Borealis Night of Excellence Awards

An annual event, Borealis Night of Excellence recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the college and community. The CFANS Alumni Society, CFANS Undergraduate Student Board, and CFANS Graduate Student Board come together to celebrate these exceptional alumni, students, staff, faculty and friends. The awards presented hold great honor in the CFANS community. In 2017, the the Borealis Circle was formed to further recognize key individuals who have brought everlasting honor to the college.

Submit a nomination for the 2024 Borealis Awards

The 2023 award recipients are:

  • Student Leadership Award — Undergraduate Student — Ashley Hagenow, Senior, Agricultural Communications and Marketing
  • Student Leadership Award — Graduate Student— Hailey Shanovich (MS ’19 Entomology, PhD ’23 Natural Resources Science and Management)
  • Exemplary Undergraduate Student Organization — Lambda Delta Phi Sorority
  • Exemplary Graduate Student Organization — Applied Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association
  • Outstanding Club Advisor — Mary K. Schmidl, Food Science & Nutrition, Phi Tau Sigma Advisor
  • Exemplary Staff — Kristen Opitz, Plant Pathology and Agronomy & Plant Genetics
  • Exemplary Faculty — (less than 5 years)— Matthew Petersen, Entomology
  • Exemplary Faculty — (more than 5 years)— Kumar Mallikarjunan, Food Science & Nutrition
  • Little Red Oil Can (individual or group of individuals) —Libby (Elizabeth) Silverman, CFANS Academic Advising Center
  • Cultivating Future Leaders (New) — Megan Brown, Fillmore Central High School
  • Outstanding Friend — Elaine Christiansen
  • Community Builder — Eric Ness (BS ’85 Agricultural Engineering)
  • Rising Star — Joe Ramstad (BS ’19 Agricultural Education, Agricultural Communications and Marketing)
  • Alumni Service — Kari Schwab (BS ’10 Agricultural and Food Business Management)
  • Distinguished Alumni — Merlin Lindemann (BS ’77 Animal Science, PhD ’81 Animal Science)
  • Lifetime Achievement — Edward Terry (BS ’68 Agricultural Education) 

2023 Event Recording

View past Borealis Award recipients by year

                                                                            

Awards & Criteria

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Student Leadership Award

Student Leadership Award

This will be presented to one undergraduate student and one graduate student.

  • Has completed one full year of studies at CFANS
  • Holds a significant leadership position on campus in a recognized student organization, club sport, athletic team, house community or student employment position
  • Demonstrates the ability to prepare, motivate and impact other student leaders
  • Volunteers their services to help create a stronger campus community
  • Demonstrates commitment to academic achievement

Exemplary Student Organization

Exemplary Student Organization

This is presented to one undergraduate organization and one graduate organization

  • Is a registered student club/organization
  • Has demonstrated leadership in three or more of the following categories;
    • Collaborative partnerships
    • Member recruitment
    • Community Building
    • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Innovative programming
    • Philanthropy

Outstanding Club Advisor

Outstanding Club Advisor

  • Club advisor during the current academic year
  • Has made outstanding contributions to a student organization
  • Serves as a professional role model to student organization participants

Exemplary Staff Award

Exemplary Staff Award

  • Has made outstanding contributions to the CFANS community
  • Current CFANS staff with at least five years of service
  • Goes above and beyond in support of students, alumni, faculty and staff and/or constituents
  • Is thought of highly by college students, alumni, faculty and staff and/or constituents

Exemplary Faculty Award (Fewer than five years of service)

Exemplary Faculty Award (Fewer than five years of service)

  • Has made outstanding contributions to past or present students of CFANS
  • Current CFANS faculty with fewer than five years of service
  • Demonstrates sustained excellence, leadership and contributions to the CFANS community. 
  • Is thought of highly by college students, alumni, faculty and staff and/or constituents

Exemplary Faculty Award (More than five years of service)

Exemplary Faculty Award (More than five years of service)

  • Has made outstanding contributions to past or present students of CFANS
  • Current CFANS faculty with more than five years of service
  • Demonstrates sustained excellence, leadership and contributions to the CFANS community.
  • Is thought of highly by college students, alumni, faculty and staff and/or constituents

Exemplary Post-Doc Award

Exemplary Post-Doc Award

  • Has made outstanding contributions to CFANS and the Post-Doc community
  • Current CFANS post-doc with at least two years of service
  • Is thought of highly by college students, alumni, faculty and staff and/or constituents

Little Red Oil Can

Little Red Oil Can

May be awarded to an individual or a group of individuals. 

Nominee has made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of St. Paul Campus Life resulting in one or more of the following:

  • The Campus is a friendlier and more inclusive place as a consequence of that individual’s or organization’s contribution
  • The academic, research, or service contributions of that individual or organization have strengthened the educational reputation of the St. Paul campus
  • Because of the individual’s or organization’s efforts, the campus has been able to resolve recognized needs in the form of services, facilities, or financial support
  • Campus morale has been strengthened as the result of the service of the individual or organization
  • Campus communication and community sociability has increased as a consequence of the individual’s or organization’s efforts and/or example

Outstanding Friend Award

Outstanding Friend Award

  • Is not a graduate of CFANS
  • Contributes to the efforts of CFANS and/ or the CFANS Alumni Society
  • Is an exceptional volunteer and/or donor to CFANS
  • Has demonstrated commitment to building a greater CFANS community

Cultivating Future Leaders Award

Cultivating Future Leaders Award

  • A high school instructor of a CFANS undergraduate student  
  • Had an influence on the student's academic interest in a CFANS related discipline
  • Positively impacted the student through their enthusiasm for teaching and/or subject matter
  • Nominator must be a CFANS undergraduate student enrolled in the current academic year

Community Builder

Community Builder 

  • Is a graduate of CFANS 
  • An individual who has made a significant and positive impact on the lives of others and embodies the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
  • Nominee may have addressed critical social, economic, health or environmental needs within society.

Rising Star

Rising Star

  • Is a graduate of CFANS - within 10 years  
  • Demonstrated continued interest and connection to CFANS since their graduation 
  • Has excelled as a leader in their community, their career and/or a public service sector
  • Consistently goes above and beyond expectations 

Alumni Service Award

Alumni Service Award

  • Is a graduate of CFANS 
  • Contributes to the efforts of CFANS and/or the CFANS Alumni Society
  • Is an exceptional volunteer and/or donor to CFANS
  • Has demonstrated commitment to building a greater CFANS community

Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Is a graduate of CFANS
  • Has contributed significantly to their profession, industry and/or greater community
  • Has held office or a significant leadership position in professional or civic organizations
  • Has demonstrated commitment to building a greater CFANS community
  • Is currently working as a professional in their field.
  • Is recognized as an authority in their field via any or all of the following: published research, journal articles, patents, testimony and/ or speeches in a public forum, etc.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • This award may recognize an individual posthumously.
  • Is a graduate of CFANS 
  • Has made outstanding contributions to CFANS and/or to the food, agriculture and/or natural resources industries over the course of their lifetime
  • Is retired from their profession.
  • Is recognized by their peers as a leader in the CFANS community and beyond

For information on past award recipients, please contact Mary Buschette at mbuschet@umn.edu.