Functions and Awards Historical Information

The Functions and Awards committee is an adjunct committee of the Scholastic Committee, a standing Assembly committee. Membership is listed on the Assembly and Adjunct Committee roster.

The Functions and Awards Committee develops and recommends awards for scholarship and special merit, and in conjunction with the Chancellor's Office, assists with the development, planning, and execution of academic and awards ceremonies.

Deadlines and calls for nominations (along with any necessary forms) are transmitted electronically by the Special Events Coordinator, an ex-officio member of the committee.

University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award


The purpose of this award is to honor individual UMN Morris faculty members for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. By calling attention to their education philosophies, objectives, and methods, the University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association hopes to encourage and enhance teaching effectiveness of other faculty members.

During each academic year one UMN Morris faculty member may be selected to receive the UMN Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award, with the announcement of the award recipient to be made by the first of April. Recipients will receive $1,000. In addition, the recipient's discipline will be given $500 to be used by the recipient.


Tenured and tenure-track (regular) faculty, term (non-regular) faculty, and professional and administrative instructional staff salaried through the University and holding a 66 2/3% time or greater appointment, who have been at the University of Minnesota Morris for at least three years, including the current year, may be nominated for the UMM Alumni Association Teaching Award.

Previous nominees who did not receive the award may be re-nominated. Previous winners of this award may not be re-nominated.

Previous winners of the all-university Horace T. Morse Minnesota Alumni Teaching Award may not be nominated for the University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award for at least four years after receiving the all-University Horace T. Morse Minnesota Alumni Association Award.


Nominees will be evaluated on the basis of documentation of outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. The documentation should provide specific evidence of outstanding performance in one or more—not necessarily all—of the five categories listed below, but the list should not be considered exhaustive or restrictive.

The selection committee will consider any and all kinds of outstanding contributions to undergraduate education so identified and demonstrated by the materials provided. The magnitude of an outstanding contribution in one area may compensate for little or no contribution in other areas.

  1. Teaching: direct contact with students in undergraduate courses and programs and in co-curricular activities. Teaching activities include instructing groups of students in classes, seminars, and laboratories; and mentoring or supervising individual activities, such as practicums, internships, field learning experiences, tutorials, and independent study, including MAP supervision of UROP projects. The activities listed are representative, not exhaustive.
  2. Research and Artistic Activities: such activities should be documented and discussed in terms of relationships between these activities and the nominee's contributions to undergraduate education, which may itself include students' research or artistic activities of kinds appropriate to the discipline.
  3. Advising: for example, activities that aid individual students with course and major selection, career plans, and personal development, especially in ways that go beyond formal curricular advising and instill values of the liberal arts and lifelong learning; and those that provide guidance to student organizations or groups. Documentation should include information about accessibility to students, which ordinarily includes but is not limited to office availability.
  4. Academic Program Development: such activities as contribute to the planning, design, or development of curricular or co-curricular improvements in undergraduate education. Contributions in these areas include, for example, new courses or a cluster of courses, general education options in the undergraduate curriculum, and valuable programmatic innovations of any kind.
  5. Educational Leadership: extra-programmatic activities of any kind and at any level that constitute leadership and contribute substantially to undergraduate education; for example, presenting papers, holding a position such as national or regional officer or program chair in a professional association activities where students are actively involved.

In all cases, it is not the activity in itself, but the energy, the creativity, and the effectiveness of the activity that constitute outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.


Nominations are to be initiated by a student or faculty member by forming a nominating committee made up of at least one student and one faculty member. In years when there are no or only one nomination received by the deadline date nominations will be re-opened for a period of no longer than two weeks.

Organization and Presentation of Dossiers

  • A statement of no more than 3 pages, presenting the case for the nomination. This statement forms the basis of the recommendation and is extremely important for the review process. It should describe the nominee's qualifications with specific reference to the criteria listed (or others being used) whenever appropriate. This statement needs to set out convincingly and in detail the case for the nominee's outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.
  • Personal statement by the candidate of no more than 2 pages, describing teaching style, methods and objectives, and, as appropriate, examples of the integration of teaching with research, scholarship, or artistic creativity.
  • The candidate's curriculum vitae
  • No more than 5 supporting letters from students, faculty, administrators, and non-University references, citing specific examples in support of the case. In most cases, at least 2 letters from individual undergraduate students, past or present, will be expected to be included among the five, along with at lease one from a faculty colleague.
  • A list of courses taught at the University of Minnesota Morris, during the past 3 years, including semester and approximate enrollment.
  • The numeric summary of the student evaluations of the candidate's teaching during the past 3 years, along with no more than 2 pages of student comments.
  • Supporting documentation of no more than five pages, such as the nominee's course syllabi and examinations.

