Honors and Awards

Honors & Awards

Borealis Night of Excellence Awards

The CFANS Alumni Society, CFANS Undergraduate Student Board, and the CFANS Graduate Student Board present annual awards at the Borealis Night of Excellence. They recognize graduates, students, faculty, and staff members and friends who have made significant contributions to the college, the alumni society, their professions, or the community.

Learn more about the Borealis Night of Excellence Awards.

Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture

Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture

Minnesota businessman and philanthropist Eldon Siehl believed that those who feed the world deserve recognition. Today the prize that bears his name honors those who have made extraordinary contributions in producing food and ending hunger. Laureates selection occurs in up to three categories: production, agribusiness, and knowledge. Each laureate receives $50,000 and a beautiful granite and glass sculpture.

Learn more about the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture.

Collegiate Awards

The CFANS Honors and Awards Committee presents collegiate awards at the spring college assembly. People from all units are eligible for nomination.  Awards recognize excellence in teaching, research, service, diversity, extension and outreach, innovation, and outstanding students and teaching assistants. Many awards include a monetary stipend.

In recognition of the time and energy spent on nominations, the committee will keep all nominations active for up to three years. Nominations that are unsuccessful in their original submission year will remain in the nomination pool for two additional years or until successful, whichever comes first. Nominators do not need to do anything further to keep their nominations active. However, they may update any materials desired each year.

Nominations are currently closed.

Select the awards below to learn more about eligibility and criteria. See past award winners.

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CFANS Civil Service/ Bargaining Unit (CS/BU) Staff Award

This award recognizes the contributions of two members of the CSBU staff with a $1,500 award and certificate. One award is for academic-related duties and the other for scientific work. Award selection may also be according to significant contributions in administrative duties or for technical work.

Eligibility
All CS/BU staff in the College are nomination-eligible for this award.

Nominating Procedure
In addition to filling out the nomination form, two compelling letters of recommendation (from persons different than the nominator) that highlight the candidate's outstanding contributions and specifically address the criteria listed below must be submitted.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Performs above and beyond job expectations: Provide examples of how the nominee performed above and beyond the normal duties required of his/ her position.
  2. Takes initiative: Identifies and acts on problems or improves a situation in the workplace.
  3. Contributes ideas/innovations: Outstanding accomplishments in his/ her field of work contributes to the unit's ability to fulfill its mission.
  4. Positively influences morale: By a cooperative spirit or helping attitude.

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CFANS Distinguished Academic (P&A) Staff Award

The CFANS Distinguished Academic (P&A) Staff Award recognizes two members of the P&A staff who continue the mission and goals of their unit(s) and the college with a $1,500 stipend and certificate. One is for research and the second for other professionals.

Eligibility
All P&A staff in the College are nomination-eligible for this award.

Nominating Procedure
In addition to filling out the nomination form, two (2) letters of support. These letters must be from individuals different than the nominator themselves that specifically address the criteria listed below. Be sure each letter lists the name and relationship of the supporter to the nominee.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Takes initiative: Identifies and acts on problems or improves a situation in the workplace.
  2. Contributes ideas/innovations: Outstanding accomplishments in his/ her field of work contributes centrally to the unit's ability to best fulfill its mission.
  3. Positively influences morale: By a cooperative spirit or helping attitude.
  4. Other: Provide examples of how the nominee performed above and beyond the normal duties required of his/ her position.

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Distinguished Faculty Teaching Awards: Undergraduate

Distinguished Teaching Awards recognize those members of the faculty who have made significant contributions to teaching. The Distinguished Teaching Award symbolizes the college's commitment to excellence in teaching. Two awards of $1,500 stipends each will be presented annually to undergraduate faculty (one tenured, and one non-tenured).

Award selection may be made according to outstanding contributions ranging from broadly distinguished performance over a number of years to a single extraordinary contribution without favoring one kind over another.

