The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
Tower Hall 1410
Each year, awards presented on behalf of the Alumni Association are given to outstanding alumni and a faculty or staff member of The College of St. Scholastica. These awards are particularly prestigious because alumni embody the enduring values of The College of St. Scholastica and impart them to our world through their personal and professional activities and relationships. Recognition by alumni is the highest award the College can give.
The Sister Ann Edward Scanlon Award is given to an alumna/alumnus who like its namesake:
Sister Mary Rochefort '70 serves as vice president of mission integration at the College. She helps instill the Benedictine Values in students, faculty and staff through leading activities and prayer as well as her writings. She devotes a great amount of time to community service, giving retreats and days of reflection for women; helping local second-graders prepare for their First Communion; and serving on the Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center Board in Duluth. Her nominator writes: "Above all, Sister Mary is a trustworthy person of integrity who is a woman of prayer. Her deep faith and reliance on prayer aids her in all her endeavors."
The Sister Alice Lamb Award is a career achievement award given to an alumna/alumnus who:
About Sister Alice Lamb: Sister Alice Lamb was associated with the College for 52 years before her death in 1983. She was a professor and head of the Biology Department and later academic dean of the College. This award in her name recognizes her lifelong commitment to her profession and the College.
Susan Dekich '78 is the longest-serving teacher in her school district, and is one of the first to arrive and the last to leave each day. She teaches children with special needs and learning disabilities, and also volunteers her time by running school dances and the school store. Her nominator writes: "Her job can be very difficult, but she embraces each day with a positive attitude that radiates to her students." Susan volunteers through several organizations in Grand Rapids, including the local homeless shelter and her church. An avid supporter of St. Scholastica, she donates to the College and participates in homecoming reunion activities.
The Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award recognizes a graduate of St. Scholastica who:
David Sparby '76 recently retired as the regional CEO of Xcel Energy. His previous positions include VP and CFO of Xcel Energy and president and CEO of Northern States Power Company - Minnesota. Throughout his career, he was known as a leader who valued and respected his colleagues. He has been involved in charity work through Xcel and the United Way, and led green energy initiatives that have made Xcel a sustainable energy leader. He serves on the St. Scholastica Board of Trustees, and is proud of his family legacy at the College: his mother, wife and children are all Saints alums. He enjoys attending alumni events with his family.
The Scholastica Inspiration Award, established in 1994, honors a faculty or staff person whose interest and care for students made a significant impact on their lives.
Heidi Johnson is the first year/information literacy librarian at St. Scholastica, and is known for her patience and ability to listen well, an emphasis in the Rule of St. Benedict. Her nominator writes: "Heidi embodies what it means to be a faculty member at a Benedictine institution." With a passion for historic preservation, she shows commitment in her volunteer role of College Archivist, Pro Tem. She has designed a records database, modified the classification system used to organize photos and documents, and digitized a tremendous amount of primary documents. Heidi is also very involved in a wide range of other volunteer activities.
This award presented Homecoming Weekend, honors an alumnus or alumna who:
Rob Kehr graduated in 2003 with a B.A. majoring in Computer Information Systems. He interned at Securian Financial Group and after graduation began working for them full-time as an assistant production management analyst. In 2004, he became a supervisor in production management. In 2006, a promotion and additional responsibilities to support business continuity planning were added. Again he was promoted in 2010 to a senior manager position leading production management and two key service management practices within the organization.
At this time, Rob additionally became a member of the IT Vendor Management team negotiating technology contracts for Securian. When he was again promoted in 2012, this time specifically due to his leadership skills, he moved to the development support area which continues to be his current position as a Tech Manager responsible for Securian's application development platforms and database administration.
In spite of this demanding position, Rob has remained active at CSS. He serves on an IT board for St. Scholastica, connecting with CIS faculty on campus to ensure that curriculum and experiential learning opportunities parallel the necessary skills required for new graduates to enter IT positions at Securian. Rob has also been an instrumental part of Securian's on-campus recruiting efforts at the Duluth Main Campus. He has been part of the Securian team who leads information sessions for current CSS students-bridging his roles as an alumnus and a Securian employee-in addition to attending a variety of statewide job/internship fairs. He values the continued relationship he has with CSS faculty and staff.
Rob is also a Board Member at the Carlson School of Management, where he received his MBA in 2008. He also volunteers his time through the Securian Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and coaching youth hockey.