Past recipients

Allen W. Edson Award

The Edson award is presented annually in recognition of a student's total contribution to campus life. The award was established in 1960 from funds donated in memory of Allen W. Edson, superintendent of the West Central School of Agriculture from 1948 until his death in 1958, for whom Edson Auditorium is named.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement, scholarship, leadership, and character. The participation of the student in campus activities, along with his/her executive service and nature of offices held, are two of the suggested indications of a student's potential to receive a nomination.

Edith R. Farrell Award

Established by the family, students and friends of Edith Rodgers Farrell, late professor of French and advocate of undergraduate student research, this award is granted annually to a graduating senior whose research is judged by a jury of faculty to be excellent. The Edith Rodgers Farrell Memorial Award for Undergraduate Research will include a certificate and $500.


1. The research project must be student-initiated
2. The results of the research project are to have been presented in a public forum such as:

  • the publication of one's scholarly or original work or a performance/exhibit of one's interpretive/creative work in a recognized public forum beyond campus;
  • a presentation at a local, regional, national or international conference devoted to undergraduate student research;
  • a presentation on campus open to the public of the results of one's scholarship or of original or interpretive work in the creative and performing arts.

3. The recipient must be a graduating senior with a GPA of at least 3.0
4. Preference will be given to students who aspire to graduate or professional school
5. The award is independent of financial need

Nomination Procedure

  1. UMN Morris faculty members are invited to nominate one or more students who fulfill the expectations of the award
  2. A brief statement describing each nominee's qualifications and providing a basis for their selection shall be submitted to the Functions and Awards Committee

Selection Process

  1. The award will be determined by a faculty jury appointed by the Functions and Awards Committee from among faculty who are (or have been) engaged in student research projects. The jury will include at least one member of the Functions and Awards Committee and will represent separate academic divisions.
  2. The award will be given as part of the Student Honors Ceremony.

Mimi Frenier Award in Women's Studies

Established in 2003, the Mimi Frenier Award in Women's Studies is a yearly award established to recognize gender, women, and sexuality studies majors who have achieved excellence both in academic performance and in civic activism or engagement. This award is given in recognition of Professor Frenier's outstanding contribution to the develoment of the gender, women, and sexuality studies program at the University of Minnesota at Morris.

About Mimi Frenier

Shortly after joining the faculty in 1978, Professor Mariam (Mimi) Frenier undertook vigorous efforts to elevate the visibility of women's issues and enhance the status of women in the entire campus community and beyond at a time when it was not popular to do so. Among the many equity issues that she took up were hiring, salaries, promotion, housing, support for non-traditional students, and participation in sports. In addition, she introduced courses in women's history and women's studies, and she was one of the leading forces for the establishment of the Women's Studies minor (1979) and major (2000).

Whether advocating for all women or counseling individual women, Professor Frenier has been exemplary in her tireless efforts on their behalf. With this award, we gratefully acknowledge her many contributions and achievements and her unwavering support of an improved status for women and we celebrate two areas in which Professor Frenier's contribution to the experiences of gender, women, and sexuality studies majors has been distinctive: her scholarship and her active commitment to her ideals.

Nomination and Selection Process

  1. Every year, during spring semester, a call for nominations is sent to all faculty teaching gender, women, and sexuality studies courses.
  2. The faculty completes the nominating form and sends it to the gender, women, and sexuality studies coordinator.
  3. The coordinator and the members of the gender, women, and sexuality studies advisory board review the nominations and choose the recipient for the award.
  4. The award is presented before the end of the Spring Semester.


Nominees must have junior or senior standing or have completed (or be in the process of completing during the semester in which they are nominated) 24 credits in gender, women, and sexuality studies. The nomination form must contain evidence of outstanding achievement in two areas:

  1. Academic superior achievement within gender, women, and sexuality studies. Preference will be given to students carrying a GPA of 3.5 or above within the gender, women, and sexuality studies major and who have completed projects, such as works of arts, paper, panel presentations, which have been accepted for a show or a conference, etc.
  2. Social, political, civic activism, e.g., organization of a public event with a social, political, or civic purpose, service project to benefit a community, etc.

Curtis H. Larson Award

Curtis Larson was UMN Morris's first class speaker in 1964. He entered the Peace Corps after graduation and died in an automobile accident in Ecuador. Candidates for this award should be actively involved in the campus community, have the ability to represent the views of the graduating class and of UMN Morris as a whole, and be a capable speaker.

