Volunteer Connection leader honored

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - St. Cloud State University Volunteer Connection Coordinator  Beth Knutson-Kolodzne has received the Sister Pat Kowalski Leadership Award from Minnesota Campus Compact.  The award is made every two years to someone who demonstrates leadership and commitment to service-learning and campus-community collaboration, success at building strategic, long-term partnerships with communities, and positive impact on both the community and the educational institution.

The Sister Pat Kowalski Leadership Award is named in honor of Sr. Pat Kowalski, O.S.M., who served as director of community partnerships at the University of St. Thomas from 1992 until her death in 1999.  She was the only service-learning/community partnerships director to serve on the administrative cabinet of her institution and was a fervent advocate of mobilizing a wide variety of campus resources, including students, staff and faculty, to better serve the surrounding community.

Since Knutson-Kolodzne joined St. Cloud State in 2003, there has been steady growth in faculty and student involvement in the community, with approximately 1,000 students giving about 12,000 hours of service during the 2007-08 school year.  She orchestrated a week of service to celebrate the inauguration of St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III, organized two trips to offer the campus community an opportunity to support the people in the flooded areas of Fargo/Moorhead this spring, serves on the United Way volunteer engagement advisory board and the service learning advisory board of Independent School District 742, and led the effort to win the SCSU-ISD742 Building Bridges Grant from Minnesota Campus Compact  that made possible tutoring in reading and in Spanish and a career exploration seminar. 

Under Knutson-Kolodzne’s guidance, St. Cloud State also has begun to celebrate community engagement, creating an inclusive, interactive event that allows students, faculty and community partners to come together and share their community service experiences.

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Contact:  Beth Knutson-Kolodzne, 320-308-5693, .

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