Dr. Mark Dienhart, executive vice president and chief operating officer, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota in a ceremony on Nov. 15. The award honors alumni who have brought distinction to their professions and communities. Recipients span a diverse range of academic disciplines and career paths: business and civic leaders, counselors and social workers, educators and activists, entrepreneurs, and the most dedicated of volunteers. All are community builders and leaders who make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, families, schools and organizations, and whose achievements bring honor to the college.

Ryan Hurd, a sophomore at St. Thomas, is a partner in the company Bōbiam Artistic Streetwear. For every shirt sold, the company donates $1 to a free arts charity for children. The company operates a kiosk in Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka, Minn.

Dr. Paul Lorah, Geography Department, College of Arts and Sciences, attended the 2011 West Lakes Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual conference with a group of junior and senior geography students. The conference was hosted by DePaul University in Chicago and held Nov. 10 through 12. Anne L’Heureux and Julie Rech presented their research, “Land Change in Puerto Rico: Using GIS to Discover the Underlying Processes of Forest Recovery.” Chia Lee presented “Health Accessibility in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Hmong Community.” Nicholas Yannarelly and Rech presented “Discovering the Buffalo Commons: Using GIS to Target Optimal Lands in the Great Plains for Large Scale Restoration.” Lorah presented his research, “Landscapes of Prosperity: Commodities, Amenities and Development in the Rocky Mountain West.” Lorah also served as a judge for the undergraduate and graduate student scholarship competitions.

Dr. J. Roxanne Prichard, Psychology Department, and Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada, Music Department, College of Arts and Sciences, are the authors of a paper, “Music and the Mind: A New Interdisciplinary Course on the Science of Musical Experience,” which was published in the Spring 2011 issue of the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education 9(2). This paper was recently awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Pedagogy Article.