Dixie State University Presidential Awards honor influential Southern Utah trailblazers

Dixie State University President Richard B. Williams presents at the inaugural Presidential Awards Ceremony on April 26 in the Gardner Ballroom on the Dixie State campus, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University’s inaugural “Presidential Awards Ceremony” recognized influential members of the Dixie State and Washington County communities who are blazing trails to make a difference in Southern Utah.

On April 26, in collaboration with Utah Campus Contact, Dixie State awarded Presidential Awards to individuals committed to service-learning, community engagement and campus-community partnerships. Dixie State and Utah Campus Compact – a statewide coalition of colleges and universities that increases higher education’s capacity to serve the public good – presented the awards to promote civic responsibility, service, collaboration, inclusiveness and flexibility.

Dawn McLain received the Committed Community Partner Award. As the Southern Utah networking coordinator for the Utah Nonprofits Association, McLain connects nonprofits with volunteers and funding opportunities. Additionally, McLain herself has volunteered thousands of hours to a variety of organizations.

Dr. Florence Bacabac, Dixie State associate professor of English, was awarded the Community Engaged Scholar award. In addition to leading her technical writing students in writing grant proposals for area nonprofits, Bacabac created and directs the DSU Women’s Resource Center.

Daneka Souberbielle, Dixie State’s associate dean of student inclusiveness, was recognized with the Community Engaged Staff Member award. In her role as the director of the university’s Multicultural & Inclusion Center, Souberbielle has built the center into an important resource for underrepresented students and the hub of DSU’s equity and inclusion efforts.

Cameron Carlson, a senior at DSU, received the Community Engaged Student award. As president of the Sustainability Club and student director of the Institute of Politics and Public Affairs, Carlson has hosted a variety of student-centered educational, engaging opportunities.

Margaret Truman Marshall received the Community Engaged Alumna award. A 1965 Dixie Junior College graduate, Truman Marshall has been involved with the Dixie State Alumni Board for more than a decade. Through organizing DSU alumni events and activities, she dedicates much of her time to serving the community.

As part of the Presidential Awards Ceremony, the Dixie State Board of Trustees awarded Trustee Awards to select Trailblazers.

The Trustees’ Excellence in Service award was presented to Deb Millet, Jonathan Morrell and Sherry Ruesch.

Millet, administrative specialist for DSU’s dean of students, has served as president of the DSU Classified Staff Association, secretary of the Utah Higher Education Staff Association and a member of the Alumni Board. Morrell, who came to Dixie State as the director of TRiO-Upward Bound in 1988, has helped secure over $20 million in grant awards and guided many students through TRIO support services. Ruesch, executive director of facilities management, has been influential in planning and overseeing the campus’s expansion.

The Board of Trustees also honored Delwin Parson, Dr. Sandra Petersen and Dr. Eric Pedersen with the Excellence in Education award.

Parson, who has been an influential art professor at Dixie for 30 years, also was recently awarded the St. George Arts Commission’s 2018 Award of Excellence in the Arts. Petersen, an associate professor of education at Dixie State, has served as the university’s associate provost for academic quality and student success. Pedersen, dean of DSU’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology, has contributed to the Southern Utah economy with his internet and tech innovations and companies.

The final Trustee Award of the year, the Distinguished Citizen award, was bestowed upon Dr. Douglas Alder. Alder, who served as president of Dixie College from 1986 to 1993, greatly contributed to the growth of DSU’s campus and academic and community offerings. Alder continues to support the university by volunteering in the institution’s Special Collections and Archives.

Two Honorary Doctorate certificates, which will also be recognized at the university’s 107th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, were presented to Dr. Lincoln Nadauld and Dr. Derrick Haslem for their significant contributions to Dixie State’s mission to offer quality educational opportunities.

Nadauld, the executive director of Precision Medicine and Precision Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare, has mentored aspiring scientists and medical students and spearheaded the Dixie State Premedical Alliance. He has contributed countless hours to hosting students at Intermountain Precision Genomics and connecting students with the Standford-Dixie-Intermountain Internship program.

Haslem, director of Medical Oncology and senior medical director of Precision Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare, spurred the collaboration between Dixie State and Stanford. His dedication to the community has created valuable opportunities for innovative healthcare in St. George.

The university also honored and thanked valedictorian and commencement student speaker Travis Colf, outgoing Student Body President Ezra Hainsworth, outgoing Faculty Senate President Dr. Jim Haendiges and outgoing staff association co-presidents Jonathan Morrell and Michele Tisdale.

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Twitter: @STGnews


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