WINONA, Minn. — In celebration of its heritage, Saint Mary’s University virtually presented awards to one faculty member and one staff member in honor of Founders’ Day. Visit smumn.edu/virtualevents or play below to view the ceremony.

Karen Hemker, director of access services, received the Bishop Heffron Award. Given by the university every other year, this award is bestowed on an employee who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the values of the university, is a positive member of the university community as demonstrated by their ability to work successfully across constituencies for the good of the university, and is a model of the Lasallian Catholic spirit. Hemker, who has been part of Saint Mary’s for 15 years, has worked with countless students, parents and guardians, and educators over those years to ensure all students have the needed accommodations to be successful at the university.

Matthew Nowakowski, Ed.D., program director of the Doctor of Business Administration program, core associate professor, and interim vice provost of Academic Affairs, received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award. Presented each year, the award recognizes a member of the faculty, staff, or administration whose life of faith and service exemplifies the ideals of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. The award is given by Lasallian institutions like Saint Mary’s in the Lasallian Region of North America of the De La Salle Christian Brothers to honor contributions and commitment to the Lasallian mission of education. Dr. Nowakowski has taught and been an administrator at Saint Mary’s for 12 years and is a mentor, teacher, and scholar who is deeply committed to the success of faculty, staff, and students at Saint Mary’s.

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