Text size:  A  A  A

Blegen receives 9th annual Kelly Award

L to R: President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, Kelly Award winner Mark Blegen, Senior Vice President–Provost Colleen Hegranes.
L to R: President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, Kelly Award winner Mark Blegen, Senior Vice President–Provost Colleen Hegranes.
Rebecca Zenefski '10.

The 2014 Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Award for Faculty Excellence was presented to Mark Blegen at St. Catherine University’s convocation ceremonies Wednesday.

In presenting the award, St. Kate’s Senior Vice-President and Provost Colleen Hegranes praised Blegen for his commitment, energy and focus on student personal and professional development.

Blegen is an associate professor, chair of the Nutrition and Exercise Science Department and co-director of the Women’s Integrative Research (WHIR) Center in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health.

About Mark Blegen

Blegen joined the St. Kate’s faculty in 2007 and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) named him a Fellow — the ACSM’s highest honor — in 2008. The award recognizes "distinguished professional achievement in research and/or service in the field of exercise science and sports medicine." Blegen is among a select number in the Midwest region to hold this honor.

He led the curriculum revision team for the Exercise and Sports Science program and helped it earn national accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). It is the only program in Minnesota and among only 30 programs across the country to have met the Commission’s rigorous standards.

Blegen now also serves as a site visitor for the Commission to assist other colleges and universities across the country with this process.

His research and scholarly work — both individually and collaboratively with students and other faculty — has been substantial. In the last three years alone, Blegen has spoken at conferences, symposiums and clinics in Orlando, San Francisco and Providence, Rhode Island and traveled internationally to Kursk State University in Russia.

Blegen also shares his expertise as a journal reviewer for two national journals on physical education and exercise science, as well as serving as a publication reviewer for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a subsidiary of the publishing giant, Wolters Kluher.

A member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, he has chaired and served on several association committees.

Currently, he serves as president of the Northland American College of Sports Medicine (NACSM), the regional chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.

He has organized NACSM’s regional meetings – including one hosted by St. Kate’s - that has brought national speakers and faculty and students from four states to meet, share research and advance their profession.

He is also one of the University's rising faculty media stars. He is accessible and responsive to media requests and has been interviewed on local television stations as well as featured in several newspaper feature stories and national blogs.

Blegen has served on no less than 40 committees, task forces and councils for the University and external organizations. Whether it is important work for the University around budgets, curriculum, or summer scholar undergraduate research, he is generous with time and energy for the University, faculty colleagues and students.

He has also been instrumental in advancing inter-professional education as a member of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health Leadership Team, led by Dean Penny Moyers.

A recruiter, advisor and mentor to students, Blegen collaborates with students on research projects and also leads international learning experiences to help them develop a global perspective on health and well-being.

As co-director of the Women’s Health Integrative Research Center, he is responsible for an interdisciplinary team of researchers, including graduate and undergraduate research assistants, to develop and promote a research agenda that advances scientific knowledge on the health and wellness of women.

About the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Awards

St. Catherine alumna, donor and Centennial 100 honoree, Joan Kelly ’46, honors the memory of her parents and her sister with generous gifts that fund three prestigious programs designed to recognize academic excellence and advance the national visibility of St. Catherine University.

A successful businesswoman and Phi Beta Kappa graduate in English, Joan Kelly attended both high school and college on the campus of St. Catherine with her sister, Bonnie Jean, who died while a student here.

In addition to the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Faculty Excellence Award, Kelly established the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Distinguished Visiting Scholar Fund that makes it possible to bring a nationally-known scholar to the University annually for seminars, workshops, colloquia for a portion of the year.

The third program is the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Student Excellence in Writing Award which recognizes superior work in writing. The $2,500 award is granted annually to two exceptionally talented student writers and is awarded at the Honors and Awards Ceremony each spring.

Past recipients of the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Faculty Excellence Award

2013 — Mary U. Henderson and Megan Kalina, professors, Business Administration

2012 — Kathleen Matuska, program director, Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy

2011 — Geri Chavis, professor of English

2010 — Amata Miller, IHM, professor of economics and director of the Myser Initiative on Catholic Identity

2009 — Susan Dandridge Bosher, professor of English, and Margaret Dexheimer Pharris, professor of nursing

2008 — Mary Ann Brenden, associate professor of social work

2007 — Laurie Swabey, professor of American Sign Language/Interpreting

2006 — Mary Wagner, professor of Master of Library and Information Science

Sep. 3, 2014 by Julie Michener

See also: Faculty, Leadership