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St. Catherine University honors its own at annual awards ceremony

L to R: Nursing Dept. AA Helen Schatzlein and Assoc. Professor Rozina Bhimani were honored.
L to R: Nursing Dept. AA Helen Schatzlein and Assoc. Professor Rozina Bhimani were honored.
Photo by Julie Michener.

President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, presided over the University's annual Faculty-Staff Awards Ceremony. 

Individuals were honored for years of service to St. Kate's and two staff members and two faculty members were honored with annual awards of excellence.

Staff members of the year are nominated by peers for exemplifying service, creativity and competence. One winner is chosen from two categories: service and support and administrative.

Service and Support Staff Award

Helen Schatzlein, Nursing Department administrative assistant won this year's Service and Support Staff Award.

Schatzlein was described by colleagues as “the face of the University for the nursing program.” She is often the first person whom a prospective student, new faculty member or concerned parent meets.

Long-time faculty members report that she is the person who always stands ready to help and encourage them. “Ask Helen — she will know,” is a familiar refrain in the nursing offices.

Another letter of support said: “She thinks critically and creatively to foster a learning community that keeps students at the center of everything we do — and this includes serving over 100 nursing faculty and more than 800 nursing students in four levels of nursing programs and eight programs of study, housed in three colleges on both campuses.”

Nominees also included:

  • Gloria Blaha
  • Katherine Goldenstein
  • Sarita Lauth
  • Mary Newman, and
  • Kristine Schmitz

Administrative Staff Award

This year's Administrative Staff Award winner is Student Accounts Office Manager Trina Bartok. A seven-year veteran of the Student Accounts Office, Bartok is credited for having established consistent policies and procedures and implementing many time- and money-saving processes.

Bartok was praised by colleagues for building a cohesive team and fostering cordial working relationships with other departments across campus.

Letters of support outlined the transformation in the way the student accounts office works and communicates with students. They praised her for helping staff with that very delicate balance of kindness and accountability in dealing with students. Supporters noted that her nature is to work collaboratively and that she and her team are always at the table for discussion, and willing to do whatever is necessary to assist students.

Nominees for this year’s award also included:

  • Brian Dusbiber
  • Kristin Erb
  • Rodney Filmore
  • Lorissa Gottschalk
  • Sadie Heider
  • Susan Herrmann
  • Norah Hoff
  • D'Ann Lesch
  • Joe Lipari
  • Kimberly Osland
  • Ann Osmond
  • Kelly Povo
  • Ann Reilly
  • Ellen Richter-Norgel
  • Nicholas Steffel
  • Aimee Thostenson, and
  • Laura Joslin-Zirngible

Faculty of the Year Awards

Faculty members selected for Faculty Teaching and Advising Awards represent the highest quality of teaching and dedication to effective mentoring and academic advising.

Members of the St. Kate's community nominate faculty members for this award which are made on the basis of:

  • maintaining high academic standards,
  • being an effective teacher, and
  • providing quality mentoring and advising

From the initial list of 16 nominees for the Faculty Teaching and Advising award, the committee identified seven finalists:

  • Syneva Barrett, Advanced Montessori
  • Rozina Bhimani, Doctor Of Nursing Practice
  • Dave Chapman, Doctor Of Physical Therapy
  • Janet Dahlem, Holistic Health Studies
  • Vicki Eggum, Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Elizabeth Otto, Communication Studies
  • Ann Sweeney, Mathematics And Physics

“Each of these remarkable teachers deserves recognition,” said President Lee. “Daily, each demonstrates a commitment to high academic standards, to effective teaching practices and a genuine enthusiasm to support students throughout their University experience.”

This year's winners were Doctor of Nursing Practice Associate Professor Rozina Bhimani and Mathematics Professor Ann Sweeny.

Rozina Bhimani, associate professor, Doctor of Nursing Practice

A faculty member of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, Rozina Bhimani is committed to helping her students connect learning to real-life practice, to address disparities from a global perspective, and to pay special attention to addressing social justice issues.

In letters of support, colleagues expressed admiration for her devotion to merging scholarship and nursing practice with teaching. One example given was the accolades for a course syllabus she created. Those reviewing the 17-page document said it could serve as a model syllabus for other graduate courses. They were impressed with the clear articulation of course expectations, including bulleted lists of faculty and student expectations that put a priority on learning, curiosity and mutual respect.

As a professor in the DNP program, she advises doctoral students and brings a long-term dedication to professional relationships with her students. She places a premium on listening, understanding and working collaboratively with them.

Ann Sweeney, professor of mathematics

Sweeney was described as "determined to help students experience the joy and excitement in mathematics that they believe is nonexistent."

She was praised by supporters for creativity in helping students to “find the bliss that she sees in the discipline.” She teaches students how to use the Egyptian, Roman, Babylonian and Mayan numerical systems, and how to complete story problems using each system.

Supporters praised her as a student-centered teacher with a mission to not only to help students find joy and excitement in math, but also to help them let go of math fears. She recognizes that students learn best when they make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. 

May 16, 2014 by Julie Michener

See also: Faculty, Healthcare, Liberal Arts