Three Bemidji State employees honored at Board of Trustees award ceremony

Three Bemidji State University employees were recently honored with awards of excellence by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees.

Erika Bailey-Johnson was named the 2022 Service Faculty of the Year and Dr. Valerie Wallingford and Dr. Donna Pawlowski were recognized as 2022 Outstanding Educators.

Bailey-Johnson is the founder and director of BSU’s Sustainability Office and has made numerous contributions on campus, such as a biomass feasibility study, overhauling recycling efforts and improving the university’s sustainability model.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to receive this award. Chi-miigwech to my colleagues Dr. Randy Westhoff and Jordan Lutz, and our President Faith Hensrud, for the nomination,” Bailey-Johnson said in her comments for the award.

“I do not do this work alone and wish to recognize all the groundwork that has come before me and the hundreds of inspiring students I have been privileged to work alongside.”

Wallingford, a professor of business administration, was called a tireless student advocate, an exceptional scholar and believer in the inclusive classroom by the BOT.

“Dr. Wallingford sets the stage for success by building bridges between students’ learning and their lived experiences,” the board said in the program for the award ceremony.

Similarly, Pawlowski, professor of communication studies, was commended for her role as the architect of Bemidji State’s communication studies program launched in 2018.

“Dr. Pawlowski focuses on improving student learning with community-based capstone projects, assignments and work to train others in service-learning,” the ceremony program said.

The event was held virtually yesterday, on Wednesday, April 20.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


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