We give thanks for Sister Veronica Ann Baxter (1928-2014), remembered for her innovative leadership of Marylhurst from 1974 to 1984, when the university transitioned to a co-educational college of lifelong learning.
The Marylhurst University Board of Trustees bestow the annual Trustees' Excellence Award upon one individual and one group that have demonstrated Marylhurst's values relating to academic quality, student success and service.
Simeon Dreyfuss was selected for this year's Individual Academic Excellence and Service Award. One of his colleagues said of him: "I believe Marylhurst has benefited immeasurably by having in its service a man of Simeon's intellectual gifts, clarity of vision, and passionate devotion to our adult students. My fervent hope is that his decades-long contributions will continue and that he may remain our colleague and inspiration for years to come."
During those decades Simeon Dreyfuss has served as a Prior Learning Assessment faculty member, as a key player in the development and ongoing implementation of the Marylhurst Academic Portfolio and the Educational Degree Plan systems, as one of the developers and then director of the Liberal Arts Core program, and as chair and faculty for the undergraduate interdisciplinary studies program. Add to these roles his service on numerous committees, where his perceptive and insightful questioning advanced the work of each.
Faculty, students and graduates attest to his wisdom and sensitivity and his attention to the concrete challenges, needs, opportunities and unique talents that have led to student success. Phrases and clauses such as these create his outstanding profile as an academic: "love of the ideals of a liberal arts education," "[students] enter into his classroom as active and equal participants...to dive into the deep end of learning," "transformative educator," "Simeon the mentor, Simeon the motivator, Simeon the sounding board, Simeon the advocate." His response to the many affirmations that have been offered to him is this: "If I did things right, all I did was clear a space for them to bloom."
The Educational Degree Plan (EDP) Team
This dedicated, skillful, intelligent EDP group worked itself out of a job by January 2011. The EDP team provides up-to-date degree plans for each Marylhurst student, identifying which degree requirements have been met, and which have yet to be completed.
In 2007, a new advising component in Jenzabar, Marylhurst's student information system, was chosen to replace the legacy system and to be used by students and advisors to track courses of study. There are more than 100 configurations of degree plans at Marylhurst when considering majors, concentrations, certificates and minors. Each had to be configured into the software.
In addition to training faculty and students for the software transition, key persons engineered phases of program development. Karen Lynch, as project leader, marshaled the abilities of the team and worked with Jenzabar's senior technical consultant to identify aspects of the technology that could be improved. Ian McCallum designed and launched specific degree programs in the module for many departments. Nancy Gibson served as a bridge, keeping the legacy system updated and undertaking the complex process of transitioning students' data to Jenzabar.
The EDP team was restructured in January, and the service presently functions under the Office of the Dean of Students.
Dr. Jennifer Sasser
Department of Education
Board of Trustees' Academic Excellence and Service Awards
The trustees' awards are intended to honor the educational legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Names and to accelerate the scope and rate of academic and service improvements for Marylhurst students. The awards will not only recognize excellence, but will motivate innovation in our educational and service strategies. Nominations for the award should be focused on excellence in learning and service outcomes for students that are substantial and possibly transferable to other programs, so as to benefit a significant number of Marylhurst students.
There are two categories for awards — individual and group. Nominations are to be solicited from all parts of the organization including academic and administrative functions.
To recognize these achievements winners will be honored at the Board of Trustees' Annual Dinner and featured on the Marylhurst University website. Additionally, there will be a cash prize of $500 for the individual winner and $500 for the team winners (to share) to be presented, along with a commemorative trophy for each individual, during the Annual Dinner.
Nomination and Review Process
In February of each year, the president of the university will call for one-page abstracts describing the person or group of individuals who have created substantial and transferable academic and service achievements. From these abstracts, a sub-set of three in each category (individual and group) will be selected to submit full papers by April 23. The Board Program Committee will serve as the selection committee and will select finalists by May 15 so as to allow sufficient time to communicate the selections to the campus community.
Significant Academic Excellence Impact — Nominees should display a broad reach of their work to a significant number of students or transferability to a broad number of students. Clear and measurable metrics focused on high-quality education should be described.
Service Orientation — Nominees should engage in or incorporate into their activities a service activity that improves the learning experience of Marylhurst students or the positive perception of the university in the community.
Student Success — Nominees should demonstrate that their activity will tangibly improve and maintain overall student satisfaction and success at a high level. As well, nominations should address how, if at all, student retention is improved.