Academic Affairs honors four

· 4 min read

Academic Affairs honors four

Evelyn Jacobson
Evelyn Jacobson

Academic Affairs has selected four recipients for campus-level awards recognizing excellence and service.

Evelyn Jacobson, professor and chair of modern languages and literatures, received the James O’Hanlon Academic Leader Award, which recognizes an academic leader who has demonstrated exceptional abilities to lead, serve, inspire and collaborate on the academic goals of the university.

Jacobson came to UNL in 1978 and took on her first administrative leadership position in 1991 as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, a position she held until being appointed associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. Since 2011, she has served as chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Jacobson was also the academic administrative co-director on the ADVANCE-Nebraska grant from 2008 to 2013, working to create an environment at UNL where all science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty thrive.

Jacobson has focused on faculty throughout her career, with the goal of contributing to the creation of an academic environment for faculty in which they are supported to succeed. She was instrumental in establishing the university’s maternity, medical and adoption leave policy. She also developed best practices for joint appointments, introduced workshops for pre-tenure faculty and guided the creation of a variety of work-life balance polices at UNL.

Her work was recognized in 2010 with the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women’s annual award for contributions to improving the status of women on campus.

“Over the last 25 years, Evelyn has been involved in the creation and refinement of the most significant faculty policy advancements that took place at UNL,” said Nancy Busch, dean of libraries. “Her legacy is broad, deep and lasting.”

Jacobson was recognized at Honors Convocation on April 12. The award is named for James O’Hanlon, who has effectively served the university in many academic leadership positions.

Michael Zeleny, associate vice chancellor for research in the Office of Research and Economic Development, received the Nancy Kenny Academic Business Leader Award. Zeleny has served UNL for 18 years, being in his role as assistant/associate vice chancellor for research for the last 13 years.

The award honors a leader who has demonstrated exceptional abilities to collaborate on and led with the utmost integrity the academic business matters at UNL. The award is named for Nancy Kenny, who served the university in business leadership positions across the campus.

Zeleny made a large impact in academic business matters through his leadership redesigning UNL’s Office of Sponsored Programs over the last decade. He was crucial in the development of NUgrant, an online system used by faculty, staff, and administrators to submit grants, route forms, create reports and manage many other processes online.

“Mike’s extensive knowledge of the university, its processes, and its people, coupled with his can-do, positive attitude, have made him known throughout campus as a resource for helping solve problems and remove obstacles,” said Monica Norby, assistant vice chancellor for research. “Mike is a person of integrity.”

Paul Breitkreutz, academic adviser in the exploratory and pre-professional advising center, is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Academic Advising Award. The Outstanding Academic Advising Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding advising of undergraduate students. Breitkreutz helps to identify barriers students are facing and works to resolve them, either on an individual student basis or by proposing new program/college/university initiatives. Breitkreutz has also played a significant role in developing advising tools and features within MyPLAN that benefit students across campus.

On April 10, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents presented a Kudos Award to Casandra Siefkes, graduate secretary in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

The award recognizes outstanding service that goes above the call of duty. Siefkes has been instrumental in the transformation of the language lab into a global classroom and interactive learning environment for students.

For more information on the awards, click here.

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