Nomination and Selection Process

Nominations are sought electronically each spring, after which a ballot is prepared and distributed to faculty and graduating seniors.

The senior who receives the most votes is the recipient of the Curtis H. Larson Award and is thereby named the student speaker at Commencement.

Mary Martelle Award

The Mary Martelle award serves as a continuing tribute to those personal qualities and many and varied contributions made by Mary Martelle, a senior secretary in the Office of Student
Activities from 1965 until her death in 1976.

Criteria: Student Honoree

The award is presented in recognition of a student's extracurricular activities through which he/she found a way to enrich the campus community. Qualities to consider are

  • initiative
  • creativity
  • responsibility
  • cooperation
  • leadership
  • concern for others

The nominee should be sensitive and knowledgeable about campus needs and should add freshness and a new dimension to either her/his organization(s) or to the people with whom
the nominee has been involved.


Only full-time students are eligible for the student award. Students are not eligible to receive the Mary Martelle Award more than once. (The student recipient will receive a certificate
and a check for $300.)

Criteria: Staff Honoree

Nominees for this award should be members of the United Staff Association (USA) who have found a way to reach beyond their particular duties and responsibilities to make contributions to the campus community as a whole.

While it is important that they exemplify in their daily work a commitment to the University, the primary purpose of the Mary Martelle Award is to recognize contributions above and beyond assigned job duties.

Examples of this include, but are not limited to, University (UMM and allUniversity) and USA committee work; supporting students and student organizations; actively pursuing personal growth and knowledge (via classes, workshops, lectures, etc.); or any other form of contribution that demonstrates a nominee's willingness to 'go the extra mile.'


All United Staff Association (civil service and bargaining unit) personnel are eligible for the staff award. USA staff are eligible to receive the award more than once, but preference will be given to someone who has not received it previously. (The staff recipient will receive a certificate and $500 via payroll.)


Students, faculty, bargaining units, non-bargaining units, and organizations may make nominations to the Functions and Awards Committee. To be considered, nominations must be
accompanied by written substantiation. 

Upon receipt of the nominations and their written substantiation, a subcommittee of the Functions and Awards Committee, consisting of 1 faculty/P&A, 1 student, and the USA member, will meet and review the nominations and determine the awardees. The subcommittee will be selected by the Functions and Awards Committee chair.

Staff Recipients

  • 1977 Joyce Cain
  • 1978 Pearl Johnson
  • 1979 Lila Watson
  • 1980 Verne L. Chandler
  • 1981 May P. Jesseph
  • 1982 Audre Ross
  • 1983 Sara Haugen
  • 1984 Lois Hogander
  • 1985 Martha Williams
  • 1986 Ginny Hinmon
  • 1987 Pam Gades
  • 1988 Marvin Schultz
  • 1989 Avis Brandt
  • 1990 Pat Tanner
  • 1991 Ron Kubik
  • 1992 Brabara Eisinger
  • 1993 Art Durkee
  • 1994 Bonnie Tipcke
  • 1995 Rosa Kill
  • 1996 Lynn Schulz
  • 1997 Judy Riley
  • 1998 Bonnie Gulbrandson
  • 1999 Jeri Mullin
  • 2000 Dave Dylla
  • 2001 Judy Korn
  • 2002 Robert Thompson
  • 2003 Terri Hawkinson
  • 2004 Jennifer Lund
  • 2005 Margaret 'Maggie' Larson
  • 2006 Brenda Boever
  • 2007 Jane Kill
  • 2008 Liz Spohr
  • 2009 Carol McCannon
  • 2010 Laura Thielke
  • 2011 Jane Harstad
  • 2012 Nancy Helsper
  • 2013 Karen Ellis
  • 2014 Roger Boleman
  • 2015 Sarah Ashkar
  • 2016 Stephanie Ferrian
  • 2017 Lynn Johnson
  • 2018 Irene Maloney

Scholar of the College

The Scholar of the College awards are selective and are presented annually to students who have demonstrated distinguished contributions to scholarship (e.g. research, artistic endeavor, performance) in one or more of the academic disciplines. Students are nominated by faculty and endorsed by the Functions and Awards Committee.

A student must be nominated with substantiation by one or more faculty. The Functions and Awards Committee reviews nominations. Those nominations endorsed by the Committee are:

  1. Submitted to the Steering Committee for approval
  2. Circulated to faculty for perusal
  3. Submitted to the Campus Assembly for discussion and approval.

The award may be given to a student more than once.