Noah McBroom made NDSU history by being the first student to receive the Gunkelman Award in its 24-year history. The honor recognizes a student, faculty or staff member who has made the most significant and unselfish contribution to a happy environment at NDSU. McBroom was presented the honor at an awards ceremony on May 2 in the Memorial Union.
The third-year professional pharmacy student from Princeton, Minn., has worked in the Student Health Service Pharmacy for two years as a pharmacy intern. He also is this year’s chairperson for the advisory board for student wellness.
“It was just a tremendous feeling being recognized this way,” McBroom said. “I couldn't believe all the nice things my colleagues said about me.”
Alicia Fitz, McBroom’s supervisor at the Student Health Service Pharmacy, nominated him for the award. “He remembers the names of students, where they are from, what their majors are... all things that help establish a trusting relationship with the patients/students. He takes a unique and keen interest in their overall wellness with each and every interaction,” Fitz wrote. “At yet a young age, he has such wisdom, integrity and personality and it reflects on those he comes in contact.”
“Noah is a bright, outgoing, warm and friendly person. He goes the extra mile for all of us in Student Health and makes us smile every day,” wrote Donna Lipetzky, a registered nurse in Student Health Services.
Dean for student wellness Barbara Lonbake echoed Lipetzky’s sentiment, “Noah is a joy to be around with his infectious smile, eagerness to learn, and positive attitude. He truly lights up a room when he is in it. Noah is always pleasant and cheerful whether working in the Student Health Service pharmacy, chairing the Advisory Board for Student Wellness, or engaging in conversation with faculty, staff, and/or students.”
McBroom said he loves helping students in every way possible, including saving them money, recommending over-the-counter products or just getting them out of the clinic faster. “I know it's extra tough being a sick student and it's our responsibility at the clinic to get them better quickly so they can get back on top of their studies,” McBroom said.
Staff Senate presents the award annually. It was established in 1987, with the first award in 1989 in honor of Mary McCannel Gunkelman, who died in 1985. She was a 1942 graduate of the NDSU College of Home Economics. Funds were provided by the late John Gunkelman and his family.
McBroom was selected from among 24 nominees, including seven students, seven faculty and 10 staff members.
This year’s honoree was selected by a sub committee of NDSU Staff Senate. The committee was Bill Lenarz, Megan Paradis, Angela Bachman, Shauna Pederson, April Moser, Devin Styczskni and Tim McCue. Lenarz chaired the committee.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.