Over 90 nominations were submitted for the 10 categories of awards. Congratulations to the following award recipients.

College President of the Year

Dr. Patrick Johns, Lake Superior College

"Dr. Patrick Johns was chosen as President of the Year because of his commitment to students. Dr. Johns shows every student that he interacts with that he cares by listening, being empathetic and enthusiastic about students futures, and advocating for students every opportunity he gets."

Dr. Patrick Johns headshot

Student Leader of the Year

Elizabeth Bloch, Mesabi Range College

"Liz is not only hardworking and creative, she is also always positive, kind and uplifting. She does a great job of motivating her team and her region to 'get going,' and always demonstrates her sharp mind, curiosity and eagerness to learn new skills and issues. Liz seeks out leadership opportunities and goes above and beyond in all of her positions to take on additional tasks and assist those around her. Liz is an outstanding advocate and student and it is no surprise that she is student leader of the year!"

Liz Bloch holding award

Instructor of the Year

Tanya Smutka, Inver Hills Community College

"Tanya Smutka champions affordability for her students and always puts them first in her classroom. She meets students where they are at and provides notes and fill-in-the-blank worksheets for class. Tanya is also currently developing her own OER and actively seeks the most affordable textbook option. On top of all this, Tanya is the faculty president and actively guides the student senate at Inver Hills Community College."

Tanya Smutka holding award

Student Senate of the Year

Northeast Higher Education District

"This senate may not be a senate in the traditional terms but they sure work together as a senate. The Northeast Higher Education District consistently produces some of the biggest advocates LeadMN has ever had. They work together to go above and beyond on student issues and their commitment to college students really shows!"

Northeast Higher Education District

Governing Council Member of the Year

Melinda-Kassandra Lopez, Minnesota West Community and Technical College

"Kassie consistently brings energy to every single interaction she has, and that energy has helped her accomplish so much, not only related to LeadMN but in her personal life as well. While keeping an active role with LeadMN, Kassie was able to complete multiple degrees before finishing high school and seek active leadership roles within the organizations she was part of. I know this definitely will not be Kassie's last award in her bright future."

Melinda-Kassandra Lopez

Platform Committee Member of the Year

Priscilla Mayowa, North Hennepin Community College

"Priscilla doesn’t keep her vast knowledge to herself, she makes sure that the students she represents know what’s going on and are informed before discussing or voting on issues. As a PC member, she engaged her entire region in making sure that each school’s students were registered to vote and informed about where and how to do so. Despite a busy schedule and several other leadership commitments, Priscilla always had time to support her fellow senators, plan and lead events, and perform her duties as a LeadMN intern.”

Priscilla Mayowa holding her award

Advisor of the Year

Teresa Stolfus, Minnesota State Community and Technical College-Moorhead

"Teresa Stolfus is the golden standard of advisors. She is extremely dedicated to her students and goes above and beyond for each of her students. Teresa embodies what an advisor should be and her students are lucky to have her."

Teresa Stolfus headshot

Minnesota State Committee Member of the Year

Julia Yates, Anoka-Ramsey Community College

"Julia is an advocate for the rights of everyone. They've gone out of their way to ensure that students are not only heard, but also represented. Julia is the epitome of advocacy. They've testified on their experiences and talked about their issues."

Julia Yates holding their award

Intern of the Year

Rachel Bray, Anoka-Ramsey Community College

"Rachel is an incredibly dedicated worker and we are all always surprised and impressed by her commitment to LeadMN and her work. She is willing to take on any project, whether it falls within her specific job duties or not, and she can be depended upon to follow through with any task she takes on. Rachel puts in an extraordinary amount of care into her work and it's clear that her internship with LeadMN is not just a job, but something that she truly cares about."

Rachel Bray holding her award

Alumni of the Year

Chelsea Self, Minnesota West Community and Technical College

"Chelsea Self is welcoming and open to everybody. She actively seeks to work and engage with all students and came back after graduating to serve as the LeadMN Alumni Board Chair."

Chelsea Self holding her award