Rae French, Nana Boaten, and North Country Food Bank Honored at Minnesota Campus Compact Awards Summit and Luncheon

University of Minnesota, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey joined other college and university presidents who belong to Minnesota Campus Compact in nominating recipients of three statewide awards.  Recipients were honored June 14, 2011, at St. Catherine's University in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota Campus Compact award recipients included Rae French and Nana Boaten from the U of M, Crookston and North Country Food Bank, a community partner of the Crookston campus.

The Presidents' Student Leadership Award recognized an individual student or a student organization that modeled a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership, evidenced by initiative, innovative and collaborative approaches to addressing public issues, effective community building, and integration of civic engagement into the college experience.

Boaten_Nana 9933.jpgNana Boaten (at left), a senior majoring in marketing, earned the Student Leadership Award.  Originally from Ghana, Boaten served as senator of international relations for the Crookston Student Association, president of the Soccer Club, treasurer for the National Society of Leadership and Success, and secretary of the Study Abroad Club this past year.  Additionally, he has been a member of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), UMC Rotary Club, Students Today Leaders Forever, and the Residential Housing Jury Board for Student Conduct.  He also served on six campus committees.  When asked to represent his country, Boaten steps up by giving presentations and cooking ethnic food for special events.  His service is not restricted to the Crookston campus community though.  He has delivered meals, coached Crookston Youth Soccer Association, assisted on the Habitat for Humanity house, served Thanksgiving meals at Villa St. Vincent, hosted high school students overnight for the Multicultural Excellence Program, raised funds for the Salvation Army, helped organize "Winter Wonderland," and helped sandbag the city of Crookston.  

The Presidents' Civic Engagement Steward Award recognized the faculty, administration, or staff or a group that has significantly advanced their campus' distinctive civic mission by forming strong partnerships, supporting others' civic engagement, and working to institutionalize a culture and practice of engagement.

Rae French (at right) was the recipient of the Steward Award.  French coordinates the Learning French_Rae 1724.jpgAbroad Program and works closely with international students to provide opportunities that are mutually beneficial to them and to our domestic students and local community.  In an effort to nurture relationships between new Chinese students and community, provide teaching opportunities for Chinese students, and provide enrichment opportunities for Crookston youth, French initiated a highly successful Chinese Language and Culture program this fall for students of all ages.  Additionally, she coordinates and brings groups of students to local classrooms to give presentations about their countries.  She also organizes the International Dinner Series, International Week, and passport drives for the campus and community.  She facilitates host families and does an amazing job making sure we all have many opportunities to learn a bit more about each other's culture.

The Presidents' Community Partner Award recognized a community-based organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and has developed a sustained, reciprocal partnership with the college or university, thus enriching educational as well as community outcomes.

The North Country Food Bank (NCFB) received this award based on its ongoing partnership with the U of M, Crookston.  In August, NCFB hosted two orientation groups during Meet Crookston Through Service, UMC's service day during New Student Orientation.  Student excitement from that event spurred additional collaborations by a variety of student groups.  In September NCFB agreed to host an AmeriCorps member through UMC, who completed 300 hours and helped organize additional volunteers.  In addition to supervising her, they provided her with a life-changing education on the extent of the services and the need.  The Crookston campus and NCFB collaborated on a Mobile Food Drop in December, where over 27,000 pounds of food was distributed within two hours.  Students returned with a new perspective on hunger.  NCFB has accommodated the students' schedules and opened the warehouse during evening hours so that student clubs could pack boxes and backpacks.  Additionally, they have assisted with awareness events such as a Hunger Banquet and an Empty Bowls Project by providing local hunger statistics.  

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Lisa Loegering, assistant director, service learning, 218-281-8526 (loege005@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)