Eligibility

  • Regular faculty (tenure-track and tenured), non-regular faculty (term appointments), and academic professional (P&A) instructors, who are salaried through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences engaged in teaching at the University of Minnesota for three or more years.
  • Faculty members of other colleges of the University of Minnesota may be nominated by individuals or units of CFANS if the person being nominated has made exceptional contributions to the CFANS, to CFANS programs or to CFANS students.
  • Must be a classroom teacher of undergraduate level courses.
  • Must be nominated by students, colleagues, alumni and/or administrative officers.
  • Previous recipients of the teaching award are not eligible.
  • Faculty who have been nominated for other teaching awards are eligible for nomination.

Nominating Procedure
Complete the online nomination form. Compile all of the following materials as a dossier in a single .pdf and attach it at the end of the nomination form. Letters should address the items listed under Evaluation Criteria and cite specific examples. Excess information will not be considered. Because the University of Minnesota is a research university, the dossiers of all nominees should include evidence of their intellectual distinction.

  • A statement of no more than three (3) pages* (using a 12-point font, one-inch margins, and 1.5 line spacing) presenting the full case for the nomination as well as summarizing the dossier, with specific reference to the criteria listed, using specific subheadings.
  • A personal statement by the candidate of no more than 1,200 words* (using a 12-point font, one-inch margins, and 1.5 line spacing) addressing each of the criteria for the award (using specific subheadings) and the impact on student learning.
  • A numerical overview compiled from student evaluations, arranged according to this form: https://goo.gl/J4B9wt. For upper division courses, please specify the percentage of undergraduates enrolled. Up to one additional page of assessment of student learning can be included.
  • Two (2) letters of support from individual undergraduate students, past or present.
  • One (1) letter of support from a colleague familiar with the nominee's teaching (cannot be written by nominator).

Evaluation Criteria
Nominees with be evaluated on the basis of a dossier documenting outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. The dossier should provide specific evidence of outstanding performance in one or more not necessarily all of the five categories listed below:

  • Teaching: direct contact with students in undergraduate courses and programs and in co-curricular activities, and the ability to attract and stimulate students. Teaching activities include instructing groups of students in classes, seminars, and laboratories; and supervising individual activities, such as practicums, internships, field-learning experiences, tutorials, performances, exhibitions, and independent study, including supervision of UROP projects. The activities listed above are representative, not exhaustive.
  • Advising: activities that aid individual students with course and major selection, career plans, and personal development, especially in ways that go beyond formal curricular advising; and those that provide guidance to student organizations or groups. Documentation should include information about accessibility to students, which ordinarily includes but is not limited to office availability.
  • Research and Artistic Activities: such activities should be discussed in terms of the relationship to the nominee's contributions to undergraduate education.
  • Academic Program Development: such activities that contribute to the planning, design, or development of improvements in undergraduate education.
  • Educational Leadership: extra-programmatic activities of any kind and at any level that constitute leadership and contribute substantially to undergraduate education.

This list should not be considered exhaustive or restrictive. The selection committee will consider any and all outstanding contributions to undergraduate education described by the materials provided. The magnitude of an outstanding contribution in one area may compensate for little or no contribution in other areas. For example, not all distinguished classroom teachers have the opportunity to contribute to academic program development that persons in administrative offices do, but they may, nevertheless, make outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.

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Distinguished Faculty Teaching Awards: Graduate

Distinguished Teaching Awards were established to recognize those members of the faculty who have made significant contributions to teaching and symbolizes the College's commitment to excellence in teaching. One non-recurring award of $1500 for personal/professional development will be awarded annually to a faculty member of graduate-level courses.

Eligibility

  • Regular faculty (tenure-track and tenured) and term faculty (non-regular) salaried through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and holding a 66 2/3% time or greater appointment, who have been at the University of Minnesota for at least five years, including the current year.
  • Faculty members of other colleges of the University of Minnesota may be nominated by individuals or units of CFANS if the person being nominated has made exceptional contributions to the CFANS, to CFANS programs or to CFANS students.
  • Must be a classroom teacher of graduate level courses.
  • Previous nominees who did not receive the award may be renominated
  • Faculty who have been nominated for other teaching awards are eligible for nomination.
  • Previous recipients of the teaching award are not eligible.

Nominating Procedure
Each department/ unit engaged in graduate and/or professional education may submit one nomination. Complete the online nomination form. Compile all of the following materials as a dossier in a single .pdf and attach it at the end of the nomination form. Letters should address the items listed under Evaluation Criteria and cite specific examples. Excess information will not be considered. Because the University of Minnesota is a research university, the dossiers of all nominees should include evidence of their intellectual distinction.

