Honoring St. Norbert College's finest.

Do You Know an Alum Who Lives Out the St. Norbert College Tradition of Excellence Through Exceptional, Professional or Personal Achievement?

The alumni awards program was established to honor alumni and members of the community who have demonstrated a spirit of personal growth and achievement. We annually present awards in 3-4 of the following categories:

If you know someone who is deserving, please submit our Alumni Awards nomination form. Nominations for the 2015 awards will be accepted until March 1, 2015.

2014 Alumni Award Recipients

Alma Mater Award - Dr. Dennis W. Engels '64

Dr. Engels is a Professor Emeritus at the University of North Texas, where he was a counselor educator. He became a Regents Professor, the highest professional rank at UNT and during his 37 years of distinguished teaching he earned numerous awards and recognitions. He received the Hitchcock Award and Stripling Award, two of the highest honors within the entire counseling profession as well as serving on the Executive Committee of the ACA Governing Council. 

Denny’s life reflects the Norbertine spirit and Christian ideals taught by St. Norbert College. Denny and his wife helped raise twenty-two foster children working with Child Protective Services in Denton County Texas. He volunteered for over twenty-five years on the Denton Independent School District Advisory Council. His list of volunteer, civic, and professional contributions goes on and on. In addition Denny served in the US Army for thirty years, assigned to the Intelligence branch during his active duty and commanding specialized reserve forces during Desert Shield.

Distinguished Achievement in Education - John Koker ’84

John earned a M.S. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, both in Mathematics. John’s teaching and Scholarly excellence is well-established at UW-Oshkosh and throughout the UW system. A member of the UWO faculty since 1991, John  has been honored with prestigious teaching and professional awards. In 2002 he received the UWO Distinguished teaching Award and in 2004 he received the UWO Rosebush Professorship  for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. In 2006 he earned the UW System Board of Regents teaching Excellence Award. 

He has served two terms as department chair and has served as dean of the College of letters and Science since 2006. John’s service record includes providing workshops for mathematic teachers on Native American reservations; chairing the executive committee for the UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development; and he’s currently a co-chair of the UW System Advisory Group for the Liberal Arts.

Distinguished Achievement in Public Service - Kevin DeCleene ‘12 M.T.S.

As a servant leader, Kevin puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Kevin is a lifelong learner and has challenged himself while working full-time to earn his bachelors’ degree in 2002. He then spent five years preparing to become a Deacon in the Catholic Church (2008) and just recently completed his Masters of Theological Studies at SNC, earning his degree in 2012.


Kevin has made a positive influence on the greater Green Bay community through his involvement with Knights of Columbus, St. Francis and St. Mary parishes, Notre Dame Elementary and Middle Schools, Cub Scouts, area Food Pantries, and has been a minister for Teens Encounter Retreats, marriage preparation and nursing homes. The list of his civic and volunteer involvement is three pages long.

Young Alumni Award - Stephanie Birmingham ’09

Ms. Birmingham is currently attending Loyola of Chicago seeking a Master of Arts in PastoralCounseling. She has been nominated to Loyola's graduate student honor society. Since graduating from St. Norbert College Stephanie has been a Norbertine Volunteer Community member, serving as full-time Chaplain Assistant at Brown County Jail and Juvenile Detention Center. She spent time in Washington DC with the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) as a Public Policy Associate and was a presenter at the APSE National Conference in Atlanta, GA. 

The essence of communio radiates from Stephanie as she engages with people for whom a majority of those in society overlook or write off as undesirable. Her civic and volunteer involvement includes: S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat), Washington, DC; hospitality volunteer at St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter, Green Bay, WI; a delegate for Cross Cultural Disability Rights Exchange; a rant reviewer for Youth with Special Health Care Needs; and a presenter at the Virginia Collaborations Conference for federal policy related to disability employment.