015 Excellence in Teaching Award. He is an Associate Professor in the Natural Sciences Department. He earned his PhD from Purdue University, where he conducted research on his dissertation entitled, "Molecular Oncology of Adenovirus and Papillomavirus: Role of Early Viral Genes in Oncogenic Transformation." John has been a Metropolitan State resident faculty member since 2001. Prior to his full-time appointment, he served the University as a community faculty member from 1997-2001.

Ping Wang, academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Excellence in Advising Lifetime Achievement Award. She received the Outstanding Advising Award in 1998 and the Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award in 2012.

Stanley Hatcher, academic advisor in the College of Individualized Studies, received the 2014-2015 Excellence in Advising Award. Mr. Hatcher began at Metropolitan State in 2007 as the African-African American Student Services Coordinator and Retention Specialist. He graduated with his bachelor's degree from the very college he now advises, the College of Individualized Studies. He also holds an MA in Health and Human Services Administration from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Cindy Kaus, associate professor and faculty advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the 2014-2015 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award, the university's top advising honor. Prior to Metropolitan State, Dr. Kaus was an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota and an electrical engineer for Honeywell Satellite Systems in Arizona. Cindy is active in multiple mathematics and science associations, including the American Mathematical Society and the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. Professor Kaus has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University and a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Arizona.

Cynthia Olson, full-time professional academic advisor working with students in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, received the Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award, the university's top advising honor. She is an active member of the National Academic Advising Association (NADACA) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). In addition to her two years at Metropolitan State, she has more than thirteen years of higher education experience at St. Catherine University in admissions and advising. She has also been a program director in aquatics and student development at the YMCA. Ms. Olson holds a BA from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University, in Saint Paul, MN.

2013-2014

Mark Grunewald, community faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the 2014 Outstanding Teacher Award, the highest teaching honor at Metropolitan State. Grunewald, Minneapolis, joined Metropolitan State in 2001 and has been teaching Introduction to Statistics since 2002. He previously earned another university teaching honor, the Excellence in Teaching Award, in 2005. He has a BA in psychology from Macalester College, Saint Paul, and an MA in teaching mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Nadine Haley, associate professor in the School of Urban Education (UEd), received the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award. Haley, Minnetonka, started at the university in 2001. A former chair of Urban Education, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Haley's academic and research interests include literacy, culturally responsive teaching and teacher preparation in an urban context. She has been published in several academic journals and has presented at numerous regional and national conferences. She has a bachelor's degree in English education, Langston University, Oklahoma; a master's in communication from Columbia College, Chicago, and a master's in English education from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Haley also has a PhD in urban education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Barbara Beltrand, associate professor in the College of Management, received the 2014 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. Beltrand, Saint Paul, has been teaching as a Metropolitan State community or resident faculty member since 1993. A professor of accounting and a certified public accountant, Beltrand enjoys both teaching and counseling accounting students. She has bachelor's degrees in English and anthropology from Macalester College, a master of library science from Simmons College, Mass., and a master in professional accounting/business administration from Northeastern University, Mass.

Kim Doebbert, academic advisor in the College of Individualized Studies, received the 2014 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. Doebbert has been an academic advisor at Metropolitan State for more than 13 years. A licensed Minnesota teacher, she has taught children and adults in many subjects and at several higher education institutions, including Metropolitan State, North Hennepin Community College and Normandale Community College. She has bachelor's degrees in music and elementary education and a master's in elementary education, all from Winona State University.

Linda Martinez, admissions advisor in the International Student Services office, received the 2014 Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. Martinez started at the university in 1994. She previously worked in the Ethnic Studies and Social Work departments and served as a TRIO counselor, academic advisor in Urban Education and an office manager in the university's admissions office. Martinez became an international admissions advisor in 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in social work from Metropolitan State and a master's in social work from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

2012-2013

Jeanne Grant, associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Grant joined the university faculty in 2008 and teaches world and European history, and researches Central Europe during the early modern period. She has been published extensively in the area. Grant has a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as well as an MA and PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ruth Staus, associate professor, nursing, received the Excellence in Teaching Award.  Staus started at Metropolitan State as a community faculty member in 2004 and became a full-time tenure-track faculty in 2007. She teaches many courses in geriatric nursing and is a founding member of the Edgerton Wellness Center and the Love Grows Here Wellness Center, both of which serve diverse local populations. She has a BAN from Metropolitan State, an MSN from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and a DNP from Metropolitan State.

Sara Lenertz, community faculty, mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Lenertz joined the university community faculty in 2003. She has a BA in mathematics, as well as a BS and an MA in mathematics from the University of Minnesota.

Juan Rangel, full time academic advisor from the Department of Psychology, received the Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award, the university's top advising honor. Rangel started advising in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice in 2005. He has also advised psychology students since 2010. Rangel has a BA in sociology from the University of Texas-Austin and has pursued graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, Stout.

Carol Lacey, associate professor, College of Individualized Studies, received the Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award, the university's top advising honor. Lacey first worked for Metropolitan State in 1974 as a community faculty member and was appointed as a CIS faculty member in 2012. She teaches CIS courses and advises students in the individualized baccalaureate degree program. Lacey has VA degrees in English, music and German from Concordia College, Moorhead, as well as an MA in journalism and political science and a PhD in American studies, both from the University of Minnesota.

Metropolitan State University Emeriti Faculty

On April 14, 2007, the Center for Faculty Development unveiled a plaque in recognition and honor of the faculty who have reached emeriti status. Their dedication and contributions to the university community have not gone unnoticed. The plaque hangs at the entrance of the Founders Hall Auditorium on the Saint Paul campus.

Year AwardedEmeriti Faculty
2016 Nancy Black, Kenneth Hess, Kathryn Kelley, Mary Kirk, and Jacqueline Richardson
2015 Robert Gremore and William Payne
2014 Michael Breci, Everett Doolittle, and Roger Prestwich
2013 Tim Erickson, Alice Magnuson, Suzanne Narayan, Hameed Nezhad, Tom O'Connell, Susan Spring Shumer, Ellen Schultz, and Kathy Wellington
2012 Grover Cleveland, Jeanne Cornish, Adela Peskorz, and Lorene Wedeking
2011 John Burton and Marilyn Loen
2010 Donald Bibeau, Deborah Bushway and Kenneth Zapp
2009 Bob Fox, Dennis Daly, Sharon Rice Vaughan, Martha Sofio, and Ron Salzberger
2008 Mary Brekke
2007 Rosalyn Rubin
2006 Mary Dressel and Mel Henderson
2005 Marilyn Vigil
2004 Chet Meyers
2003 Mary Martin and Anne Webb
2001 Beverly Ferguson, Miriam Meyers, and Fancher Wolfe
2000 Colleen Coghlan and Carol Holmberg
1999 Jeff Levy, Piers Lewis, and Carol Ryan