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Clarke University Announces Annual Faculty and Staff Awards

By Clarke News  |  April 22, 2021

Through a blend of virtual and in-person celebrations, Clarke University was honored to recognize its outstanding employees through its annual Faculty & Staff Achievement Ceremony on Wednesday, April 21.

While the event recognized promotions, tenures, and longevity employment achievements, the university also presented emeritus status and the following three prestigious awards:

Norm Freund, Ph.D. was named Faculty Emeritus, honoring his 40 years of teaching, leadership, and devotion with Clarke University. A Professor of Philosophy, Norm has served as the Department Chair of Philosophy & Religious Studies and spent many of his classes further the knowledge of himself and his students through engaged learning with a global perspective. He is a winner of the Meneve Dunham Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as an Associate of the BVM sisters who founded and support Clarke University.

The BVM Core Value Award is presented annually to a current full-time member of the faculty, staff, or administration who strongly exemplifies the BVM Core Values of Freedom, Education, Charity, and Justice, as well as the quest for self-knowledge and the application of knowledge for the greater good.

This year, BVM Core Values Award was presented to Ellen Spencer, Ed.D., Assistant Professor and Chair of the Education Department. An excerpt from her nomination said, “She is a true leader just like Mary Francis Clarke. She is the fearless leader of the Education department’s Dream Team. We shine in our department because she instills confidence in each one of us and supports all of us in our every endeavor to supply an excellent education for our students.”

The Rose O’Toole Staff Recognition Award is given annually to acknowledge outstanding achievements that have impact on institutional success and contribute significantly to the mission of Clarke University. Julie Cirks earned this year’s Rose O’Toole Staff Recognition Award for her exceptional efforts as the Director of Transfer Admissions. Her colleagues took note of her enthusiasm and work ethic in their nomination. “She has been a vibrant, powerful force for student success from the moment they are recruited to Clarke. Her work with the Onboarding Committee will help align the various groups involved in the process and ensure that students have a clear communication thread from the first outreach through CONNECT. She is not the only one working toward this goal, of course, but her leadership is essential for achieving the timeline and scope to be truly effective. She has always been an asset to Clarke, but this year she is proving just how capable she is–leading effectively and working tirelessly while working from home with children is an achievement above and beyond the normal expectations.” 

Meneve Dunham Award
In a year of unprecedented challenges, the faculty of Clarke University went above and beyond to support their students. Much more than academics, the Clarke community worked to offer education in new formats, adapt to continually changing local and federal guidelines, and bridge the physical and emotional distance created by COVID-19. To recognize these extraordinary efforts, Clarke University is awarding the Meneve Dunham Award for Excellence in Teaching to all faculty members for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Sarah Accacian, MS, ATC, LAT
Kent Anderson, Ph.D.
Larissa Arnold, Ph.D.
Olivia Aspiras, Ph.D.
Steve Bellomy, Ph.D.
Laura Birch, Ph.D.
Andrea Bixler, Ph.D.
Tim Boffeli, Ph.D.
Shaun Bowman, Ph.D.
Tony Breitbach, Ph.D.
Susanna Cantu-Gregory, Ph.D.
Anthony Capparelli, M.A.
Jolene Christensen, M.A.
Ashley Cleary, MSN, ARNP, APNP, FNP-BC
Gretchen Conway, MAE
Rachel Daack, Ph.D.
Melissa DeMotta, Ph.D.
B’Ann Dittmar, MBA, CM
Nathan Ditzler, MFA
Amy Dunker, DMA
Lisa Dursky, MSE
Norm Freund, Ph.D.
Mary Gitau, Ph.D.
Joshua Glasner, Ph.D.
Karen Glover, Ph.D.
Emily Goodmann, Ph.D.
Brittany Gosse, DPT
William Gregory, Ph.D.
Amanda Greubel, DSW
Laura Hecker, Ph.D.
Laurie Hiatt, PhD, OCS
Samantha Hicks, MSW
Dee Higgins, Ph.D.
Amanda Huntleigh, DMA
Elizabeth Jekanowski, Ph.D.
Louise Kames, MFA
Angel Keller, ARNP, FNP-BC
O’Neill Kingston, Ph.D.
Joe Klinebriel, MFA
Michael Knock, Ph.D.
Krystal Kooiker, Ed.D.
Bradley Kruse, EdD, PT, DPT, SCS, Cert. MDT, CSMT, Cert. DN, ATC, LAT, CSCS
Colleen Mahoney Ph.D.
Jennifer Mai, PT, DPT, PhD, MHS, NCS
Sunil Malapati, Ph.D.
Amanda Matson, Ph.D.
Janet Matson, PT, DPT
Jenni McCann, DNP, RN, CNE
Brad Mensen, DPT
Manouchehr Mohandesi, M.S.
Toni Monat, PT, DPT
Josh Moris, MISM
Maria Morris, MBA
Judy Munshower, Ph.D.
Evelyn Nadeau, Ph.D.
Penny Demert Neal, MSN, RN, CNE
Jaimie O’Gara, Ph.D.
Patricia Pearce, MPH, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP
Ann Pelelo, Ph.D.
Deann Petitgout, MSEd
Beth Putnam, MAE
Jessie Rebik, MFA
Lisa Rettenmeier, Ed.D.
Loren Rice, Ph.D.
Tom Riley, Ph.D.
Brenda Schilling, MA
Andrea Simmons, DNP
Paulette Skiba, B.V.M., Ph.D.
Laura Slaymaker, Ph.D.
Michelle Slover, Ph.D.
Ellen Spencer, Ed.D.
Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.
Cathy Stierman, Ed.D.
Terese Stratta, Ph.D.
Robert Stull, DMA
Alecia Thiele, DPT
Kristin Tiernan, DNP
Tara Velez, MSW
Patricia Veneziano, MSN, RN
Liz Wagner, MSW
Eric Wold, MFA
Jody Wolfe, JD, MBA
Lydia Wong, MSW
Teri Zuccaro, MA

Click here to learn more about this year’s winners.