April 30, 2012
Bismarck, ND - Theresa J. Ell of Bismarck was recognized with the University of Mary Alumni Association's Outstanding Senior Award for 2012 at the university's annual President's Recognition Breakfast, Saturday, April 28. Each year, the America's Leadership University teaching faculty nominate members of the graduating class for this prestigious award, based on their academic achievement, community service and service to the University of Mary. The Alumni Council Board then selects the recipient from these nominees.
Ell was nominated for this year's award because of the high level of achievement she displayed in the areas of spirituality and ethics, communication, critical thinking and global stewardship, and her embodiment of the qualities the University of Mary seeks to develop in its students. A double major in elementary education and early childhood education, her name was put forth by Dr. Gwyn S. Herman, associate professor of education and elementary education program director, in U-Mary's School of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
In her nomination on behalf of the Education Department, Herman stated that Theresa "exemplifies what a true servant leader and educator should be," adding that she has rarely seen a student as committed to serving others and excelling in the educational arenas of both learning and teaching. "Theresa has and continues to utilize the skills and knowledge education has provided for her to relay that joy and freedom of serving and learning toward her pupils … [She] has exhibited professionalism, respect, kindness, academic integrity, and enjoyment in all of her educational field experiences. Theresa's love of learning and helping others has been evident in everything she has done."
Although carrying an exceptionally heavy academic load and doing superior work, Theresa was active in diverse campus and professional organizations and activities, in many instances in leadership roles. In addition to serving as vice president and president of U-Mary's Student Education Association, she was actively involved in North Dakota's South Central Reading Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and played instrumental roles in planning and implementing educational events such as this spring's Camp Ready Child. Ell served as president and secretary of U-Mary Circle K, assistant editor of The Summit student newspaper, and a U-Mary Student Ambassador. In 2010 she also participated in the university's Rome Study Pilgrimage. Ell has been recognized with U-Mary awards including the Presidential Student Leadership Award (2011), the St. Catherine's Medal (2010), and Student Development's Shining Star Award (November 2010), and with inclusion on the academic honor roll and in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, and was elected 2010 Homecoming Queen.
"My years at the University of Mary have not only prepared me for my future career in education, but they have also enriched my life," says Ell. "The faculty I learned from, as well as the class content I was exposed to, have elevated me to love learning for life and to excel in my educational journey. If I could go back and do everything again, I would do so in a heartbeat."
Ell will take part in Camp Edventure and work at Bismarck Parks and Recreation Activity Centers this summer. In the fall, she will join the faculty of Sunrise Elementary School in Bismarck, teaching second grade. She plans to eventually earn a master's degree in education.
Ell was awarded the Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, with the Certified Schafer Leader designation, at Commencement 2012, on April 28, 2012.
The following students were nominated for the 2012 Outstanding Senior Award: Christina M. Allen, Bismarck; Ashley M. Deichert, Raleigh, ND; Theresa J. Ell, Bismarck, ND; Jenna R. Herzig, Burlington, ND; Lindsey F. Hochhalter, Regan, ND; Alycia R. Kramer, Lidgerwood, ND; Elizabeth A. Mack, Rugby, ND; Kayla E. Meyer, Wahpeton, ND; Stephanie J. Nalewaja, Miles City, MT; Stephanie A. Olson, Minot, ND; Joshua H. Schuh, Bismarck; Kristen A. Schulz, Edgeley, ND; Kristine L. Weippert, Tappen, ND; and Kayla L. Wetch, Mandan, ND.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Tom Ackerman at (701) 355-8002 / [email protected] in the University of Mary Office of Public Affairs.