At the annual employee appreciation banquet on March 24, Concordia University Wisconsin recognized Al Prochnow and Sean Young for their outstanding contributions to the university and Christ-like service to the church and the world.

Dettmann Award: Al Prochnow, Chief Operating Officer

The Dettmann Award, established in 2003, is named after Dr. Norbert Dettmann, who volunteered his services for 20 years as the physician for Concordia students. His dedication to the students of Concordia is held in deep regard by all those he served during the 1950s and ’60s.

Recipients of the Dettmann Award are current Concordia faculty or staff members who demonstrate the same spirit of selflessness and care for others as Dr. Norbert Dettmann did. Recipients are selected based upon involvement in the community and dedication to living Concordia’s mission in everyday life. Additionally, recipients are generous supporters of Concordia with time, talent, and financial resources.

Here are just a few things about Al Prochnow that make him such a deserving recipient of this distinguished award:

  • Prochnow embodies the university’s mission of service “to Christ in the Church and the world.” Many individuals have benefitted from his dedication to ministry and mission.
  • Prochnow has served as the Vice President of Finance—then as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Concordia—for 23 years, a driving force in the strong financial position of the university.
  • One of his favorite places on campus is the Chapel Courtyard. He enjoys looking out the window when the students hang out there. Al loves our students! 
  • In addition to working at Concordia, he has also been a generous donor and supporter for 23 years.
  • Prochnow has a strong involvement in the community and with his church. He has been a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Grafton for over 30 years, and has served the church at large on various boards including Lutheran Bible Translators, Counseling and Family Services and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund.  

Congratulations, Al, and thank you for all you do for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor.   

Harris Draayers S.T.A.R. Award: Sean Young, Director of Applied Technology

Because of his many contributions to Concordia and its mission, Sean Young has been selected as this year’s Harris Draayers S.T.A.R. award recipient.

The S.T.A.R. Award is bestowed by the staff on one of its own in recognition as the outstanding staff member of the year. Overall consideration is given to the staff member who exemplifies Concordia as a way of life by making outstanding contributions and bringing honor to the university through service, teamwork, action, and results.

The recipient is selected as a model of Christian life, excelling in their area of work, engaging in service to others, supporting campus activities in various ways, as well as involvement in church and community affairs.

Young has been described by his colleagues as patient, super-knowledgeable, and always available to teach others. He started with Concordia in January 2006 as an A.V. Support tech using his A.V. skills from his church. He moved up to assistant director of A.V. and has since been involved in hundreds of building projects.

Though much that Sean does for the university tends to go under the radar, a few things in particular are worth highlighting. For one, Young was instrumental in getting the entire CUWAA system on Zoom before the pandemic and then rapidly transitioned all classrooms for virtual learning when Covid-19 hit in 2020. Now, post-Covid, the university’s online learning capability is something to be truly proud of.

This year, Young was also played an essential role in getting the university phone system changed over to a web-based system. And the School of Health Professions is particularly grateful to Young for all of his work in planning, setting up, and testing the A.V. equipment such as computers, cameras, and monitors needed for the simulation lab.

Part of the S.T.A.R. Award qualities are about service to Christ outside the university. In this respect, Young has engaged in selfless and constant effort to reach others with the Gospel by serving with excellence at his home church. He has volunteered countless hours in helping his church livestream their church services, working in the sound booth or on the worship team. He helps other ministries with their Technical needs, as well, and also volunteers in the Sheboygan Christian schools. Sean, with his servant’s heart, consistently provides a wonderful example of using one’s God-given gifts for service to Christ in the church and beyond.

Congratulations, Sean, on being such a deserving recipient of this award and valued member of the Concordia community.

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Concordia University Wisconsin 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. For three years in a row, CUW has been named one of Southeastern Wisconsin’s “Top Workplaces” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. For more information about opportunities to work at CUW, click the link below.