News Release

U of M celebrates year of extraordinary achievements among students, faculty and staff

As the academic year winds down, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents recognized dozens of exceptional students, faculty and staff who were honored with prominent awards and distinctions during the past year. These recognitions spanned a wide variety of disciplines and fields of study across all five of the University’s campuses. 

“It’s one of our greatest honors to celebrate the stellar work and successes of our students, faculty and staff. Their stories and commitment to this institution are inspiring, and remind us of the countless ways in which the University of Minnesota helps individuals achieve their personal and professional aspirations while improving our state and world,” said Board Chair Ken Powell.

U of M President Joan Gabel and Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson introduced the Board to a collection of extraordinary faculty, a roster including more than 40 individuals whose work stood out for its leadership, creativity or exceptional merit. 

Two of these individuals—Brenda Child and Jean M. O'Brien—were recognized for prestigious national honors. Child, who is an award-winning author with deep involvement in local and national Native American institutions along with her appointment at the U of M, earned a Guggenheim Fellowship on the basis of outstanding achievement and exceptional promise. O’Brien, who sits on the faculty of both the Department of History and the Department of American Indian Studies at the Twin Cities campus, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of her leading academic work. 

The Board recognized nearly 20 students from across the U of M System. In addition to a Churchill Scholarship and two Goldwater Scholarship recipients, 15 Fulbright Scholarship recipients were introduced. That notably high annual number once again positioned the University of Minnesota among the nation’s most prolific institutions for producing Fulbright Scholars.

The Board also welcomed 12 winners of the 2021-22 President’s Award for Outstanding Service and four individuals honored for their standout work as academic advisors.

A full list of those recognized, along with detail about their distinctions, can be found in the Board’s docket materials.

The Board also: 

  • Reviewed and approved recommendations for promotion and tenure and other academic appointments, which included three faculty members detailing their research, education and outreach activities.
  • Reviewed Gabel’s recommended FY23 operating budget, as well as the FY23 capital improvement budget.
  • Reviewed proposed changes to Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code in a discussion with student affairs leadership from the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses.
  • Approved proposed changes to Board of Regents Policy: Property and Facility Use.
  • Reviewed the annual workforce and human resources strategy report.
  • Finished a three-part discussion on health science strategy with a focus on clinical care.
  • Concluded a series of discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion work on the University’s five campuses with a presentation from the Duluth campus.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet next on June 9-10, 2022. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts

Jake Ricker

University Public Relations