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Faculty Recognized as Educators of the Year

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Faculty Recognized as Educators of the Year
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5/13/22

Two Minneapolis College faculty members were among eight individuals to be recognized by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities with Awards for Excellence. Lisa Bergen, philosophy faculty member, and Kleber Ortiz, education faculty member, were named Educators of the Year.

The awards are conferred annually to college and university teaching faculty and university administrative service faculty to acknowledge and provide systemwide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The Awards for Excellence are Minnesota State’s highest honors,” said Jay Cowles, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Recipients have distinguished themselves through their commitment, their efforts and their contributions that will surely pay-off in the lives of their students for generations to come. They continue to raise the bar in cultivating a culture of excellence and inspiring the best at Minnesota State.”

Educators of the Year awards are bestowed upon faculty to acknowledge and reward exceptional professional accomplishment, and to encourage ongoing excellence in teaching. The award proclaims, on behalf of the entire Minnesota State system, the Board of Trustees’ pride in the dedication and accomplishment of its faculty who provide instruction that prepares Minnesota State college and university students for their professional, scholarly and civic lives.

Lisa Bergen, relentlessly hard-working and student-centered

“Lisa Bergen is a relentlessly hard-working and student-centered faculty member,” said Sharon Pierce, President of Minneapolis College. “She consistently challenges herself by engaging in critical analysis of her teaching methods and practice in order to provide the best instruction and environment for her students. Her emphasis for several years has been closing success gaps in courses she teaches, and more recently sharing what she has learned about culturally responsive pedagogy and curriculum with fellow faculty throughout the system.”

“I achieved this award because our students advocated for faculty becoming the compassionate, creative and connected instructors they deserve,” said Bergen. “They have made me not just a better teacher, but a better human being. Learning alongside these students has been the honor of my life; this award: the icing on the cake.”

Kleber Ortiz, employing culturally responsive practices and critical pedagogies

“As an educator of future educators, Kleber employs culturally responsive practices and critical pedagogies that recognizes the richness and power that students bring to the classroom while giving them skills and agency to question existing power systems with the goal of creating an equitable society for themselves and their future students,” said President Pierce. “His curriculum draws on a wide variety of influences that allow his students to see themselves in it and be challenged at the same time.”

More information about Bergen, Ortiz and the other six faculty recognized with the Board of Trustees Awards for Excellence can be found here.

Minnesota State includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 340,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.

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