Chancellor's Award for Students

  2021 Chancellor's Award Recipients

Sophie Ackerman: senior, majoring in neuroscience and biology-biomedical science, from Marshfield.

Morgan Leigh Anderson: senior, majoring in social work, from Madison.

Magdala Diersen: junior, majoring in communication sciences and disorders and communication studies, from New Ulm, Minn.

Dannie Esterline: senior, majoring in art, from Wausau.

Marie-Ange Kivi: senior, majoring in marketing communications and communication studies, from St. Paul, Minn.

Adam Leseman: senior, majoring in finance and economics, from Champlin, Minn.

Ezekiel Olakunle: junior, majoring in biomedical sciences, from Oakdale, Minn.

Violet Penman: senior, majoring in conservation and environmental planning, from Hudson.


Know a student who has significantly contributed to making UW-River Falls a better place? Nominate them for a Chancellor's Award for Students!                 

The Award

The Chancellor’s Award for Students is given annually to a small number of juniors, seniors and graduate students for their outstanding commitment, leadership, and service.

This award has come to symbolize the institution’s recognition of those UW-River Falls upperclassmen or graduate students who demonstrate outstanding service and leadership. The students must be nominated and obtain letters of support during the annual nomination period in the spring. Nominees are reviewed by a selection committee that identifies finalists who are then called in front of the committee for an in-person interview, accompanied by their nominator.

Awards are presented at the annual Chancellor's Award Reception to which the recipients, their families, fellow students and faculty are invited. 


  • Must have junior, senior or graduate student status.     
  • Must be in good academic and non-academic standing.
  • Must not be a past recipient of the award.

Criteria for Selection

A Chancellor’s Award for Students recipient should demonstrate:
  1. Outstanding service and leadership on campus and/or in the community.
  2. A commitment to the core values of the institution.
  3. Positive and inspiring personal traits, including a proactive, motivating attitude; courage and resiliency; innovation and creativity.
  4. Exemplary contributions, in terms of service and leadership, in one or more of the following areas:
  • Undergraduate Research

Supporting and promoting a culture of undergraduate research, scholarly and creative activity across campus; showing exceptional leadership when attending professional meetings and conferences. 

  •  Inclusivity

Committing to creating an environment of mutual respect, professional behavior, academic freedom and appreciation of individual differences and rich cultural diversity; understanding the systemic concepts of social justice and promoting inclusivity in our campus community.

  •  Global Education and Engagement

Advocating for and participating in global and international campus programs; raising awareness of issues around the internationalization of our campus and world; showing qualities of being a citizen and leader with an informed global perspective. 

  •  Service to the Community

Exhibiting the traits of servant leadership; fostering hope and effecting real change within the community beyond campus.

  •  Service to the University

Enriching the lives of fellow students, by building better student organizations and by contributing to a more just and caring campus. 

Nomination Process


For each nominee, the following must be submitted:

  • nomination form (online)
  • a current resume of the nominee*
  • a letter of nomination*
  • at least two letters of support* 


Letters may come from UWRF faculty or advisers, UWRF staff, external organization leaders, fellow students, or the candidate themself.

* All supporting nomination documentation must be submitted via email by midnight on March 5, 2021. Please email attachments in PDF or Microsoft Word doc format to . Please
include the name of the nominee in all file names. Incomplete nominations will not be considered.

Selection Committee

  • Chief of Staff (chair)
  • one appointee from Student Affairs
  • one faculty member from each of the four academic colleges
  • two appointees from the Student Senate