  • A statement of no more than three (3) pages (using a 12-point font, one-inch margins, and 1.5 line spacing) presenting the full case for nomination and summarizing the dossier with specific reference to the criteria listed using defined subheadings. This statement forms the basis of the nomination and is extremely important for the review process. The author should describe the nominee's qualifications and other relevant criteria, focusing on specific details to set out a convincing case for the nominee's outstanding contributions to graduate and/ or professional education.
  • A personal statement by the candidate of no more than 1,200 words (using a 12-point font, one-inch margins, and 1.5 line spacing) addressing each of the criteria for the award (using defined subheadings) and the impact on student learning.
  • A list of all graduate/professional courses taught in any colleges at the University of Minnesota over the previous five years of active teaching. For courses with both undergraduates and graduate/ professional students, please specify the percentage of graduate/ professional students enrolled. Up to one additional page of assessment of student learning can be included.
  • Student course evaluation data
  • Two (2) letters of support from individual graduate students, past or present.
  • One (1) letter of support from a colleague familiar with the nominee's teaching (cannot be written by nominator).

Evaluation Criteria
Nominees will be evaluated on the basis of a dossier documenting outstanding contributions to graduate education. The dossier should provide specific evidence of outstanding performance in one or more—not necessarily all—of the categories listed below:

  • Excellence in instruction.
  • Involvement of students in research, scholarship, and professional development.
  • Development of graduate instructional programs.
  • Advising and mentoring of students.

This list should not be considered exhaustive or restrictive. The HAC will consider any and all outstanding contributions to graduate and/ or professional education described by the materials provided. The magnitude of an outstanding contribution in one area may compensate for little contribution in other areas.

The HAC will consider outstanding contributions ranging from broadly distinguished performance over many years to a single extraordinary contribution.

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Distinguished Diversity and Inclusion Award

The Distinguished Diversity and Inclusion Award recognizes key accomplishments that benefit non-traditional and/or underserved populations by members of our community. One award will be given for faculty and one for staff. Awards include $2,000 to personal/professional development and a commemorative plaque.

The College defines diversity as the fact of human difference that makes a difference in how we interact with one another, communities, institutions and ourselves (relative to developing and respecting human potential, creating a supportive, nurturing climate and environment, and acknowledging legal responsibilities to historical inequalities). Because of historical and legal circumstances unique to the history of our nation and to our democracy, we pay particular attention to the areas outlined in the University's Equal Opportunity Statement. Those areas include: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, and sexual orientation

Eligibility

  • Must currently be employed by the College.
  • An individual or group may receive the award only once in five years.
  • Any aspect of the work of the College may be recognized (though the effort should exceed normal job expectations): operations, staffing, programs, audiences, research, volunteers, etc.
  • The award may recognize risks involved and outstanding efforts, even though outcomes are as of yet unrealized.

Nominating Procedure
Nominations may be made only by University of Minnesota employees or non-University collaborating partners directly engaged in College collaborations, and only on behalf of a colleague or a group. Two additional supporting letters should be included and may be uploaded into the electronic application. The nomination process for this award is separate from the nomination process for other CFANS awards. Submit a nomination.

Nominations from previous years must submit updated materials, including updated references. A confidential list of nominees is kept in the awards records.

Evaluation Criteria
Nominations are considered based on the nominator’s demonstrated accomplishment and innovation in achieving and sustaining diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion efforts within the College’s personnel, policies, programs, environment, climate, and constituencies.

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Distinguished Extension/ Outreach Award

The Distinguished Extension/Outreach Award was established in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences to recognize those faculty and staff who (1) have made significant contributions to Extension/outreach education, and (2) have made a priority of engagement that links CFANS and the University of Minnesota to the citizens of the state. The Distinguished Extension/Outreach Award symbolizes the College's commitment to excellence in Extension/outreach education and recognizes individuals who substantially contribute to the spirit of engagement found in our land grant mission. One award will be presented annually to a faculty or staff member, which includes a one-time monetary award of $1,500 and certificate.

