Jan Ormasa of Highland Park was presented with the Leadership Award at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota’s annual conference on November 5 at Saint Paul RiverCentre. The award recognizes individuals who have given of their time, spirit, resources and skills in a leadership capacity for the organization. Ormasa served on the NAMI Minnesota board for nine years, beginning in 2013. She has served as board secretary and second vice president, and was involved in developing its Endowment Fund. 

Fredrick Soukup of Macalester-Groveland was chosen as the winner of the NYC Big Book Award in the category of Literary Fiction for his novel Blood Up North. It is a story about a young Minnesota woman who agrees to help her brother hide cash he stole from a drug dealer. To protect herself, she must employ the very evil she has grown up despising. For more on the book, visit fredrick-soukup.com/blood-up-north.

Jan Ormasa

Pramila Vasudevan has been named one of five winners of the 2022 Joyce Awards, which support the creation of innovative works by pioneering artists of color. Vasudevan and Public Art Saint Paul are teaming up on Prairie/Concrete, a project centered around the land and ecosystem that will explore local ties to Dakota history and culture. Events will take place in three Saint Paul parks next summer as part of the inaugural Twin Cities Triennial Art Festival. Each Joyce Award comes with a $75,000 grant.

Mark Westlake, director of the innovation center at Saint Thomas Academy, was named one of Disney’s 50 Magic Makers for making protective face shields for first responders and marshaling a network of fabricators across the country to do likewise early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer Hissam has been named by Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) as campus administrator of Highland Path, 1925 Norfolk Ave. She will oversee operations and staff providing housing, support and care services for up to 150 older adults in independent living, assisted living and memory care apartments. Hissam has worked in the senior living sector for more than 20 years. Highland Path, formerly the Pillars of Highland Park, was acquired by PHS in 2021. PHS took over management in June of this year.


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