The South Dakota State University Professional Staff Advisory Council recently named Mary Christensen one of the 2020 Outstanding Professionals. The Outstanding Professional award recognizes professional staff members who exemplify South Dakota State University’s core values as a land-grant institution.
Christensen serves as the coordinator of the Agricultural Leadership, Education, Communication and Science (ALECS) program area within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Christensen provides support to more than 400 students enrolled in the ALECS programs. She acts as a personal academic advisor to about 160 students in addition to teaching first-year seminar classes, coordinates advising for the entire college and leads the advising team at new student orientation.
“It is wonderful that Mary is receiving this award that recognizes her exceptional ability to both engage and connect with our students,” said John Killefer, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. “I am thrilled to have an opportunity to recognize Mary for her outstanding contributions to our students and the university.”
Those who nominated Christensen for the award noted that she is viewed as the go-to person in CAFES for her unselfish assistance to students. Her immense knowledge of advising tools, course registration software and availability of student services across campus are a few of the reasons she is known for her ability to provide assistant to students across CAFES.
Christensen also serves as a student mentor through the LeadState program and as advisor to the CAFES Prexy Council, the college’s student council.