Eligibility

  • Must be an employee in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences engaged in Extension/outreach at the University of Minnesota for three or more years.
  • Employees who have received University of Minnesota Extension awards are eligible for nomination.

Nominating Procedure
Nominators must work directly with the nominee or who have direct knowledge of the nominee’s impact.

Complete the online nomination form. Compile all of the following materials as a dossier in a single .pdf and attach it at the end of the nomination form.

  • A list of the names of all the persons submitting supporting documents and relationship to nominee.
  • A statement of no more than three (3) pages addressing the nomination criteria from the nominator.
  • Two (2) letters of support from internal or external individuals or groups. These letters must be from individuals other than the nominator themselves. At least one must be from an individual or group external to the University.

Evaluation Criteria
Nominees will be evaluated on their outstanding contributions to Extension/outreach education, as documented in their nomination dossier.

  • Program leadership and development: Contributes ideas, leads and collaborates internally and externally, has innovative and creative approaches, and develops educational programs and materials that have a direct impact on the citizens of Minnesota.
  • Program durability: Develops extension/outreach educational programs and materials that build on the College and Extensions strengths that continue to be in demand beyond the initial timeframe of program development and presentation.
  • Excellence in Extension/outreach education: Provides exemplary teaching and education to clientele outside formal degree programs using innovative and creative approaches, delivery and materials.
  • Engagement: Successfully engages their intended audience(s) in the planning and development of Extension and outreach educational programming and materials.
  • Evaluation of outcomes and impacts: Develops and implements evaluation procedures that record and report the outcomes and impacts of extension/outreach education.

This list is not exhaustive or restrictive. The College's Honors and Awards Committee will consider any and all outstanding contributions to Extension and outreach education described by the materials provided, and will consider outstanding contributions ranging broadly, from distinguished performance over many years to a single extraordinary contribution.

The selection committee may also consider the following items in evaluating the strongest candidate:

  • Research: Such activities should be discussed in the context of the nominee’s contributions to extension/outreach education.
  • Extension/Outreach program development: activities that contribute to the planning, design, or development of improvements in Extension and outreach.
  • Educational leadership: Programmatic activities of any kind and at any level that constitute leadership and contribute substantially to Extension and outreach education.

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Pioneering and Innovation Award

In this rapidly changing world, innovation is necessary if a CFANS education is to remain relevant and valuable to our students, stakeholders, and the broader community. The award is intended to encourage CFANS faculty and staff to be creative, strategic, and bold as we seek to find new ways to meet the needs of our students and promote their success. This award recognizes CFANS faculty and staff who have made notable innovations in programs within the college, department, or program level. Recipients receive a $1500 stipend and certificate.

The NSSE Institute offers many publications for a range of audiences to help create conditions that matter to student success. Innovation has no limits, but these pages may serve as a resource (and perhaps a rationale) for your innovation in CFANS undergraduate education.

Eligibility

  • Nominee(s) must be currently employed by the college and have significant involvement in an initiative, programmatic, or curricular improvement that has made (or is likely to make) a sustained, positive impact on student learning and/or the quality of the CFANS student experience.
  • Initiatives must be for the benefit of students through activities either inside or outside the classroom (e.g. the development of significant public engagement activities).
  • A person can receive only one award in a five-year period.

Nominating Procedure
Nominations may be made only by University of Minnesota employees or non-University partners directly engaged with CFANS collaborations. Self-nominations are also accepted.

In addition to filling out the nomination form, two (2) letters of support from individuals other than the nominator. Each letter should list the name and relationship of the supporter to the nominee. At least one letter must be from a person who has been or will be impacted by the innovation (student, community partner, etc.)

Evaluation Criteria
Nominations will be judged on:

  • Innovation: In relation to current efforts, why do you consider this an innovative approach in education, research, etc.? To what extent is the innovation creative, strategic, and bold?
  • Positive impact: How do you see this innovation contributing positively to programs in the college? How is it aligned to meet the future needs of students?
  • Diversity and Inclusion: How is the innovation in line with the college commitment to diversity and inclusion?
  • Engagement: How does this innovation actively involve students in learning (in or out of the classroom) and their development? How does the innovation positively engage with the community beyond the University?  

