UMD conferred 2,085 undergraduate degrees, 225 graduate degrees, and five doctoral degrees this school year. The commencement ceremonies highlighted the first graduates from three new degree programs: 39 students from the Civil Engineering undergraduate degree program, 12 students from the Civil Engineering master’s degree program, and the first 3 students from the Iron Range Master of Engineering program. As another school year comes to a close, faculty awards were presented and long-serving faculty members announced their retirements.
UMD held its undergraduate commencement ceremony at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center in the AMSOIL Arena, on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Over 1,400 students participated in the ceremony. This was the largest group of graduates involved in a commencement ceremony in UMD’s history. Adding to this large amount of graduates, nearly 5,600 parents and guests also attended. Aicha N. Cooper from Monrovia, Liberia presented the student address. Cooper received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies.
The commencement speaker was Dr. Andrea J. Schokker, UMD’s Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Prior to arriving at UMD, she spent nearly a decade at Penn State where, in one of her roles, she was the professor in charge of undergraduate programs. She was hired by UMD in 2008 as founding head of the Department of Civil Engineering.
The graduate student commencement ceremonies were held on Thursday, May 10 in the UMD Romano Gymnasium. 165 masters and PhD students participated in the ceremony. UMD’s Dr. Imran Hayee, professor and director of graduate studies in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, delivered the commencement address.
2012 Faculty Award Winners and Retirees
UMD Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching – Colleen Belk, instructor of Biology
While at UMD Belk has been awarded the Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE) advising award, and was the Linda M. Larson Woman of the Year. Belk has written a leading non-majors biology textbook, now in its fourth edition as well as several other texts.
UMD Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Research – Imran Hayee, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Imran Hayee researches state-of-the-art optical fiber telecommunication products working with many graduate students. His research interests are in the areas of optical fiber communications systems, digital signal processing, medical instrumentation and intelligent transportation systems. Dr. Hayee holds 13 U.S. patents and has also published one book chapter and more than 50 research articles in distinguished journals and prestigious conferences.
UMD Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Public Service – Susan Perala-Dewey, instructor of Writing Studies
Susan Perala-Dewey received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Master of Arts in English from UMD where she now teaches in the Department of Writing Studies located in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). She facilitates professional development for area teachers through UMD’s College in the Schools program and for the Lake Superior Writing Project, a satellite of the Minnesota Writing Project. She currently serves on her department’s Undergraduate Committee; CLA’s Change Team; and CLA’s Strategic Planning Committee. Her poetry has been published in The Talking Stick, Dust and Fire, and the Wisconsin Poetry Calendar. Perala-Dewey is a proud member of the Holocaust Educators Network and currently studies and practices Non-Violent Communication.
Albert Tezla Teacher/Scholar Award – Linda Legarde Grover, associate professor of American Indian Studies
Dr. Linda LeGarde Grover, is a member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, a UMD Alumni Board of Directors member, associate professor of American Indian Studies, and author of poetry and fiction as well as research articles about American Indian literature, history and pedagogy. Her poetry chapbook The Indian at Boarding School, was published by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Sequoyah Research Center Native Writers Series, and her book The Dance Boots, published by the University of Georgia Press, has received both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. She received both her undergraduate degree in History and her graduate degree in Education from UMD. Her EdD is from the U of M Twin Cities. As a Continuing Education undergraduate student Dr. Grover was a student of Dr. Tezla’s, who inspired her with the pleasure and joy in teaching that he so clearly demonstrated to his diverse and hopeful class of night school students.
University of Minnesota System Horace T Morse Award – Steven P. Sternberg, associate professor of Chemical Engineering
Dr. Sternberg helped create the Environmental Science program (2005) and was the first director of the program. He currently teaches courses in UMD’s Chemical Engineering program. Dr. Sternberg is a registered Professional Engineer and his current scholarly activities include writing a textbook, Air Pollution: Engineering and Science, exploring the use of aquatic plants for heavy metal bioremoval from surface and waste waters, and creating a device for low-temperature off-grid power generation.
UMD Outstanding Faculty Adviser Awards
- Ryan Frane, associate professor of Music, School of Fine Arts (SFA)
- Elizabeth Nelson, associate professor of Communication, CLA
- Julie Ernst, associate professor of Health, Physical Education & Recreation, College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP)
- Christina Gallup, associate professor of Geological Sciences, SCSE
- Christopher McIntosh, associate professor of Economics, Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE)
Retiring Faculty for 2011-2012
- Ann Anderson, professor of Music, SFA
- Stephen C. Hedman, professor of Biology, SCSE
- Wayne Jesswein, professor of Economics and associate dean of LSBE
- Rodrigo J. Lievano, professor of Finance and Management Information Sciences, LSBE
- Linda Miller Cleary, professor of English, CLA
- Judy Trolander, professor of History, CLA
- Tom Wegren, professor of Music, SFA
For listing with additional details on award recipients, please see www.d.umn.edu/publications/awards.