UW-River Falls Students Honored With Chancellor's Award

May 9, 2012--Seven University of Wisconsin-River Falls students received the 2012 Chancellor's Award for Excellence and were honored at a ceremony on campus April 30.  The Chancellor's Award is the highest non-academic honor a student can receive at the UW-River Falls.  First awarded in 1980, the Chancellor's Award is presented annually to a small group of juniors and seniors who have given distinguished leadership and service to the campus and external communities during the course of their time on campus.

During the ceremony, UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen congratulated the recipients and challenged them to continue their commitment to service.

"I encourage you to exert your strength by pulling others up," Van Galen said. "To lead—as servant leaders, placing those you lead, above yourself." 

Students receiving the 2012 Chancellor's Award were Grace Adofoli, Danielle Hammer, Becky Jones, Camryn Nelson, Kim Schadrie, Adam Sibenaller, and Lee Underdahl.

Grace Adofoli, a senior majoring in psychology from North St. Paul, Minn., served as president of the Black Student Union and the Parker Hall council. Adofoli led Relay for Life teams for five consecutive years, attended the Africa Youth and Governance Conference in Ghana as a delegate, and provided hundreds of hours of community service through AmeriCorps.

UWRF Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Gregg Heinselman states "She is a very engaging individual with the ability to clearly express her ideas and thoughts on global issues, research methods, and inclusivity in the modern world. She has continued to inspire me as a Student Affairs professional." Danielle Hammer, a senior majoring in agricultural business from Beaver Dam, has served as the president of the Chancellor's Student Ambassadors for the past two years. Hammer has also shared her talents for agricultural business and marketing with numerous organizations associated with the agriculture industry both on and off campus including the UWRF Agriculture Business and Marketing Society, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, and Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

David Trechter, UWRF professor and department chair of agricultural economics says, "Danielle's engagement in campus life has been outstanding and the results of her efforts will leave this a better place in terms of students' opportunities. I firmly believe that she will be an agricultural leader in Wisconsin in the years to come." Becky Jones, a senior majoring in English from New Hope, Minn., has used her love of literat ure to serve society. Through her role as president of the UWRF Literary Society, Jones organized a donation drive of magazines and other reading material to go to troops via the Solders' Angels project. She volunteers at Rondo Library in St. Paul where she leads discussions through the Minnesota Literacy Council's Shakespeare Book club for adult learners. Jones has also been a guest speaker at a creative writing class for 6th to 9th grade students.

Nan Jordahl, director of the UWRF Honors Program states "As I reflect on Becky's path through our Honors Program and my contacts with her, I see a vibrant, enthusiastic young woman not only extremely capable academically, but one who has a drive to continue her education at the highest levels achievable."

Camryn Nelson, a junior majoring in communication studies from Red Wing, Minn. is president of UWRF Student Leaders in Communication and co-founded a group, "Rep Your School:  Build a School," that sells UWRF t-shirts with the  proceeds going to build schools in developing countries so that all children will have access to education. Camryn also organized an event that collected shoes for the organization TOMS that gives shoes to children in developing countries.  

Jennifer Willis-Rivera, UWRF professor of communication studies says "Camryn is a tribute to what UWRF always has been, and what we seek to become – a place where students can grow, learn and make the world a better place. Camryn is already doing that – person by person, achievement by achievement."

Kim Schadrie, a senior majoring in agricultural education from DePere, has twice served as a resident assistant, as a campus tour guide, and as a group leader to the AGED 202 – Leadership & Group Dynamics Course for the past two years. She has held terms as an officer of Alpha Tau Alpha, Sigma Alpha sorority, and the Agricultural Education Society. Off campus she has participated in an alternative spring break service trip with Heifer International and served as a state officer with Wisconsin FFA.

Cheryl L. Zimmerman, Wisconsin State FFA executive director states, "Kim is a super individual who really cares about the job she does and has a true passion for the projects, activities and people she works with."

Adam Sibenaller, a senior communications major from Owatonna, Minn., has been directly responsible for fostering community in UWRF's residence hall communities as a resident assistant and hall manager for the past four years. Because of his accomplishments in residence life, Sibenaller has received multiple honors, including his selection to be the lone undergraduate student representative at a national summit on "The Importance of Physical Space in Creating Community" in Madison.

Kristie Feist, UWRF assistant director for Residence Life, and Tracy Gerth, an area coordinator in Residence Life, say "as two Student Affair's practitioners we couldn't be more excited or proud to consider Adam one of our future colleagues."

Lee Underdahl, a senior majoring in economics and business administration from Forest Lake, Minn., organized the Pay it Forward Tour, a spring break trip during which 44 UW-River Falls students from diverse backgrounds completed service projects in six different cities. Underdahl is also a member of the UWRF Rugby team and has logged over 600 hours of community service through the Falcon Fellows program.

Gina Sevick, academic coach in UWRF's Student Support Services program says, "Lee will leave a legacy that will be fondly remembered by faculty, staff, fellow students and the River Falls community."


Photo: Recipients of this year's Chancellor's Awards at UW-River Falls were honored at a reception on April 30 on campus. Front row, left to right: Grace Adofoli, Lee Underdahl, and Becky Jones. Back row, left to right: Adam Sibenaller, Danielle Hammer, Chancellor Dean Van Galen, Kim Schadrie, and Camryn Nelson.