Two Waldorf College staff members were honored with one of the school’s most prestigious annual awards - the Holmen Community Service Award. Mary Mathiasen, director of student health services, and Vickie Zobel, administrative assistant for the education department received their awards at the annual faculty/staff recognition dinner on Friday, April 30.
Dr. Kenneth and Linda Holmen of St. Paul, Minn. fund the Holmen Professional Excellence Awards annually, in honor of his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Holger (Hap) Holmen. The late Hap Holmen served at Waldorf as a faculty member in the industrial technology department from 1949 to 1970 and was named Emeritus Professor of Industrial Education.
Dr. Joe Manjone, president of the college, read the following remarks about Mathiasen, also fondly known on campus as “Nurse Mary:”
“Mary is Waldorf’s version of chicken noodle soup and the next best thing to ‘Mom’ when a student is under the weather. Her calming influence and professional skills touch many people….and many hearts.”
If she is not tending to a student’s needs, she can be found teaching a course on first aid, special populations or nutrition…Somehow she also finds time to organize blood drives, glucose screenings, and the annual 5K run on homecoming weekend! She represents Waldorf on the YMCA board, the Winnebago Empowerment Committee, Winnebago County Tobacco Coalition Committee and the Winnebago Public Health Emergency Planning Committee.
Nurse Mary is a tireless leader whose nurturing spirit leaves an indelible mark in the hearts of students…Students’ comments about her include the words: “helpful,” “nice,” “caring,” “amazing,” (one even rated her a 12 out of 10), and when asked what the best things on campus are, most students respond, “Nurse Mary.”
Mathiasen is a registered nurse and received her bachelor of arts degree from Luther College.
President Manjone presented the second award to Vickie Zobel, citing her “selfless service to Waldorf College, the church and the greater community.” His remarks about Zobel included:
“Within the Waldorf community, Vickie is known as a person whom others can call on whenever they need help. When serving as a floor sponsor, she would invite an entire floor of female students to her home for dinner and other events. She always provides a listening ear when students need someone to talk to, even when she is outside of her office in the community. She has hosted, and made dinner for, the Lake Mills baseball and football players every evening before their games for the entire season, serving as a second mom for many of these young men.
Vickie loves to share her numerous gifts with others, including a love for quilting and music. Two years ago she designed and constructed an entire set of paraments for the church season and donated them to Waldorf. She also made wall hangings and quilts to display at various places on campus and for several years she read a book about quilting to our children’s literature class—even bringing in quilts for the children to wrap up in while she read!
She began playing the organ in her church when she was 13 years old and has continued her dedication through the years by voluntarily playing piano for a variety of occasions at Waldorf…She has directed the choir in her congregation and sang with the Lake Mills Tapestry Singers in their annual concerts.
Even though she juggles multiple volunteer efforts, Vickie still makes time to serve her church and her God. She fills the pulpit when needed for several area churches.”
Zobel received her bachelor of arts degree in business management.
Located in Forest City, Iowa, Waldorf is a four-year, liberal arts college that delivers engaging experiences through innovative classroom instruction. The college offers residential and hybrid online bachelor’s degree programs including business, communication, music, psychology, theatre, education, fire science administration, criminal justice administration and more.
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