University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar / Leader Award


The Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award recognizes women faculty at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities who have achieved significant national and international accomplishments and honors and who contribute as leaders on campus.  In addition to supporting outstanding women scholars, this award also reflects the university’s strong commitment to future leaders. This award is sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Women’s Center.


This award is limited to women faculty who are newly promoted to the rank of professor (with no more than five years since promotion) employed at the University of Minnesota for at least two years.  McKnight Distinguished professors are not eligible for this award.

Selection Criteria

  • Documented evidence of exemplary research/creative accomplishments and the impact of the faculty member’s work on her discipline, as evaluated by peers and experts in her field.
  • Indication of/ or promise for campus leadership.


The award winner will receive one-time award of $5000 to support research.  Two awards will be offered per year, one in science and engineering and one in humanities, arts and social sciences, although the Selection Committee reserves the right to not select a recipient in a given year.  The award will be presented at the annual Celebrating University Women Awards event.

Nomination Process

  • Nomination materials must be received by 4:30 p.m., first Friday in June.
  • A completed nomination includes:
    • A nominator narrative that addresses the criteria above.
    • Two letters of support, one from an internal reviewer at the University of Minnesota and one from a reviewer external to the University.
    • Nominee’s curriculum vitae.
  • E-mail Nominations to: to Chris Bremer, Coordinator of Faculty Awards, at Subject: Sara Evans Women Scholar/Leader Award Selection Committee.

About Sara Evans

This award is named after Sara Evans, an outstanding scholar and pioneer in her field of history, as well as a campus leader in multiple venues, including leadership for women’s equity and social justice. Professor Evan’s research focused on the history of feminism as a social movement, motivated by her own involvement in civil rights, anti-war, and women’s rights activism. Named a Regents Professor in 2004 and Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1997, Professor Evans served as Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies during her tenure at the University of Minnesota. Quoted in 2005 as she was retiring, Sara remarked, "You need to learn the joy of asking a good question and finding out ways to the answer - that will lead you to your life's work."

Questions/Information: Office for Faculty and Academic Affairs, 612.626.9545 or Women’s Center, Office for Equity and Diversity, 612.625.6039.

Past Awardees

2017 - Melissa A. Koenig, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (Institute of Child Development); Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Professor, Science and Engineering (Pediatrics)
2016 - Kristen L. McMaster, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (Educational Psychology); Theresa M. Reineke, Professor, Science and Engineering, (Chemistry)
2015 - Christy L. Haynes, Professor, Science and Engineering (Chemistry); Hari Osofsky, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (Law School)
2014 – Rhonda Franklin, Professor, Science and Engineering (Electrical and Computer Engineering); Jean O’Brien, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (History)
2013 – Paige Novak, Professor, Science and Engineering (Civil Engineering)
2012 – Carol A. Lange, Professor, Science and Engineering (Medicine and Pharmacology); Erika Lee, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (History)
(Formerly known as Distinguished Women Scholars Award)
2011 – Li-Na Wei, Professor, Science and Engineering (Pharmacology)
2010 – No awardees due to budget constraints
2009 – Ann Fallon, Professor, Science and Engineering (Department of Entomology, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences); Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts 
2008 – Stephanie Valberg, Professor, Science and Engineering (Veterinary Population Medicine); Ruth Mazo Karras, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts
2007 – Ellen Longmire, Professor, Science and Engineering; Rosalie Kane, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts
2006 – Karen Hsiao Ashe, Professor, Science and Engineering; Elaine Tyler May, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts
2005 – Jane Davidson, Professor, Science and Engineering; Madelon Sprengnether, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts
2004 – Karin Musier-Forsyth, Professor, Science and Engineering (Chemistry, Institute of Technology); Ruth-Ellen Joeres, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (German, Scandinavian, and Dutch)
2003 – Catherine M. Verfaillie, Professor, Science and Engineering (Medicine); Marcia M. Eaton, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts (Philosophy)
2002 – Bianca Conti-Fine, Professor, Science and Engineering (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, College of Biological Sciences); Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts (Communication)
2001 – Maria Gini, Professor, Science and Engineering (Computer Science and Engineering); Cheryl Perry, Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health