HomeEducationAcaraFred Rose receives UMN President’s Award for Outstanding Service

Fred Rose receives UMN President’s Award for Outstanding Service

Congratulations to Fred Rose, who was among 12 honorees awarded the 2020 President’s Award for Outstanding Service. University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel recognized Rose for his exceptional commitment to the University community and above-and-beyond service to students and colleagues.

Those who know Rose know he’s a man who wears many hats and a multitalented member of the University of Minnesota community: “Impact Goals Manager,” “Acara teaching staff,” and “Humphrey School lecturer” all follow his name. Though this award recognizes that service, Rose’s track record of innovation and leadership began far before he even arrived at the University.

Fred Rose

Over a 27-year career as an engineer at Honeywell Labs in Minneapolis and Bangalore, Rose held many technological and strategic roles and developed a passion for students and leadership that multiplied. He founded a nonprofit, High Tech Kids, in 1999 that over twenty years later continues to provide thousands of children in Minnesota K-12 schools with hands-on STEM experiences.

Rose may be best known, however, for his work with leadership incubator Acara, which supports students with ideas for sustainable entrepreneurship ventures, social enterprises, nonprofits, and more. He co-founded the interdisciplinary program in 2009 and served as its co-director for over nine years. During this time, Rose created robust courses, co-curricular workshops, and study abroad experiences to develop over 1,000 sustainable leaders of the future, and did so with great success: many of the leaders and projects developed through Acara’s programs continue to flourish today, as does the powerful sense of community forged among students and faculty members.

“The significance of starting and sustaining this program at the University of Minnesota cannot be understated,” says Carissa Schively Slotterback, Associate Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, who has worked with Rose for more than eight years.

“Acara offers students an experience unlike others at the University. It offers exceptional students a means to be challenged. It offers motivated students who want to do good a practical grounding that shifts their focus to understanding what communities want and need. Fred’s work has impacted scores of individual students and perhaps even more importantly, the ways that this university thinks about and now educates students to engage with grand challenges.”

Rose’s interdisciplinary expertise has made him a valuable resource within—and member of— the Institute on the Environment. In 2018, as IonE looked toward the development of its first strategic plan, Director Jessica J. Hellmann invited Rose to tap the community’s growing ambition to create collaborative, concrete, change-making initiatives around which IonE could rally. This led to the creation of the Institute’s Impact Goals, and another new hat for Rose: Impact Goals Manager. This spring, he will reach an exciting milestone: leading an innovative review of the first-ever Impact Goal funding proposals and selecting the first recipient cohort. 

Hellmann, who nominated Rose for the award, says he consistently rises above the call of duty. “Now is the time to recognize Fred for all that he has done for the University, our students, and all of the people touched by projects pursued with Fred’s supervision,” she wrote in her nomination letter. “In my five years at the University of Minnesota, I’ve yet to encounter any other person more deserving.”

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