Four faculty, staff collect campus awards

Four faculty, staff collect campus awards

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has awarded campus-level awards to Nancy Mitchell, Megan Friesen, Angela Pannier and Brenda West.

Mitchell, the director of undergraduate education programs and a professor of advertising, received the James O’Hanlon Academic Leader Award.

The O'Hanlon honor recognizes a campus leader who has demonstrated exceptional abilities to lead, serve, inspire and collaborate on the academic goals of the university. It is named in honor of James O'Hanlon, who has effectively served the university in multiple academic positions.

Mitchell has established herself as a champion for institutionalizing and promoting high-impact practices, especially civic engagement and service learning, for students and faculty. She has also successfully spearheaded innovative initiatives around curriculum, assessment, learning communities and student learning. She is an advocate for academic excellence, working to solve problems that achieve university priorities and inspire others. Her administrative leadership has improved students’ lives.

Mitchell’s academic leadership can be seen in her oversight of assessment of biennial undergraduate programs and Achievement Centered Education courses, and the implementation of TK20, an assessment solution that is currently being piloted by several departments. She has improved community support for transfer students, streamlining the credit-equivalency processes across colleges, implementing Transferology software and creating a learning community and peer mentor program for transfer students. She also has worked to establish ACE transfer credit for military and veteran students.

Friesen, assistant director of academic success in the College of Business Administration, received the Charles Riedesel Outstanding Academic Advising Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding advising of undergraduate students.

Friesen has almost 10 years of experience working with college students. Her previous experience as an instructor and as an academic counselor made Megan the perfect individual to develop a new program to support new student population in their transition to college life. The result is the offering of a new course required for all of CBA’s new freshmen. She facilitates the leadership and administration of the course, which transformed what CBA was doing for the new class of students.

Friesen also created innovative recruiting and advising resources for current and prospective international students for the college, are now being used in other colleges.

Pannier, associate professor of biological systems engineering, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in mentoring and supporting undergraduate researchers.

Pannier has developed a structured but inviting environment for undergraduate researchers. Through a combination of one-on-one and group meetings, students receive outstanding mentoring. Pannier sets high expectations for productivity, emphasizes the importance of integrity and expects students to help one another. Pannier sustains a culture of excellence, trust and mutual respect.

Pannier has mentored and guided more than 25 undergraduate students in National Science Foundation Fellowship applications, of which at least five have been successful. She has also mentored numerous undergraduate students to apply for the prestigious Goldwater fellowship. The time and effort she puts in to each student demonstrates her commitment to see her students succeed.

West, accounting technician in the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, earned the University of Nebraska Kudos Staff Award, which recognizes outstanding service and going above the call of duty.

West helps faculty prepare budgets for grant proposals. “She always has a positive attitude, and you know when Brenda says she will get something done, she will. She is a large part of the reason the CSMCE runs so smoothly and is able to support so many faculty across different departments and colleges,” her nomination read. “She has an eye for detail that her colleagues have come to rely upon and everyone in the office is better able to perform their tasks as a result of the support received from Brenda. She has come up with better ways to streamline processes and handles last-minute requests with a smile.” To learn more about these awards, click here.