Merilee Krueger, teaching professor of psychological science, at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Dr. Elizabeth Cummins Women’s Advocate Award at Missouri S&T. She was honored during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

The award is given to any Missouri S&T employee, regardless of gender or job designation, that demonstrates commitment to the women on campus through mentorship and advocacy and by setting an example through professional achievement. As part of the award, Krueger received a $1,000 stipend funded by Missouri S&T graduate Cynthia Tang, founder and former chair of Insight Industries Inc.

Krueger joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 1990 as an adjunct instructor. Her nominators spoke highly of her passion for teaching and her mentorship of female students both in her home department and in other disciplines.

“She has a sticky note on her desk that says, ‘How can I help my students succeed?’ which I believe says a lot about who she is,” wrote one of her nominators. “It’s difficult to put into words how much Merilee has impacted me because she has truly done for me than I could ever imagine. She facilitates growth through mentorship and advocacy. She helps students who struggle to find their place feel at home on campus. Whenever I think of this award, I think of Merilee. ‘Women’s Advocate’ is one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of Merilee Krueger.”

“Merilee Krueger is an advocate for all students, and especially so for women,” wrote another of her nominators. “I have never met anyone, in my department or outside of it, who devotes as much of their time to students as Professor Krueger. I have heard more students attribute to her their ability to graduate than to any other factor, and for many students she has given them even more than a degree.” 

“Merilee is unequalled in her support of her students to find their passion and pursue their dreams,” wrote a former student in her nomination letter. “She is a champion for all her students, no matter the degree, to press for their desires and to be successful in their own careers through education, strength, values and experience.” 

Krueger has earned numerous awards during her time at S&T. She was awarded the Faculty Achievement Award five times, the Outstanding Teaching Award 14 times and the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award six times. She was named Missouri S&T’s Outstanding Academic Advisor in 2007 and was selected for the University of Missouri System’s Leadership Development Program in 2014.

Krueger earned a master of arts degree in cognitive developmental psychology from the University of Nebraska in 1990 and a bachelor of science degree with honors in psychology from Creighton University in 1985. She is currently pursuing a doctor of education degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The Dr. Elizabeth Cummins Women’s Advocate Award, which was established in 2017, is named for the first woman to chair an academic department at Missouri S&T, Dr. Elizabeth Cummins, a professor emerita and former chair of English and technical communication. She was the first recipient of Missouri S&T’s Woman of the Year Award.