CUW students daily live out the Concordia mission in their words and actions, but there are some whose extraordinary acts go above and beyond.

For these special students, Concordia’s Dean of Students Dr. Steve Gerner created the Positive Outcomes Program Award (POP), given to those who demonstrate exceptional service to their fellow Concordians or within the community at large.

“This award was created after I received a few phone calls from community members and local business owners regarding the actions of our students,” says Gerner. “These calls were from  people who were simply amazed at what our students were doing and wanted someone to know.“

Students’ service includes acts such as providing key medical aid for a community member, organizing a group volunteer project, deescalating a hostile situation at a community event, supporting international students new to the U.S., and leading an effort to clean trash along Lake Michigan.

The Positive Outcomes Program Award is an organic award, which means it is not given out every month or once a year, but as the Office of Student Life is made award of notable acts. Awarded students receive a POP certificate, a mailed letter acknowledging their award, a gift card, an invitation to a year-end ice-cream social, and CUW gear.

Through Director of Donor Relations Tim Brever, Alex Marchan, managing director of Northwestern Mutual North Shore, was invited to partner with Concordia University and sponsor these students.

“When asked to support the Positive Outcomes Program, it was a no brainer,” says Marchan. “The good these students are doing for the community is refreshing to see and is well needed in today’s world. I am beyond grateful to sponsor such a great program because it aligns directly to our core values here at Northwestern Mutual North Shore. Being service minded will take them far in life!”

POP award recipients were honored at a year-end social.

This past school year’s POP recipients are:

  • Hailey Burt
  • Hannah Brandenstein
  • Lily Kate Burreson
  • Alexis Cataldo
  • Anna Chase
  • Anna Gain
  • Susan Habegger
  • Mollie Hittinger
  • Taryn Kannon
  • Grant Karsten
  • Soohyun Lee
  • Rachel Mayer
  • Kate Miklosz
  • Grace Spaletto
  • Alyssa Vincent
  • Lindsay Winkler

Want to submit a POP nomination? Contact Steve Gerner at

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