Crookston Times Assistant Editor Jess Bengtson was notified this week that she is the recipient of the 2020 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Award – Community Partner. It’s the highest honor the U of M bestows upon a community member or organization for community-engaged partnership work with the University.

    As a recipient of the award, Bengtson will receive a one-time stipend of $5,000 in the fall. A plaque with her name and other award honorees will be posted for one year at the entrance of the Campus Club, located in Coffman Memorial Union on the Twin Cities campus. She and other award recipients will be honored at a luncheon and ceremony on Thursday, March 5 in Coffman Memorial Union’s Great Hall on the Minneapolis campus. She and others will also be recognized at the U of M Board of Regents’ Awards Ceremony and Reception in the spring.

    Bengtson was notified via a letter Tuesday from Andrew Furco, associated vice president for public engagement at the U of M. In the letter, he wrote that the award recognizes the “significant contributions you have made to the community, including building University-community partnerships and programs that benefit university students, faculty, staff, community partners, and citizens.”

    Bengtson’s family includes spouse Garett Bengtson, sons Jackson and Baily, and daughter Violet.

    She was nominated by the University of Minnesota Crookston’s Office of Outreach and Engagement and the Office of UMN Crookston Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause.

    Bengtson, who received her bachelors degree in Communications with an emphasis in Marketing and Public Relations from UMN Crookston in 2010, has been with the Times since 2013. Her list of not only involvement but leadership in campus- and community-related initiatives and efforts that involve partnerships between both includes but is not limited to:

    • West Polk Relay for Life

    • Crookston Rotary Club

    • Easter Egg Hunt

    • Ox Cart Days Festival

    • Northwest Minnesota Cancer Crusaders

    • Crookston Marketplace

    • Power of Produce

    • Queen City Art Festival & Chalk It Up

    • Crookston Firefighters Auxiliary

    • Trinity Lutheran Church

    • UMN Crookston Alumni Association Board of Directors

    • Golden Eagle Pride Committee

    • UMN Crookston MinnTucky Social

    • Downtown Crookston Development Partnership