Posted: April 22, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has announced the 2002-2003 Academic and Student Affairs awards to honor outstanding achievements at institutions in the system. Linda Baer, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, presented three awards at the April 16 Board of Trustees meeting.

Barbara McDonald, dean of academic affairs at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, is the recipient of the system's 2002-2003 award for Outstanding Academic and Student Affairs Administrator.

This award is made to a college or university administrator who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and significant contribution to the development of academic or student affairs programming at their institution. McDonald has been a leader in innovation, from curricular development to implementing a new teaching pedagogy. She has authored several successful grants to raise funds for the college and is recognized for the sense of community she has helped to create at Itasca.

The Bio-Technology Program at Minnesota State University Moorhead has been selected to receive the 2002-2003 award for Excellence in Curriculum Programming.

This program provides graduates with dual degrees, one in chemistry and one in biology. One hundred percent of the program's graduates to date have moved into careers in science or have continued on to graduate or medical school. Effective use of technology, intense interaction between faculty and students, and collaboration with other university departments and the community, have led to a high level of student achievement and have generated strong support from outside the university.

Health PRO's (Peers Reaching Out) at Minnesota University, Mankato, has been selected to receive the 2002-2003 award for Innovation in Student Affairs Programming.

This program trains student volunteers to provide health promotion programming each year at over fifty workshops, campus health fairs, seminars and orientation programs. They also provide education on a variety of health related topics to students in a safe and sensitive manner. Last year, more than 2,500 students participated in at least one of the Health PRO's initiatives.