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Dean E.M. Freeman Medal

This medal is awarded to a graduating senior who has demonstrated an unusual sense of personal responsibility for the welfare of the University of Minnesota and its community.

The late Dean E.M. Freeman was noted for his constant interest in and devotion to all activities that promoted student leadership and self-development. Dean Freeman served as the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics from 1917 to 1943. His service to students and to student development make it particularly appropriate that this award be entitled the Dean E.M. Freeman Medal.

Eligibility
Nominees must be undergraduate students in their final year of a CFANS major and must be in good standing with the University of Minnesota.

Nominating Procedure
Complete the online nomination form. Compile all of the following materials as a dossier in a single .pdf and attach it at the end of the nomination form.

  • A letter of support from nominator describing the contributions which make this nominee deserving of the award. Include specific examples that demonstrate the scope of the student's service and leadership and what the outcomes of this involvement were.
  • A personal statement from the student including two (2) additional references and their contact information, as well as a description of any contributions the student has made to the University through service, leadership, or involvement in student activities, committees, task forces, special projects, etc. including positions held and responsibilities.

Evaluation Criteria
Nominees are evaluated based on the quantity, quality, breadth and depth of their contributions to the St. Paul campus community, and secondarily, by their academic record. Contributions may be:

  • In the form of service or leadership
  • Individual or organizational
  • Directly to the campus or to the greater campus area
  • Through the traditional positions in St. Paul campus college, departmental or social organizations; St. Paul campus fraternities and sororities; Bailey Hall, Twin Cities campus or University governance;
  • Through new, different, or non-traditional ways.

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Graduate Assistant Teaching Award

This award recognizes a CFANS graduate teaching assistant to recognize effort and excellence in undergraduate education within CFANS. Includes a $1500 stipend and certificate.

Eligibility

  • Currently enrolled graduate student in CFANS.
  • In the case of December graduation, a student may still be eligible to receive the award if the appointment was for work prior to their graduation.
  • Fulfilled a teaching assistantship, at least a 25% appointment (~10 hours per week), for at least one semester in the previous calendar year.
  • Maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or above in graduate course work.

Nominating Procedure
Must be nominated by either a faculty member (professor of the course for whom the candidate was a teaching assistant) and/or an undergraduate student (who had the candidate as a teaching assistant). Self-nominations are not allowed.

Complete the online nomination form. Compile all of the following materials as a dossier in a single .pdf and attach it at the end of the nomination form.

  • A letter of recommendation addressing award criteria, no more than two (2) pages. This can be written by nominator.
  • A letter of evaluation/ approval from the professor of the course for whom the candidate was a teaching assistant. One from an undergraduate student who had the candidate as a teaching assistant, be sure to address criteria for undergraduate student review.
  • Document of candidate’s good academic standing and continued progress toward degree, signed by the Director of Graduate Studies in candidate’s department.

Suggested Criteria to include in letters of recommendation:

Faculty Member/Professor Letter:
Please comment on the individual’s abilities in the following areas, as applicable. When possible, include information from student evaluations – if completed – that support the nomination.

  1. Rationale for nomination
  2. Characteristics of effective teaching (not limited to these items listed)
    • Content Knowledge/Expertise
    • Teaching Expertise
    • Promptness/Preparedness
    • Student Engagement
    • Availability/Approachability
    • Conflict resolution
  3. Potential for excellence with future teaching assignments

Undergraduate Student Letter:
Please comment on the individual’s abilities in the following areas, as applicable. The more details you provide, the better the award review panel will understand the impact your teaching assistant had on the course and students enrolled. This will help in assessing the qualifications of the nominee.

  1. Rationale for nomination
  2. Characteristics of effective teaching (not limited to these items listed)
    • Preparedness
    • Approachability, Availability
    • Organization, Leadership (how did your TA impact your learning and class experience?)
    • Creativity, Resourcefulness
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Content Knowledge/Expertise
    • Enthusiasm
    • Professionalism
    • Engagement with students (office hours, study groups, led lab discussion, etc.)

Evaluation Criteria
Nominations will be evaluated on demonstrated characteristics of effective teaching, as conveyed by the nomination letters.