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Campus leaders honored for civic engagement

By Bradley West '13
June 13, 2012

This year Minnesota Campus Compact, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering healthy connections between colleges and communities, honored St. Olaf student James Daly '13 and Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Political Science Katherine Tegtmeyer Pak for their ongoing commitment to civic engagement.


Daly, an environmental studies major from Cambridge, Wisconsin, won the Presidents' Student Leadership Award for his continuing work on sustainability projects in town and on campus. Last summer Daly had an internship through the college's Leaders for Social Change program that allowed him to work with both the Cannon River Watershed Partnership and the Northfield Grassroots Transportation Initiative (NGTI). During his time with the NGTI, Daly played a key role in getting the city a $1.06 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation. The grant will pay for a bicycle and pedestrian trail to connect the east and west sides of town, thus cutting down on motorized traffic and improving safety for bikers and walkers. This fall Daly will continue to encourage environmental initiatives and community engagement as the Student Government Association's Environmental Senator.

Tegtmeyer Pak

Tegtmeyer Pak, who has taught at St. Olaf since 2003, won the President's Civic Engagement Steward Award for the many creative ways that she integrates community engagement into her courses. In a recent seminar, for example, her students interviewed leaders in the neighboring community of Faribault, Minnesota, about issues of immigration and diversity, and then presented their findings and recommendations to city officials. In another course, Tegtmeyer Pak had her students research different ways that Minnesota businesses can expand their markets overseas.

A final award, the Presidents' Community Partner Award, was granted to Growing Up Healthy, an organization that aids marginalized families with young children throughout Rice County. Growing Up Healthy has teamed up with St. Olaf students from many different disciplines. Through this collaborative partnership, students have conducted research, led educational campaigns, and created educational resources for elementary school teachers.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or