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Gunkelman Award recipient brings smile to business students

Susan Council in the College of Business was recognized with the Mary McCannel Gunkelman Award on May 7.

Susan Council, senior academic adviser in the College of Business, has been recognized with the Mary McCannel Gunkelman Award. The annual honor is given to the person who makes the most unselfish contribution to creating a happy environment for NDSU students.

A virtual ceremony and reception were held via Zoom on May 7, honoring Council and the other 31 award nominees.

Council received 29 nominations for the award, many praising her energetic, positive attitude; friendly and compassionate demeanor; and longtime service to the university.

“Susie contributes to a happy campus environment because of how much she cares about her students, the College of Business, her advising colleagues and NDSU,” one nominator wrote. “Susie is very genuine person.

Another nominator wrote, “Susie Council has been with the College of Business since its beginning 35 years ago. She has been a solid force advising students and prepping them for their coursework ahead. She has served on college committees advising the dean and faculty on curriculum paths and changes. She has been a pleasure to work with and always does her work with a smile. I consider her an amazing colleague, but most of all, I consider her my friend.”

Still another wrote, “Susie is a bright light wherever she goes. She is a positive force that is there to meet every challenge with a good attitude and an eye toward finding solutions that are best for students. I seriously have never met another person who is so good at adapting to change – she’s truly an inspiration to many.”

2021 nominee list includes:


Ashlyn Dilley, graphic design

Hunter Frederick, animal science

Kaitlyn Kratsch, architecture

Samantha Pernsteiner, agricultural economics

Scott Rudquist, psychology

Will Odland, engineering


Benjamin Braaten, electrical and computer engineering

Burton Johnson, AES plant sciences

Carl Dahlen, AES animal science

Cheryl Wachenheim, agribusiness applied economics

David Englund, agribusiness and applied economics

David Westerman, communication

Kirk Howatt, AES plant science

Margaret Andersen, College of Business (retired)

Rebekah Oliver, plant sciences

Xudong Rao, AES agribusiness and applied economics

Zachary Machunda, agribusiness and applied economics


Alyson Meyer, Facilities Management

Ben Austinson, psychology

Brenda Deckard, plant sciences

Christine Davis, NDSU Dining

Daniel Erichsen, Information Technology Services

David Huber, performing arts

Deb Hofer, NDSU Dining

Erika Berg, disability services

Josie Hayden, research integrity and compliance

Karen Blake, accounting

Kimberly House, Facilities Management

Linnett Schmidkunz, library associate, School of Nursing, Bismarck

Sandy Mark, AES plant science

Teresa Enderson, School of Design, Architecture + Art

The award honors the memory of the late Mary McCannel Gunkelman, who, from when she was an NDSU student and to later in life as a wife, mother and active citizen in the Fargo-Moorhead community, found her greatest satisfaction in contributing to the happiness of others. She firmly believed that a student would be more apt to attain their full potential if they were working and living in an enjoyable environment.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
Mailing address: Dept 6000 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Friday, September 23, 2022 10:42:52 AM
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