Awards Presented at State of the College

Prestigious Ole and Lucy Flaat awards and a Reuel and Alma Wije Distinguished Professor Award were presented at the annual State of the College celebration.

The award for Distinguished Teaching was presented to Ron Twedt, the Distinguished Advisor award was presented to Dr. Roy Hammerling, the Distinguished Service Award was presented to Lance D. Anderson, Mikal Kenfield was the recipient of a new Inclusive Excellence Award and Dr. Joan L. Kopperud was awarded the Reuel and Alma Wije Distinguished Professor Award.

Twedt ’80, assistant professor of accounting, joined the college in 1991 leaving a successful accounting career to return to his alma mater. In addition to careful class preparation and expertise in accounting, what sets him apart from other accountants in the classroom is his passionate focus on accounting within the liberal arts tradition. Students praise his willingness to share examples from his own career as a tax accountant. By explaining where he has encountered class concepts in the field, students imagine themselves facing similar situations someday. He connects accounting with the world beyond the classroom.

Hammerling, chair and professor of religion, has been a member of the faculty since 1992. He helps students navigate their way through program requirements, but also challenges them to align their study with their intellectual passions. A number of students after interaction with Hammerling, led them to question why they chose their major when their interests seemed to be in a different area.  His counsel is consistent: follow your dreams, not the dreams of others. He also helps colleagues become better advisors and helped develop an advising-based system for working with student requests for overrides into religion classes already at their peak capacity.

Anderson is the lead groundskeeper at Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, Minn. For 26 years, he has been committed to making the 860 acres of beautiful grounds at the Language Villages a safe place for all to come and enjoy. He has consistently supported the Language Villages and Concordia College through hard work and integrity for his craft. Anderson takes care of the things that are essential to the operation, but often go unnoticed: snow plowing, shoveling, weed control, equipment repair, and more. He is the “go-to” person in groundskeeping and his commitment to the job includes being only a phone call away when needed.

Kenfield, director of Residence Life, is recognized by her staff and colleagues as the "go-to" person for innovative ideas around diversity, inclusion and excellence. The award she received was established this year to recognize outstanding work of a staff member who has creatively and innovatively strengthened the institution through initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion. Examples of her work include a campus micro-aggression training workshop that trained students and faculty about the power of language to cultivate inclusive communities, the establishment of sexuality and gender inclusion floors, and intentional selection and training of more than 55 student resident assistants to create and promote an inclusive living/learning community.

Since starting at the college in 1989, Kopperud, professor of English and acting director of Integrative Learning, has served in a variety of roles including department chair. She has also been elected to chair a number of high-profile campus committees and is known across campus for sharing her pedagogical expertise. After the faculty adopted new standards for writing-intensive core classes, she helped develop and lead a series of summer workshops on strategies to better incorporate meaningful writing classes into courses that did not typically teach writing. Her enthusiasm for teaching led her receive the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Teaching award in 2010.

The Flaat awards were endowed by Ole and Lucy Flaat, lifelong farmers in the Red River Valley. The Reuel and Alma Wije Professorship recognizes superior classroom teaching and significant service to the college and the church.


Photo: l-r Dr. Earl Lewis ’78, Dr. Roy Hammerling, Dr. Joan Kopperud, Mikal Kenfield, Ron Twedt and Dr. William Craft (missing Lance Anderson)