Dean's Award for Academic Excellence 

Anna French

Anna French

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Department of Ecology

Anna French, from Plymouth, Minnesota, is a dual major in organismal biology and biochemistry, crafting her studies around whole organisms from the molecular to species’ community population level. She has conducted undergraduate research focusing on invasive aquatic species and national studies on the global environmental impacts of changing carbon dioxide levels. In spring 2018, French earned an Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and then spent the summer at the Howard Marine Sciences Lab in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, putting her studies to work studying effects of ossification on Atlantic silverside. Aside from academics, French is a talented cross country and track athlete at MSU and president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee who helped develop the Cats Connected group that promotes mental health and success for student athletes.

Hannah Telling

Hannah Telling

Department of English

Hannah Telling, from Dillon, Montana, spent the fall of 2017 at Abo Akademi University in Vaasa, Finland, where studies in education and peace, mediation and conflict research would help inform a curriculum she developed focused on social justice issues and incorporated texts from Native American authors, specifically those from her native Montana. While working toward her English Teaching degree at MSU, Telling was a Writing Center peer tutor, an Honors College ambassador, and a Presidential Scholar who was on the President’s Honor Roll every semester, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. In October 2019, she was the keynote speaker at a national conference on peer tutoring. She recently finished her student teaching at Belgrade High School, where she continued to develop curriculum around her passion for sharing diverse voices. She will continue her journey as a Fulbright scholar in Serbia.

Letters and Science Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

Nnamdi Kalu

Nnamdi Kalu

Department of English

Nnamdi Kalu, is an empathetic teacher and student mentor for students in Writing 101. He creates a personalized classroom environment, drawing from his experience as an international student to lead others in examinations of complex social and political issues that surface in writing courses. He takes on extra work in allowing students multiple revisions, but is determined to draw the best work from each of them. His classes are engaging and compelling. Kalu has also made his mark at MSU in other ways, especially in support of international students. He is the secretary and public relations officer of the African Students Association and has helped other groups organize and articulate their missions. In each endeavor, he makes the students feel hears and respected.

Micah Chang

Micah Chang

Department of History and Philosophy
A second-year doctoral candidate researching Western American environmental history, Micah Chang stands out as one of the department’s most talented graduate student instructors this year. Chang has the ability to lead large groups of students through dense material in Western civilization and biblical history courses, keeping them on track and engaged in the classroom. His collaborative nature led him to seek out previous graduate teaching assistants to delve into the intricacies of a particular class and what worked or didn’t for each section. His abilities to cope with the challenges of a pair of new classes during this academic year and their extra organizational and material workload demonstrated an unmatched level of flexibility. Students respect his teaching style and have left nothing but glowing comments at the end of each semester.

 

Letters and Science Outstanding Teaching Award

Colter Ellis

Colter Ellis

Department of Sociology & Anthropology

A graduate of Idaho State University with a doctorate in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dr. Colter Ellis has been on the faculty at MSU since 2014 as an assistant professor of sociology. His teaching interests include sociological theory, gender studies, animals and society, and social psychology. Students have said Ellis challenges their ways of thinking, combining the foundations of sociology with modern examples for context. He is able to rephrase concepts to provide a broad understanding that creates a foundation for further study. His classes are challenging and rewarding. Beyond the classroom, Ellis provides numerous students with opportunities for hands-on research and authoring experience. He is co-founder of the Secondary Trauma Learning Lab and his research with survivors of sexual assault has led to the development of new courses and a broader sociological understanding.

Bill McLaughlin

Charles (Bill) McLaughlin 

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
In 16 years with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Bill McLaughlin has demonstrated continued creativity and dedication to his teaching that inspires other instructors by example. Each semester, by personal challenge, McLaughlin will add a new aspect to each course, no matter how many times he has taught it in the past. He innovates his ways of teaching for the sake of the students, embracing collaborative spaces in the university’s technology-enhanced active learning classrooms and incorporating writing sections to STEM courses to assist students in becoming effective communicators. Known as Dr. Mac to students, McLaughlin further assists his students through the creation of problem-solving videos and encourages them to go beyond the book in his assignments. Outside the university, McLaughlin spreads his love of chemistry through a radio program, “Monday’s Molecule” on KGVM that discusses the chemistry of common items.

Letters and Science Meritorious Research and Creativity Award

Billy Smith

Billy Smith

Department of History & Philosophy

Dr. Billy Smith joined the faculty at MSU after receiving his doctorate in history from UCLA in 1981. In the nearly 40 years at MSU, Smith has become one of the Department of History and Philosophy’s most distinguished and prolific scholars. He has authored nine books and been involved with a vast number of other articles, publications and reviews on early American and revolutionary history, with focuses on slavery and diseases in history. One of his digital maps tracking African American households in early Philadelphia has been part of the permanent exhibit of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C. Smith’s list of awards is also extensive, and includes numerous honors at MSU the Norris and Carol Hundley Award for the most distinguished book on any historical topic by a historian living in the West from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association.

Jennifer Luebeck

Jennifer Luebeck

Department of Mathematical Sciences
In her nearly two decades at MSU, Dr. Jennifer Luebeck has established herself as a well-known leader in mathematics education in Montana with a commitment to improving the quality of teaching in the state. Collaborating with entities at all levels, from school districts to state agencies, to support rural and Native American educators, Luebeck has made critical insights into the professional development of Montana’s rural K-12 teachers, creating innovative virtual learning communities and online modules before those ideas were prevalent. Her projects have been funded by more than $6.7 million in grants and she has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles, not to mention the extensive presentations at conferences around the country. She is currently writing a book outlining practical recommendations for online learning. Luebeck’s research and outreach has been vital in supporting and retaining teachers in Montana’s schools and beyond.

Kathy Griffith Employee Excellence Award

Mandy Hansen

Mandy Hansen

Department of English
Mandy Hansen has become indispensable to the Department of English as its Business Operations Manager. With the office down a staff position, Hansen has taken on a load of extra administrative work without a hitch in operations. When the nearby Department of History and Philosophy hired a new office manager, Hansen took on the role of mentor, even with her already full plate. From the nuances of grading or accounting software to departmental grant management, Hansen has the experience to navigate university systems and the connections to quickly find answers outside of her vast scope of knowledge. She is the first person faculty, staff or students visit when they have any sort of question. New faculty often say she they may not have made it through their first semester without her kindness, guidance and encouragement.

 

Jennifer Storment

Jennifer Storment

Liberal Studies Program

In two years as its program manager, Jennifer Storment has become the face of the Liberal Studies program at MSU, the university’s only interdisciplinary undergraduate program. She has become an expert at juggling the various needs of the students and administration while working with faculty across departments. Storment is known for her depth of knowledge of the program as well as a professional kindness and knack for problem-solving. She exemplifies a commitment to the mission of the College of Letters and Science, especially during times of departmental transition, and has become vital to the annual budgeting process. In 2018, she juggled two positions while creating trainings the impending hire. For 2020, she has taken on a new role within MSU’s CORE Revitalization. No matter what she tackles, Storment brings excellence to each aspect of her position.