2023 Chancellor's awards
Seven UWRF students were honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Students during a banquet and ceremony April 19. Sam Anzai; Dylan Jensen; James Bowers; Brady Gartner, accepting on behalf of his brother Collin (on the laptop screen, studying internationally this semester); Matthew Fischer; Carisa Cleven; Linnea Miller; and Chancellor Maria Gallo. 

Seven University of Wisconsin-River Falls students received the Chancellor’s Award for Students on Wednesday, the highest non-academic honor students can receive at the university. It recognizes students who have shown distinguished leadership and service while on campus. 

“Those receiving the Chancellor’s Award are a testament to the high quality of our students here at UW-River Falls,” Chancellor Maria Gallo said. “Their accomplishments show not only that they are top notch scholars, but they are engaged members of their communities. I have no doubt that they will continue to have a positive impact on the world as they head into the future.”

Gallo congratulated the recipients and encouraged them to continue their commitment to excellence and service. 

Students are nominated by a faculty member, staff member or a student peer and recipients demonstrate undergraduate research, inclusivity and service to the community and university.

First awarded in 1980, the award has been presented to 317 outstanding students.


Sam Anzai

Sam Anzai of Los Angeles, California is a senior majoring in neuroscience and biomedical and health science. Anzai is a leader in the classroom and for the UW-River Falls hockey team he captained. A regular on the Dean’s List, he also was the UW-River Falls hockey student-athlete of 2022, was named to the 2022 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All Sportsmanship Team and was awarded the Falcon Fly High Award in 2022. Anzai also was part of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Falcon Athletics Five-Year Strategic Planning Committee and the Faculty Senate Athletics Committee.

James Bowers

James Bowers of Richfield, Minnesota is a senior physics major. Bowers has conducted numerous research projects, including work he completed in the South Pole in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Antarctic Program. He has worked as a tutor and has been a volunteer host and speaker at more than 25 Campus Visit Days. He also has served as a UW-River Falls student representative, meeting with the UW System president, other UW System officials and state lawmakers.

Carisa Cleven

Carisa Cleven of Kendall is a senior majoring in agricultural education. Cleven is dedicated to helping others, those who know her say, whether organizing campus activities, assisting peers with their studies, or helping younger students adapt to college life. She served as vice president of the Wisconsin Future Farmers of America and as a national Teach Ag ambassador. She also represented UW-River Falls as a member of the STAR Teach Ag Committee and helped organize a National Association of Agricultural Educators meeting.

Matthew Fischer

Matthew Fischer of Owen is a junior dairy science major. Fischer was awarded the American Future Farmers of America degree, has served as secretary of the UW-River Falls Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter and was yearbook editor of the Dairy Club. He also conducted research on dairy calves set to be published in the Journal of Dairy Science and presented at the North American Dairy Science meeting in Ottawa, Canada. In addition, Fischer is involved in agriculture projects in his Clark County home.

Collin Gartner

Collin Gartner of Sparta is a senior applied physics major. Gartner is a nontraditional student and is a member of the Wisconsin National Guard. He has completed numerous research projects and is currently conducting research in Germany on horse prosthetics. Those nominating Gartner for the award used the words “empathy,” “intelligent” and “thoughtful” when describing him.

Dylan Jensen

Dylan Jensen of Racine is a senior double majoring in neuroscience and psychology. Jensen is a McNair Scholar, a National Honor Society in Psychology member and has presented numerous research projects across the U.S. He has helped and mentored students through his roles as teaching assistant and research assistant, has served with numerous campus organizations, co-founded the UW-River Falls Psychological Sciences Journal Club and played on the men’s club volleyball team.

Linnea Milner

Linnea Milner of Columbus, Ohio is a senior double majoring in neuroscience and psychology. Milner is a UW-River Falls Honors Program member who has received numerous academic awards and has presented her research as part of such prestigious events as the Midwestern Psychological Association and the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. She worked as a resident assistant, as a peer academic leader in the Striving Toward Academic Recovery Mentorship Program and has been involved in efforts to address mental health and wellness on campus.

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