The Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Gay Rawson, professor of French and chair of World Languages and Cultures. During her 20-year career, Rawson’s passionate, effective, and innovative teaching has impacted all members of the Concordia community including preschoolers at Cobber Kids, undergraduates, and graduate students. Her deep knowledge of the French-speaking world and dedication to teaching students to become engaged, responsible, interculturally competent citizens have had real-life applications, as she has led students to work and study in communities in Haiti, Vietnam, Switzerland, China, France, Canada, Germany, Cambodia, and Cameroon.
The Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Scholarship Award went to Dr. Faith W. Ngunjiri, who was unable to attend. An associate professor, Ngunjiri joined the college in 2013 to direct the Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work and to teach ethics and leadership. Ngunjiri’s scholarship is deep and broad in two primary areas: women and leadership, and spirituality and leadership. She has been persistent and passionate in pursuing research questions in these areas. Her scholarly work is published in books and respected journals read by scholars and practitioners across the globe, and she has presented her work at numerous regional, national, and global conferences.
The Ole and Lucy Flaat Inclusive Excellence Award was presented to Nathalie E. Rinehardt, assistant dean of students and director of student engagement. Rinehardt joined the college in 2004 and consistently demonstrates a commitment to equity and inclusion through her words and actions. Interwoven with her commitment to fostering belonging and supporting systemic change, Rinehardt excels at recognizing needs, identifying key stakeholders, creating an actionable plan, and then following through. Rinehardt has worked closely with individual students and groups, often those who are minoritized or marginalized, and listens without judgment, strives to understand them, and pushes colleagues across campus to do the same.
The Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award was presented to William MacDonald, director of security and public safety for the college since 2008. He oversees the campus information office and post office, serves as chair of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), is a member of the CARE Team and Bias Incident Response Team, is a lead Title IX investigator, and participates on multiple committees. His calm and thorough approach is consistent whether working on a high-profile event or behind the scenes of a small gathering. MacDonald’s commitment to the mission of the college and responsibility to protect the campus community is one he carries out with compassion, understanding, honesty, and integrity.
The Flaat awards, conferred by Concordia’s Board of Regents, were endowed by Ole and Lucy Flaat, lifelong farmers in the Red River Valley.