Two members of the Morris community at the University of Minnesota have won the University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service: LeAnn Dean, director of the Briggs Library, and Peh Ng, chair of the Science and Mathematics Division and math teacher.
LeAnn Dean’s “Creative and Deep Dedication”
Dean has worked at the Briggs Library for over 30 years and she puts students first all the time. “In the operating principles of the Briggs Library,” explains Naomi Skulan, Metadata and Technical Services Coordinator at the Briggs Library, “LeAnn says student success is the library’s number one priority. She advocates for student representation in all aspects of campus life and urges campus leaders to listen to the needs of students. Skulan goes on to explain how Dean has helped the library evolve in response to student needs, expanding educational resources and affordable content, as well as advocating for student representation in the Collection Improvement Grants of the library.
Janet Schrunk Ericksen, Acting Chancellor, said: “LeAnn has served on a huge number of campus and university committees and task forces, and she has been instrumental in advancing several initiatives on campus. . “
Peh Ng — Driving Through Service
Ng’s proponents noted his many overlapping vectors of service: to students, to UMN Morris, and to the community and state as a whole. Stacey Parker Aronson, professor of Spanish and president of the Humanities Division, wrote about the myriad research opportunities that Ng offers to students. was then presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium and at national and even international conferences.
Other proponents noted Ng’s extensive knowledge of campus politics, recruiting efforts, and networking meals. But leading through service goes beyond academia. Ng, along with research assistant students, has worked on a number of projects for the local community:
- Optimized the Midwest Minnesota School District Bus Line.
- Find the optimum performance of vehicles in the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s fleet.
- Design a more efficient recycling program for Otter Tail County.
- Redesign of the planning process for the Regional Fitness Center.
Nancy E. Carpenter, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, succinctly sums up Ng’s approach by saying, “She has never forgotten why she serves and why she is an educator: her students. Even as a division president, research committee member, or governance committee member, she has in mind how she can make things better for students.
About the President’s Award for Outstanding Service
The University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1997 to recognize faculty and staff (current or retired) who have provided outstanding service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments, and its service units. Such service must go well beyond the usual duties of a professor or staff member and demonstrate an unusual commitment to the academic community.