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Leah Schnaith named college's Outstanding Educator of the Year

(Awards and Recognition, Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

Chemistry instructor Leah Schnaith named MSC Southeast's 2019-2020 Outstanding Educator of the Year

Dr. Leah SchnaithMinnesota State College Southeast is proud to announce the selection of chemistry instructor Dr. Leah Schnaith as the college's Outstanding Educator of the Year.

"Dr. Schnaith is a passionate educator who strives on a daily basis to help her students be successful. Her commitment to education and outstanding work ethic have earned her the respect, admiration, and genuine affection of her students," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "She embodies the qualities of a brilliant educator who puts her students first and endeavors to see them master the material and achieve their goals."

Leah Schnaith earned a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry (emphasis Bioinorganic) from the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the Two-Year College Chemistry Consortium (2YC3) and the American Chemical Society. 

Prior to joining the faculty of MSC Southeast in 2006, she worked in conjunction with the Red Wing School District to provide enrichment for gifted and talented students (Spectrum and Math Masters), tutored students at the high school and middle school level, and was a chemistry teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota.

Leah currently teaches Fundamentals of Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Introduction to Forensic Science, Principles of Chemistry, and General, Organic & Biochemistry at the college, commuting between the Red Wing and Winona campuses and teaching online.

Nominated by five different students

Leah Schnaith was nominated for the Outstanding Educator award by five different students. One student wrote, "Leah is an absolute angel. She has gone out of her way to stay late with me and other students to make sure that we are able to get the help we need to pass."

In nominating Leah, a nursing student commented, "She is always willing to help students when they need it and available to us with a smile. She is a really considerate, kind person. She knows how to teach with her genuine desire to help us succeed." 

Still another student stated, "She pushes the budget to the max, tries to make labs that are both fun and creative with limited supplies, and she is always available for questions about the content."

"I want to thank my students, who took time out of their busy schedules to nominate me. When you consider all of the outstanding educators at MSC Southeast, I am truly honored to represent the college for this award," Leah Schnaith said.

Having been named the college's Outstanding Educator of the Year, Leah Schnaith will be among those recognized at a statewide awards banquet in April 2020. At that time, the Minnesota State Board of Trustees will announce its awards for Excellence in Teaching and the state-wide Educators of the Year.

"The entire college community is proud to have Dr. Leah Schnaith represent Minnesota State College Southeast as 2019-2020 Outstanding Educator," said Larry Lundblad.

Michael Kroening, MSCS Chief Financial Officer, Recognized for Outstanding Service

(Awards and Recognition, Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

Michael Kroening, MSC Southeast Chief Financial Officer, Recognized for Outstanding Service at the Minnesota State 2019 CFO Annual Conference

Mike KroeningMichael Kroening, Minnesota State College Southeast Chief Financial Officer, was one of five Minnesota State employees who were recognized for outstanding work at the 2019 CFO Annual Conference held at the Minnesota State system office in St. Paul.

Individuals who were recognized with the Outstanding Services Award include:

  • Jean Hollaar, Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Deb Kerkaert, Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Michael Kroening, Minnesota State College Southeast
  • Jodi Landgaard, Minnesota West Community and Technical College
  • Karen Lester, Minnesota State University Moorhead

The Outstanding Services Award recognizes individuals and/or teams that provide outstanding services to colleges and universities in the Minnesota State system. Bill Maki, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities of Minnesota State, said, "These honorees are shining examples of individuals that not only lead the financial operations of their institutions, but also provide guidance to their colleagues in what is in the best of interests of student success and in the financial sustainability of their college or university." 

"Mike Kroening is an exceptional CFO who provides outstanding service both to the college and to the Minnesota State system, where he serves on various committees and mentors new chief financial officers," said Larry Lundblad, MSC Southeast Interim President. "Under his leadership as Vice President of Finance and Administration, the college's finance and facilities departments do stellar work. Our faculty, staff, students, and administrators all join me in congratulating Mike on his receipt of the Outstanding Service Award -- it is well deserved!"

 

3 music repair program instructors receive Outstanding Alumni Awards

(Awards and Recognition, Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

Three college instructors honored with 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast Outstanding Alumni - Red Wing Awards

Three Alumni Awards

Three instructors in the world-renowned musical instrument repair and building programs at Minnesota State College Southeast were honored with Outstanding Alumni - Red Wing Awards at the commencement ceremony held in Red Wing on May 15.

"In the many years of the musical instrument repair programs hundreds of students have graduated, but tonight we are here to honor three of these graduates with Outstanding Alumni Awards -- three whose accomplishments and expertise led to their returning to Minnesota State College Southeast as instructors," said Interim President Larry Lundblad in presenting the awards.

The college made awards to Greg Beckwith (Class of 1992, Band Instrument Repair), Brian Boedigheimer (Class of 1994, Guitar Repair and Building), and Steve Rossow (Class of 2001, Guitar Repair & Building and 2002, Violin Repair).

"All three of these individuals have presented at national workshops and seminars, been featured in national publications and websites, and are active in national organizations," Larry Lundblad added. "We are very proud of their accomplishments and happy to recognize each of them with the Outstanding Alumni - Red Wing Award."

