At the annual employee appreciation gathering, Concordia University Ann Arbor recognized John Boonenberg, Erin Laverick, and Rachel Orchard for their outstanding contributions to the university and Christ-like service to the church and the world.

John Boonenberg, Kreft Endowed Chair in Music

Faculty Recognition Award – Scholarship/Creative Activity

The first 2023 Faculty Recognition Award is for Scholarship or Creative Activity. This award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated achievement in research, written publications (print or digital), public presentations in their field at professional conferences, professional exhibits, or creative performance in the arts.

This year’s Faculty Recognition Award winner has an impressive CV, but an even more passionate and selfless heart for scholarship and creative activity that will bless others and give glory to God. 

Here are some of the statements made by those who nominated this individual for this particular award:

“His exemplary teaching skills are evident in his approach to curricular design for our performing ensembles. This can take the form of innovative programming in ensemble performance, or through individual or collaborative musical performance.”

“He inspires our students to achieve excellence.”

Scholarship in the arts includes peer-reviewed creative activity, including musical concert performances. Our award winner excels in this area, and many of us have had the privilege of witnessing this year’s winner demonstrating his craft with professionalism, rigor, and joy.

John Boonenberg, the Kreft Endowed Chair in Music, has served at Concordia for nearly 6 years. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music and The Juilliard School. He is absolutely committed to our Christ-centered mission and lives it out every day in working with our students and serving the greater Church and world.

Erin Laverick, Assistant Vice President, Professor

Faculty Recognition Award – Teaching Excellence/Campus Leadership

The second Faculty Recognition Award is for teaching excellence or campus leadership. This award is given to a faculty member who has made a distinctive difference in the teaching climate of the college and/or has demonstrated significant and meaningful campus leadership.

Indeed, this year’s Faculty Recognition Award winner celebrates an individual who has modeled Christ-like leadership on our campus and throughout our University for many years.

Here are just a few of the statements made by colleagues who nominated this valuable member of the Concordia team:

“I have been so impressed by her campus leadership; she embodies a ‘can do’ spirit and is known for being a person you can go to to get things done! She is able to address problems quickly and provide a path towards a solution.”

“Simply put, she is a difference maker. As both a leader and an educator, she brings out the best in others.”

“She is an amazingly impactful teacher and leader. Her investment in her students goes beyond what most faculty would do. She seeks to impact students in mind, body, and spirit. She is also one of the strongest leaders I’ve had the privilege of working under; her dedication to the faculty body is apparent. She is a change maker on the CUAA campus and our campus is far better because of her.”

Students said this about our award winner:

“She is a wonderful professor who takes great time and effort with her students. She individually pushes her students to grow inside and outside of the classroom.”

“She gives her 100% every day no matter how she is feeling. She never gives up on making this school a better place.”

Erin Laverick, Assistant Vice President of Academics and Professor of English, has served at Concordia for nearly 5 years. All CUAA faculty and staff know her deep commitment to our university’s mission, as well as her sincere love for our students. Erin is a great colleague and friend, and it is a joy to learn from her every day.

Rachel Orchard, Administrative Assistant, School of Arts and Sciences

Employee of the Year Award

This year’s Concordia Employee of the Year is well-deserving. This individual is described as a faithful employee, quietly and consistently serving both students and colleagues in remarkable ways. It is noted that this employee rarely misses Chapel, setting a Christ-like example for our students and fellow staff and faculty.

Her nominations for this award read as follows:

“She has filled her role with excellence. Right from the start, she was committed to learning procedures quickly. She pays attention to detail, communicates quickly to questions and issues, and is committed to follow through, often exceeding expectations.”

“In the time I have worked with (her), I have been so impressed by her willingness to help others and take on tasks that are “not her job.” I don’t believe she would ever utter those words! She willingly goes above and beyond her administrative duties to her department by helping others who need assistance.”

Rachel Orchard has served at Concordia for nearly 7 years, first in the housekeeping department and currently as an Administrative Assistant. We have all seen her servant heart, displayed in both words and actions. Rachel is always willing to step up and step in, blessing everyone around her.

Rachel is a true blessing to CUAA, and very deserving of the Employee of the Year award. She truly cares about our mission and models it well every day.

Want in?

Concordia University Ann Arbor is a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world. Click on the link below to learn more.