Tag Archives: accolades

Photos: Student Research Conference awards

President’s Poster Award: Alex Hepp, Chidiebere Khannaroth, Brian Thill; The Making of a Death Star
President’s Paper Award: Kenneth Abbott; A Multi-Specialty Medical Mission for Syrian Refugees in Jordan
Best Project Award: Eric Fulwiler; Hosting Websites with a Raspberry Pi
Conference Organizer Award: Liz Tetu; Technopaganisms + Videogames
Runner Up: Ian Hamilton; Rimworld: Community Driven Game Development
Student Scholars Committee Award: Jill Fallon; Theories & Civic Engagement in Later Life
Runner Up: Shaun Hurley; Volunteering Hours and Tenure and it’s Relationship to Mood
Student Scholars Committee Award: Nikitha Kommera; Smart Augmented Reality in CyberSecurity and Forensic Education
Library Award: Rebecca Knuckles; Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mortality Among America’s Elderly Population
Library Award: Donald Jones; Gesture and Memory
Runner Up: Brian Trac; Metroid’s Other M
Most Promising Research Award: Chris Kempe, Andrew VanDenBrocke, and Kate Ries; The Synthesis of 1,8-napthalamides in the Fluorescence Detection of Metal Ions through Chelation
Runner Up: Rhea Fofana; The Implementation of a Human Immunodeficiency (HIV) Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Program in an Urban Public Health Clinic: A Quality Improvement Project
Best Visuals Award: Kyle Jenness; History and Impact of Super Mario Brothers
Most Inspiring Research Award: Denny Yang, Students Salon: Sharing the Culmination of Student Artistry
People’s Choice Favorite Poster: *Names Not Available; The Network Thief
Runner Up: Randy Conaway: Effects that Social Media Has on Self-Esteem

Raj Sethuraju given Ambassador Award from Saint Paul Foundation

A celebration honoring anti-racism activists in Minnesota recognized six people who are working to build communities where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.

Saint Paul Foundation awarded faculty member Dr. Nadarajan “Raj” Sethuraju the Ambassador Award  at the May 9 celebration. This award comes with $5,000 and it is designated for the Law Enforcement Opportunities (LEO) scholarship program.

Dr. Sethuraju believes his work and the education of his students at Metropolitan State University are intimately connected to the improvement, evolution and development of the criminal justice community. He attempts not to lead from the “Ivory Tower,” but in the trenches of the system; using his expertise and scholarly work to truly marry academia and practice. When asked what the award means for him and for Metro State, he explained,

“The award is given to those who have been identified as champions of racial equity work by dismantling the structures of institutional and systematic racism.  I am honored and humbled to be recognized in this cohort of champions and to come behind so many great minds and spirits who have been given this ambassador award in the past ten years.  The anti-racism and equity work cannot be done alone; I am glad that there are strong communities both on campus and in the greater community who support and champion this mission.

“Our campus’ commitment to address the trauma of racism and work towards realizing the vision of being an anti-racist campus have been both an inspiration and a vocation.  Our campus’ location and patrons deserve our commitment and hard work that is aimed at creating a safe and dynamic community, society and nation.  I am committed to continue this work everyday with or without these recognition because our humanity matters.”

Metropolitan State University students are balancing an array of obligations and the impact of financial support is great, sometimes the determining factor to reach graduation. This is where LEO can help.

Law Enforcement Opportunities (LEO) is a non-profit organization operated by a volunteer Board of Directors. LEO has a commitment to diversifying the law enforcement, criminal justice, and corrections professions, and this commitment has resulted in the development of a yearly scholarship opportunity. Their goal is to provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships to individuals interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement, criminal justice, or corrections. Eligible applicants may receive up to $1,000 in scholarship money to fund their education and training.

The LEO Organization host’s a career fair each year and proceeds are directed to the LEO Scholarship Program.  The LEO Career Fair is open to all and is an opportunity for those interested in exploring the law enforcement and corrections profession’s to network and gain information.  The LEO Scholarship Program provides eligible applicants the opportunity to compete for scholarship awards.  Past LEO Scholarship Recipient’s in-turn commit volunteer time at the LEO Career Fair; this supports their networking opportunities.



Collaboration Award winners at D2L Connect Conference

Metropolitan State’s Center for Online Learning staff with faculty leaders in the Metropolitan State University online community won the Collaboration Award at D2L Connect Conference  on April 15.

Left to right; Carol Lacy, Owen Hanson, Travis Morgan, Andrew Marz, Melissa Heinz, Bilal Dameh, Joe Arvidson, Bob Bilyk and Carolyn Whitson
Left to right; Carol Lacy, Owen Hanson, Travis Morgan, Andrew Marz, Melissa Heinz, Bilal Dameh, Joe Arvidson, Bob Bilyk and Carolyn Whitson

Faisal Kaleem named advisory board member, National Cybersecurity Student Association

Faisal Kaleem, Associate Professor, Information and Computer Sciences department, was named as a member of the Advisory Board for the first ever National Cybersecurity Student Association (NCSA). Only nine board members are appointed nationally.


The NCSA is dedicated to enhancing the educational and professional development of cybersecurity students through activities, networking and collaboration. This group supports the cybersecurity educational programs of academic institutions, inspires career awareness and encourages creative efforts to increase the number of underrepresented populations in the field.

Kaleem was also appointed to serve as a member of the program committee for the 2016 National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE) conference, Nov. 1–2, Kansas City, Mo. The NICE conference features thought leaders from education, government, industry and non-profits who are addressing the cybersecurity education, training, and workforce needs of the nation.

“I truly appreciate all the support, help and exposure Metro State provided me to achieve these national designations,” said Kaleem. “I am proud to be part of Metro State community.”

