Carolyn Zehren, MSUM’s director of Scholarship and Financial Aid, was the unanimous selection by the MSUAASF campus committee to be recognized for the Professional Excellence in Service Award. Her nomination has been forwarded to the MnSCU Board of Trustees for consideration of the statewide award.
The Professional Excellence in Service Award acknowledges outstanding service to our universities and to the MnSCU system. It recognizes the key role service faculty fulfill at our system’s universities in advising and counseling students; in the recruitment, retention, and placement of students; in residential life programming; in facilitation of student groups and student leadership; and other involvement in university and community activities. Awards will be announced at the “Celebrating Excellence” event on April 20.
Carolyn, who received her undergraduate degree at NDSU, began her MSUM career in 1990 in the Scholarship and Financial Aid Office. She worked her way in various capacities and was named director in 2000. During her 25 years at MSUM, she has acquired extensive knowledge of the rules and regulations governing state and federal aid and has used that knowledge o explore all angles for the benefit of our students. She has served on numerous MnSCU and MSUM committees, demonstrating her willingness to do more than is required. Others seek her out throughout MnSCU for her expert knowledge.
In her endorsement of Carolyn for the award, President Blackhurst writes: “Carolyn’s work directly impacts students’ ability to graduate and go on to successful careers. Ultimately, this is the reason we exist…As I reflect on Carolyn’s lifetime service to the university, I feel tremendous admiration and gratitude. Her dedication to serving our students has directly led to the fulfillment of our purpose: transforming the world by transforming lives. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Carolyn Zehren.”
Carolyn excels in all criteria that are part of the nomination process: exceptional work performance; advancement of MSUM’s mission; expertise, creative achievement and professional development; and contribution to student growth and development.
In her acceptance of the campus award, Carolyn states: “The heart of MSUM is our students; our purpose as a university is to ‘transform the world by transforming lives.’ I have been honored to be part of the MSUM family for nearly twenty-five years, aspiring to touch the lives of our students in a positive manner, helping them navigate sometimes confusing channels and ultimately, celebrating student success as they commence across the stage to accept their diplomas.”