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CNAIR staff wins Weinberg's Meteor Award for Excellence in a New Position

October 31, 2018

The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research congratulates Jennifer Michals for receiving the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences’ top award for new staff. The “Meteor Award for Excellence” honors an outstanding staff member, employed in their new position within the College for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years. The honoree possesses initiative, resourcefulness, adaptability, and coachability and is service focused and viewed as a wonderful addition to a department or program. “We couldn't’t be happier that Jennifer won this award,” CNAIR Co-directors Patty Loew and Kelly Wisecup stated. “We are so proud and pleased for her.”

“Jennifer is the cerebral cortex of CNAIR,” Loew wrote in her nomination. “As a member of CNAIR’s leadership circle, Jennifer not only has handled the logistics of the Center’s programming, but also has contributed to the vision of the Center and its direction. Wisecup echoed those sentiments in her nomination and described the challenges of setting up new structures and processes for the Center. She noted that every event Jennifer coordinated “set just the right tone of warmth and elegance.”

Michals (Citizen Band Potawatomi/LCO Ojibwe/Kickapoo) was the first staff member hired for CNAIR in August 2017. Previous to her work at Northwestern, Michals, who holds an MA from DePaul University, was Business Administrative Associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she managed department events, supervised communication, and supervised student workers. Upon her arrival at Northwestern, Michals helped to create the scaffolding for the Center’s initiatives, designing forms and procedures for graduate, undergraduate, and faculty fellowships; coordinating summer research programs; building relationships with Native nations and urban Indian organizations; handling communications and maintaining the CNAIR website.

“Over the past year I’ve met incredible people here at the University who support our mission,” Michals said. “Being recognized is also having the Center recognized for being a success.” Michals said she is honored to receive the award and thanked her colleagues at the Center for nominating her. Receiving the award, she said, reminded her of her favorite Isaac Newton quote, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”