Twice a year, fall and spring semesters, the Mark M. Welter Foundation provides LeadMN the opportunity to promote the Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award to twenty Minnesota State college and university students. They are nominated by a faculty or staff who felt the student met the criteria to receive the Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award. The following students were nominated for the 2022 fall semester and each will receive a $500 award to assist with their educational financial needs.

  • Zhana Gunderson, Alexandria Technical and Community College
  • Oluwatimi Carla Jinadu, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Danielle Schultz, Bemidji State University
  • Christopher Goddard, Century College
  • Abigail Mercer, Dakota County Technical College
  • Ashla Ojibway, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
  • Jason Cooke, Inver Hills Community College
  • Juan Canas Garcia, Lake Superior College
  • Mbyani Tayai Lengima, Metropolitan State University
  • Elaina Simpson, Minneapolis Community & Technical College
  • Natali Gomez, Minnesota North College - Rainy River Campus
  • Cameron Tibbetts, Minnesota North College, Mesabi Range-Virginia Campus
  • Maezyn Haugen, Minnesota State Community and Technical College
  • Kiden Monokajo, Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Sofia Jimenez Rivera, Normandale Community College
  • Addy (Aditya) Sharma, North Hennepin Community College
  • Jesse Mueller, Pine Technical and Community College
  • Danyelle Wynn, Ridgewater College
  • Jessica Dewar, South Central College
  • Kadiatou Camara, St. Cloud State University

These students demonstrated the outstanding qualities that Dr. Welter looked for and encouraged throughout his career. Dr. Welter believed that all people-all cultures, all creeds, all colors, and all countries-have been “depositors and with drawers at the world bank of knowledge;” and that our world is increasingly, inexorably, and undeniably interdependent. Here are several excerpts taken from the nominators’ explanations of why they felt the student was deserving to receive this award.

Carla, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, is a native of Nigeria and comes to Minnesota by way of England. She truly strives to embrace every part of the college experience as both a student and a leader. She has made an impact on our campus by creating and executing community service projects as well as campus-based initiatives, Carla brings a worldview to everything she experiences, willingly shares this with others, and is constantly examining the local and global impact of our initiatives.

Abigail, Dakota County Technical College, moved to New Zealand in 2020 to start training with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) so that she could be part of a mission trip in the future. While in New Zealand she got invited to partake in an adventure that had her boat from New Zealand to Fiji to help with medical and dental care to Fijians on isolated islands. For over a month she assisted doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals serving over 50 people a day who would otherwise not have had access to needed care and medication. She only returned to MN due to her acceptance in the practical nursing program at DCTC. Her ultimate goal is to become a full-time medical missionary which she will due once she graduates from DCTC.

Juan, Lake Superior College, works in Lake Superior College’s TLC Math Lab and creates a welcoming and inviting space for all students from any background to feel comfortable. Juan is always looking for new ways to remove barriers to success and submitted a proposal to the VP of Student Affairs and TLC Director to implement more equitable support for math classes. He is always centrally involved in events relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and as Student Senate President, he promotes and advocates for students from various countries, spaces, and backgrounds. He is conscious of the climate and how the world is interdependent and is always looking for ways to connect with students.

Elaina, Minneapolis College, is committed to the idea that all citizens mutually share an interconnected, fragile biosphere. She works tirelessly to combat challenges that students face on campus, through maintaining the student garden and food donation to the food pantry, volunteering with Students against Hunger and Homelessness, working with Student Life to plan events and building connections and serving as a leader of the Student Senate. She’s aware of environmental factors affecting the globe as we know it such as bee pollination reduction, pollution, and waste. She independently pioneers relationships with external non-profit organizations such as promoting non-car use and technology recycling, as well as connecting with different departments on campus with professionalism and care. Her ideas and enthusiasm for tasks big and small both help educate the community and make real change.