Father Dennis Dease, president, conferred the Distinguished Service Award on Dr. Nancy Zingale, center. Priscilla McNulty, right, a 1981 political science alumna, announced the scholarship in Zingale’s name.
Dr. Nancy Zingale receives Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Nancy Zingale got two big surprises when she attended a campuswide retirement reception on Tuesday.
She received the St. Thomas Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to the university and the community, and she was told that a group of political science alumni has established an endowed scholarship in her name. Recipients will be, of course, political science students.
Zingale will retire Dec. 31 after 21 years as a political science professor and nine years as executive assistant in the president's office.
Father Dennis Dease, president, conferred the Distinguished Service Award and read a citation that accompanied the award. He told Zingale that she served St. Thomas “with honor and distinction,” always putting first the desire “to educate students who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.”
Priscilla McNulty, a 1981 political science alumna, announced the scholarship in Zingale’s name. McNulty was in the first class of undergraduate women at St. Thomas and always found Zingale to be an excellent teacher and mentor.
“Nancy showed me how to stand up and be heard,” said McNulty, who serves on the St. Thomas School of Law Board of Governors and is senior counsel for Capella University. “She always has coached me – then and to this very day.”
McNulty said she was just one of hundreds of former students who felt this way. They wanted to thank Zingale for her contributions to their educations and felt a scholarship was the most appropriate way to do so, McNulty said.
In reading the citation for the Distinguished Service Award, Dease noted that Zingale “has been one of my coaches, too.”
“I am rendered speechless,” Zingale told the Rogge-Leyden Room audience in reflecting on the award and the scholarship. “I have been beautifully blessed in my career. ... I look back on my 30 years here and think, 'This is the way one ought to live – in an academic community and in such a caring community.'”