March 31: 2016 Student Screenplay Awards

Metropolitan State’s Screenwriting Program proudly announces the winners of the 2016 Metropolitan State University Student Screenplay Awards. The university community is invited to an awards celebration and staged reading of the winning screenplays by professional actors, 7–8 p.m., March 31, in the Student Center, Saint Paul Campus.

First place is awarded to Matt Becker for his screenplay, “What’s Left,” a drama about the last man on Earth searching for a friend. Autumn Kisling is awarded second place for her futuristic screenplay, “New Future,” about a clever street girl who is recruited into an elite governing council but finds little solace in her new status. The Third Place Winner is Annie Moua for her screenplay, “Dust Covered Desires,” about a third grader who discovers a magical creature inside an old grandfather clock but gets more than she bargained for.

In addition, a screenwriting alumni and past winner is chosen to be honored each year. This year recognizes Zach Jansen, a three-time winner of past Student Screenplay Awards.

The Student Screenplay Awards recognizes professional achievement in screenwriting, builds community and engages audiences though public presentations of the art of screenwriting. The competition is judged by screenwriting alumni and is cosponsored by Metropolitan State’s Screenwriting Program, Film Club and Alumni Association.

For more information, contact James Byrne, coordinator, Screenwriting Program, at james.byrne@metrostate.edu

Faculty member Greg Zimprich elected to PRSA College of Fellows

Greg Zimprich

Metropolitan State Community Faculty member Greg Zimprich of Chaska has been elected to the Public Relations Society of America’s prestigious College of Fellows. The College of Fellows is an elite honor bestowed on fewer than 400 public relations practitioners and educators nationwide.

Zimprich co-taught Advanced Public Relations (COMM 481) last fall with colleague Rose McKinney, also a member of the College of Fellows. Both continue to be core faculty in the public relations track of the professional communication major. Zimprich is expanding his role within the program by teaching both Advanced Public Relations and Media Relations (COMM 385) next fall.

More information about the College of Fellows can be found at this link.

Learn about public relations education at Metropolitan State

Metropolitan State and Advance IT awarded BDPA Community Supporter of the Year

Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), a professional organization that provides volunteer, hands-on IT training to students, has named Metropolitan State University and Advance IT Minnesota as their 2015 BDPA Community Supporter of the Year. The award acknowledges efforts in support of BDPA’s mission of increasing the participation of people of color in the IT field.

Russ Fraenkel
Russ Fraenkel

Russ Fraenkel, IT Career Pathways and Partnerships director, Advance IT Minnesota accepted the award on behalf of both organizations for his continued support and for being BDPA’s primary advocate. The award was accepted Jan. 8, 2016 in Bloomington.

“BDPA Twin Cities is an amazing volunteer organization that inspires and prepares students of color to become our next, best Minnesota-grown technologists. MnSCU is honored to provide access to community facilities and resources to help make this happen,”  Fraenkel says about the partnership. Continue reading Metropolitan State and Advance IT awarded BDPA Community Supporter of the Year

Metropolitan State’s dual dental hygiene program wins award

GiesAwardsThe dual-enrollment dental program partnership between Metropolitan State and Normandale Community College is the recipient of a 2016 ADEA Gies Award.

The ADEA Gies Foundation awards dental education programs and educators who exemplify the vision, innovation and achievement of the foundation’s namesake, Dr. William Gies. More information about the organization and awards can be found at this link.

“This is an outstanding honor in the eyes of dental education. Our innovative partnership programs are making a difference in the lives of many people who would otherwise have their dental needs unmet,” says Jayne Cernohous, department chair and associate professor, School of Nursing and Colleen Brickle, Health Services Dean, Normandale Community College.

Metropolitan State and Normandale offer a dual admissions and enrollment plan in dental hygiene that allows students to simultaneously receive an associate and bachelor’s degree on Normandale’s campus. The program was awarded alongside the dental programs in the MnSCU system.

A ceremony honoring the award recipient is March 14, 2016 in Denver, Colo.

Metropolitan State student named USO National Guardsman of the Year

(Photo, above: National Guard Sgt. Aaron Burdash, center, is pictured with Gen. Frank J. Grass, second from left, Metropolitan State class of 1985 and 2013 Alumnus of the Year, and head of the National Guard and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.)

Metropolitan State student and National Guard Sgt. Aaron Burdash is recipient of the United Service Organizations (USO) National Guardsman of the Year award, presented recently at the 2015 USO Gala in Washington, D.C. The annual event honors one service member from each branch of service who has taken quick action to save the lives of others, whether on the battlefield or in a civilian neighborhood.

Burdash, a medic, serves with the 204th Area Support Medical Company, 347th Regional Support Group, with the Minnesota National Guard. On May 24, while deployed in Sinai, Egypt, he provided critical care to a host-nation soldier who suffered a gunshot wound to his chest. A few weeks later, he again delivered lifesaving medical care to a host-nation soldier, providing immediate care after the soldier suffered a gunshot wound to the face. Burdash stayed by the soldier’s side until he was stable enough to be transported.

Burdash with his family at the USO Gala, Washington, D.C.
Sgt. Aaron Burdash, 2015 National Guardsman of the Year,  with his family at the USO Gala.

Burdash said he was surprised when his leaders told him they were submitting his name for the award, “They put me in for this award for something that was just a part of my job and the reason I joined the military—to help people. I just felt like I was doing what I had been trained to do and nothing that deserved recognition.”

“It meant a lot to me that they felt like I deserved recognition for that event,” he added. “It’s nice to know that your leadership and the people that you respect think you deserve something like this.”

Burdash is pursuing a bachelor’s in human resources management from the College of Management.