  • Band Instrument Repair program instructor Greg Beckwith graduated from MSC Southeast in 1992 and returned to the college as a full time teacher in 2003. Greg is a member of the National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians and has presented at their regional and national conferences. He has also given presentations at The Midwest Clinic's International Band and Orchestra Conferences, Minnesota Music Educators Association conferences, and International Horn Society symposiums. Greg and his family have shown their devotion to the college by setting up an endowed scholarship fund with the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation, in honor of his father, Gene Beckwith. 

  • In 1994, guitar program instructor Brian Boedigheimer received his Guitar Repair & Building diploma from Minnesota State College Southeast. After graduating, he provided repair services in area music stores and built guitars with the Benedict Guitar Company. He started teaching electric guitar building at MSC Southeast on an adjunct basis in the year 2000. In 2003, Brian attended the Wood Finishing Technology Program at Dakota County Technical College, which led to his becoming an expert instructor in in specialized guitar finishing techniques. In 2005, Brian returned to Southeast as a full time instructor.

  • Steve Rossow earned diplomas from the Guitar Repair & Building in 2001 and Violin Repair in 2002. After graduation, he apprenticed with John Waddle in Saint Paul, under whom he studied violin making and restoration. He also set up his own shop, building, restoring, and repairing fine violins and building guitars and mandolins. Returning to MSC Southeast as a full-time instructor in 2010, Steve developed coursework for incorporating CNC work into guitar making and taught advanced acoustic guitar construction and computer-aided drafting. In the past year, Steve has transitioned to a role as the lead instructor in Violin Repair and is designing a new curriculum for Violin Making.

Photo above, from left: Interim President Larry Lundblad presented awards to Greg Beckwith, Brian Boedigheimer, and Steve Rossow.

 

Daniel Matejka receives Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award

(Awards and Recognition) Permanent link

Minnesota State College Southeast honors Daniel Matejka with 2019 Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award

Daniel MatejkaSince graduating from Minnesota State College Southeast's Accounting program in 1984, Daniel Matejka has advanced in his career to a leadership role as Goodview's City Administrator and has become a valued supporter of the college.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, he was honored with the "Outstanding Alumni of the Year - Winona" award at the MSC Southeast graduation ceremony in Winona. The award recognizes outstanding personal and professional achievement and service to others.

After graduating from Southeast in 1984, Dan began his career in accounting for the Winona Area Public School District.  Then in 1999, he became the Business Manager at the La Crescent - Hokah school district.  

In 2006, Dan accepted the City Administrator position in Goodview. "He is an extraordinary leader for the City of Goodview and has built great relationships with his staff and everyone he works with on any given day," said Casie Johnson in nominating Dan Matejka for the award. "He is respected and admired as a leader of the community by all." 

Dan recognizes the importance of the mission of the college and continues to support it in a variety of ways.  He served on the Minnesota State College Foundation Board from 2007 - 2013, the last three of those years as board president. He has volunteered on the Foundation Golf Tournament Committee for several years and is instrumental in its continuing success.

Dan and his wife, Natalie, support the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation with their time and talents and as generous donors. They are members of the Foundation's Legacy Circle, which is a group of donors who have included the college in their future estate plans.

In addition to his service to the college, Dan is very active in the wider Winona community. He is currently the board president of Project Fine, and he has served on the boards of Winona Volunteer Services, the Winona State University Warrior Club, and Goodview Trinity Lutheran Church. He is active as a basketball and baseball official and coached the Winona VFW Baseball Team from 1986-1999.

"On behalf of the entire college community, I am delighted to congratulate Dan Matejka for receiving the 2019 Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award," said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad. "This is an honor well deserved."

Jim Johnson named College President of the Year by statewide student association

(Awards and Recognition) Permanent link

Jim Johnson named "College President of the Year" by statewide student association

Jim Johnson 3We are thrilled to announce that Southeast Technical President Jim Johnson has been named the 2013-2014 "College President of the Year" by the Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) at their Annual Awards Dinner. The ceremony took place Saturday night (April 12) at their Spring General Assembly in Breezy Point.

The "College President of the Year" honor is given to one college president annually by MSCSA. Johnson was nominated for the award by current and former students from Southeast Technical and was selected by the MSCSA statewide student leadership to receive the honor. 

In one of many letters of recognition submitted to MSCSA in support of Johnson's nomination, past Southeast Technical Winona Student Senate President Jenna Lubinski said that she was nominating President Johnson because, "His open door policy, approachability, and open mindedness have always made the students on these campuses feel like they are a priority and that they have a leader who genuinely cares about their wellbeing and success." 

"This award is very humbling and unexpected. I am honored to accept it on behalf of the faculty, staff and students of Southeast Technical. No president could succeed without their hard work and the positive relationships between them," said Jim Johnson, adding, "I will treasure this honor for the rest of my life." 

In 1981, Jim Johnson joined the staff of Southeast Technical (then known as Winona Technical Institute). He has remained in administration at the college over the last 33 years, growing through the positions of Trade and Industry Coordinator, Adult Extension Director, Associate Director, Vice President/CEO, and his current position of college president since 1995. Last fall, Johnson announced his retirement from the college effective June 30, 2014; he will be succeeded by Dr. Dorothy Duran in July. 

Photo by Chris Dang, Courtesy Minnesota State College Student Association


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Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.

 

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