Alumni Awards

 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.

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The Awards

Sister Ann Edward Scanlon Award

Sister Ann Edwards

The Sister Ann Edward Scanlon Award is given to an alumna/alumnus who like its namesake:

  •  demonstrates an exceptional level of commitment to the College 
  •  shows outstanding dedication in working to improve his/her community

Read more about Sister Ann Edward

Sister Sarah O’Malley ’56

Meet the Winner of the 2014 Sister Ann Edward Scanlon Award

Sister Sarah O'Malley came to the College from Rhinelander, WI. In her sophomore year she entered the Monastery of St. Scholastica. After finishing her degree in elementary education, she taught in Minnesota and in Ohio. She received her Master's in Theology from St. John's University.

For over 30 years, Sister Sarah lived and worked in Phoenix, AZ. She began a program called Parish Ministry with Care, which trains and empowers lay people to participate in the work of their own parishes. Working with her volunteers, she ministered to the sick, grieving, disabled and elderly in the community.

She has also been an inspiring writer, teacher, and retreat director, with knowledge of a wide variety of spiritual subjects. Most recently her ministry has been centered on her retreat work.
From 1976-1985 Sister Sarah also served the College as a member of the Board of Trustees. In 2013 she celebrated her 60th Jubilee (anniversary of religious life).

View Past Recipients of the Sister Ann Edward Award

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Sister Alice Lamb Award

Sister Alice Lamb

The Sister Alice Lamb Award is a career achievement award given to an alumna/alumnus who:

  •   is well-established in his/her professional career
  •   has contributed significantly to her/his profession
  •  has maintained a life-long commitment to The College

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.

Rita K. Bowen, MA ’00Meet the Winner of the 2014 Sister Alice Lamb Award

Rita Bowen has had a distinguished career in health information management (HIM). She received her bachelor's degree in medical science from Emory University in Atlanta and was a member of St. Scholastica's first HIM graduate class in 2000. She serves as Senior Vice President of HIM and Privacy Officer of HealthPort. She is a Distinguished Member of the American Health Information Management Association's (AHIMA) Quality
Management Section. She served as the AHIMA President and Board Chair in 2010.

She is an established authority who speaks on diverse HIM topics and writes about privacy and legal health records.

She has maintained her connection to St. Scholastica, especially as a mentor to the interns she accepts from the program. In a video made to celebrate HIM's 75th anniversary, she credited the College's master's program with providing her the pathway to succeed at the national level.

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Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit

Sr. Timothy Kirby

The Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award recognizes a graduate of St. Scholastica who:

  • has been a credit to the College by his or her professional achievements
  • exemplifies the Benedictine values of
    • respect for the individual
    • dignity of work
    • stewardship
    • hospitality
    • love of learning

Read more about Sister Timothy Kirby

Kristina Tiderman Wenzel ’72

Meet the Winner of the 2014 Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award

Kristina Wenzel graduated with her BA in nursing in 1972. She began her career at St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver. Her dedication to her community led her into public health. She worked for both Provenant Health Partners and the University of Colorado, designing better systems for the training and practice of nursing.

She helped countless students facing economic and social barriers. For the last 12 years of her life, she was Executive Director of the Central Colorado Area Health Education Center and developed expertise in obtaining grants to fund programs for community health education and scholarships for students in health care fields.

She was instrumental in the establishment of many awards to encourage students and to validate the work of teachers and other professionals.

She died of cancer on Aug. 2, 2013. She was specially honored at the Nightingale Nursing wards with a special tribute and recognition of her lifetime achievement.

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Scholastica Inspiration Award

Strength, Providence, Wisdom and Rebirth Animal Icons 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.

Paula ByrneMeet the Winner of the 2014 Scholastica Inspiration Award

Paula Byrne chairs the College's traditional track in undergraduate nursing. She earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota, and her MSN from the University of Phoenix. Her specialty is rural nursing practice in critical access hospitals and home health and hospice care.

She began her teaching career instructing first responders in Alaska and then taught at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, MN. In her current role, Paula states that "We seek to create nurses who are strong patient advocates, nurses who use the Benedictine values as part of their anchor for moral decision making, and finally nurses who are able to seek answers rooted in evidence-based practice."

Her nominator wrote, "Paula... facilitates a smooth transition from the academic setting to the working world... Paula taught me to be accountable for my actions... I am proud to say she had a lasting impact on my career and in turn my happiness. I am so grateful for the discipline I received."

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Young Alumni Achievement Award

CSS Alumni AssociationThis award presented Homecoming Weekend, honors an alumnus or alumna who:

  • is under 40 years of age
  • demonstrates a high level of achievement early in his or her career
  • shows support of the College
  • lives out the Benedictine values through service to others

Christopher Rubesch ’08Meet the Winner of the 2014 Young Alumni Achievement Award

Chris Rubesch graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Humanities; he is currently enrolled in the
St. Scholastica Post Baccalaureate Nursing program and is looking forward to focusing on public health issues once he receives his degree.

Chris is a former member of the CSS cross country, track, and ski teams. He is an ultra-marathoner and the vice president of the Upper Midwest Trail Runners, an organization with a goal of supporting and conducting running activities and protecting and supporting local trails and parks.

Chris has exemplified our Benedictine values of community, respect, hospitality, love of learning and stewardship through his generous support to improve the lives of disenfranchised residents of the Duluth area. He always seems to find time to devote to his passion of working for those less fortunate in the Duluth Community and even on a more global scale.

Chris is as a founding member of DuluthQ, a group that began meeting in 2010 to promote community discussion and action by asking questions related to social justice issues which impact the Duluth area. Chris helped produce a documentary about poverty, homelessness and the working poor in Duluth, which premiered August 23, 2011 at Teatro Zuccone.

Chris serves on the Board of CHUM and is the youngest member. In addition to serving on the Board, he is a member of the CHUM Communication Committee and also served on the CHUM Director Search Committee. Chris is a member of the Duluth-Superior Friends Meeting (Quakers) Peace and Social Concerns Committee

Chris is one of the co-founders and serves on the Basa Village Foundation Board of Directors and on the Education Committee. After traveling to Nepal and staying in the mountain village of Basa, Chris became interested in helping the villagers accomplish self-determined projects. Chris' primary focus has been the education of the children of the village.

Basa Village Foundation is an organization dedicated to helping the remote Nepalese village of Basa improve living conditions by assisting in the development of hydroelectric systems, improving sanitary conditions, providing clean water, contributing medical supplies, aiding in the construction of local schools and providing school supplies, all while maintaining respect for the culture of the village and region

On days off he has visited schools to talk to students about running, the importance of healthy lifestyle, exercise, and nutrition. Chris lives his life enthusiastically with strong commitments. He buys locally-grown food because it helps others in our area sustain their lives and promotes a better environment. His home is earth friendly with a solar-panel hot water/heating system. He has converted his small yard to gardens and fruit trees and has dabbled with bee keeping, all in an effort to become more sustainable. He lives his beliefs in a quiet unassuming manner.

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Previous Award Winners