DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University’s student body has honored two faculty members and a staff member for their distinguished work during the past academic year.
The Student Alumni Association awarded professor of the year honors to Heather Medema-Johnson, associate professor of kinesiology, and staff member of the year honors to Matt Hansen, assistant dean of students and director of residence life. Graduate professor of the year honors went to Katherine Lampe, assistant professor of physical therapy, as chosen by the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA).
Medema-Johnson teaches in the exercise science and human performance programs. She is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a certified athletic trainer and a certified group fitness instructor. Her field and research experience includes working with general, recreationally active and older populations, as well as high-school, collegiate, Olympic and professional athletes. She earned her doctorate in health and sports studies from the University of Iowa.
A student who nominated her said, “Dr. Medema-Johnson wants to see her students succeed and become good practicing clinicians but, more importantly, she wants to see them be good, well-rounded people. She is exactly the type of professor that makes me so proud to be an Ambrosian.”
Hansen will begin his 15th year at St. Ambrose this fall. During his tenure, he was a member of the team providing oversight for renovation of Rohlman Hall and construction of Hagen, Bechtel, Franklin, McCarthy and North residence halls, as well as the Rogalski Center. Hansen helped create and expand “Destination: Leadership,” an annual student leadership conference, and has co-chaired the Welcome Week Planning Committee. He has served on the university Strategic Planning Committee and taught public speaking each semester, including a section in the leadership learning community each fall.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn., and a master’s in student development in higher education from the University of Maine in Orono, Maine.
“Matt is an exceptional leader, professor and staff member,” said one student. “He engages students and pushes them to be the best they can be … is someone with whom students can laugh — and also learn from. I hope one day to have the kind of positive impact on others that Matt has had on me.”
“This is a significant honor given that my fellow nominees are some of the finest examples of servant leadership at SAU,” said Hansen. “It is all about the relationships and assisting young adults grow into leaders. I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to witness countless Ambrosians develop into who they are meant to be.”
Lampe has been teaching in the Physical Therapy department since 1994 and was named Advisory Professor of the Year in 2002. She is a certified wound specialist and a Fellow in the American College of Certified Wound Specialists. In addition to teaching, she continues in part-time clinical practice at Mercy Hospital in Dubuque. Lampe holds a master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in physical therapy from St. Ambrose.
“Kathie gives 100 percent of herself to others,” said one student. “I am a shy person who normally does not open up easily to people, but I will find myself deep in conversation with Kathie about the most personal matters; she has that ability to put people at ease.” Another student said, “Kathie treats us as colleagues, as intelligent and capable students. She challenges us to look beyond providing just physical health care, and to pay careful attention to our patients as human beings in order to truly better their lives.”
“I was very surprised and honored to receive this award,” said Lampe. “I try to live the SAU mission every day … enabling our students to develop to their full potential so they will enrich their own lives and the lives of others. We have amazing students, staff and faculty in our DPT program and I am very blessed to be a part of the SAU community.”