In the media: Cole featured in Press-Gazette story on achievement gap

A Friday (April 27) Green Bay Press-Gazette story on closing the achievement gap in Wisconsin features our own Juliet Cole, associate director of the Institute for Learning Partnership. Cole was among area educators, administrators and Education majors who attended Thursday’s CREATE Wisconsin conference at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. CREATE — Culturally Responsive Education for All: Training and Enhancement — helps educators take critical steps toward closing the achievement gap between white and minority students, Cole said. “Wisconsin is about more than the Green Bay Packers and cheese,” she said. “We’re recognized as a good state to raise a family with strong schools. We do have an achievement gap, CREATE is working with educators to change that.” Full story.
 

A is for alumni: UW-Green Bay grads earn Golden Apple accolades

Seen in Wednesday’s Log Extra, but worth repeating here: Our own Professional Program in Education was well represented once again at this year’s Golden Apple teaching awards, held last week and televised live. Three of the honorees in seven categories have UW-Green Bay ties — two are mid 2000s alumni and one is a certificate grad. These excellent educators say they couldn’t have done it without UW-Green Bay — and at least one hopes to return as a professor one day. Full story.

More on Moran, Apple alumna
One of our award-winning alumni educators, Vanessa Moran ’07, was featured — along with her amazing third-graders — on the front page of Saturday’s (April 21) Green Bay Press-Gazette. Under Moran’s guidance, her Meadowbrook Elementary School students are rallying around classmate Myles Welnetz, and two others in the class who also have autism. They’re looking to raise awareness about the disorder, and are hosting a run/walk this Saturday (April 28) to raise funds to support students with autism. The event, 2Myles4Austim, will be held at Meadowbrook Park in Howard. Full story.

Visit deepens Tumbes-Green Bay partnership

As noted in the news release, this month’s visit represents a deepening of ties between the Peruvian university and UW-Green since the schools’ leaders signed a partnership agreement in 2009.

Among the collaborations: Prof. Diana Miranda Ynga and Prof. Steven Kimball, Education, are completing a series of bilingual books for young readers. With text in both Spanish and English, each book is intended for use in a learning-to-read curriculum, but the content is also topical and science-related so that children learn reading skills but also develop awareness, for example, of environmental issues in Peru.

UW-Green Bay professors including Derryl Block (Nursing), John Stoll (Public and Environmental Affairs), Kevin Fermanich (Natural Sciences) and Kimball in recent years have made visits to Tumbes. A joint online course in nursing and special teleconferences have created a “virtual travel course” and afforded students at either end a chance to better understand each other’s cultural perspectives, healthcare practices and related issues.

In earlier years, former NAS faculty members Bud Harris and Jack Day traveled to Peru, and the joint UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert College International Visiting Scholars Program brought scientists from Peru to Wisconsin.

UW-Green Bay to host delegation from Peruvian university

A five-person delegation from the Universidad Nacional de Tumbes in Tumbes, Peru, will arrive in Green Bay this Saturday afternoon (April 14) to begin a two-week stay hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The visitors are faculty and administrators with the Tumbes institution, which is funding the trip in hopes of gaining insight on higher education in the United States, K-12 education in Wisconsin and this region’s relative success in tackling serious pollution and water-quality issues.

The visit also represents a deepening of ties between the Peruvian university and UW-Green since the schools’ leaders signed a partnership agreement in 2009.

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas K. Harden says the collaboration has been beneficial to both institutions. This time, the site visit is primarily a learning opportunity for the educators from Peru.

“They like our capabilities in the natural sciences and water resources,” says Harden, who visited the Tumbes campus earlier this academic year. “Their institution is not quite where we are in terms of having the facilities and technology, but they feel this visit will allow them to see what is possible, that they can lift their aspirations.”

Tumbes is a developing city of about 100,000 in northwest Peru near the Pacific Ocean and the border with Ecuador. UW-Green Bay faculty members who have visited say the Tumbes River, draining a major watershed in northern Peru, faces environmental challenges — pollution and municipal waste — not unlike those that affected Northeast Wisconsin’s Fox River decades ago.

The visitors, with campus interpreters, will attend a major water-resources conference, Green Innovations 2012, taking place Wednesday through Friday (April 18-20) at UW-Green Bay. Included will be tours and an overview of the Fox River cleanup project, Renard Island dredge disposal site, and the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District’s river and bay research vessel.

Later during their visit, the Tumbes delegation will travel to UW-Milwaukee for meetings at the School of Freshwater Studies before continuing on to UW-Madison to learn more about UW Sea Grant and related entities.

Another focus of interest will be K-12 education, especially in reading and the natural sciences. Prof. Diana Miranda Ynga of the Tumbes delegation, for example, will spend a morning at Forest Glen Elementary School in Suamico, an afternoon at the Green Bay offices of the Einstein Project science literacy initiative, and most of another day in Wausau meeting with educators associated with the Wisconsin State Reading Association.

Miranda Ynga is collaborating with Prof. Steven Kimball of the UW-Green Bay Education faculty on a series of bilingual books for young readers. With text in both Spanish and English, each book is intended for use in a learning-to-read curriculum, but the content is also topical and science-related so that children learn reading skills but also develop awareness, for example, of environmental issues in Peru.

UW-Green Bay faculty members including Profs. Derryl Block (Nursing), John Stoll (Public and Environmental Affairs), Kevin Fermanich (Natural Sciences) and Kimball (Education) in recent years have made visits to Tumbes. A joint online course in nursing and special teleconferences have created a “virtual travel course” and afforded students at either end a chance to better understand similarities and differences with regard to cultural perspectives, healthcare practices and related issues.

At least one day during their tightly scheduled visit is set aside for the Universidad Nacional de Tumbes faculty members to guest lecture at UW-Green Bay, sharing observations and answering questions in class sessions dealing with Spanish language, history and culture of their region, or their own areas of specialization. The delegation includes specialists in the fields of education, economics, nursing and environmental health, bio-technology and aquaculture.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor’s Office is helping to coordinate the itinerary and other details of the visit. Those with questions may contact (920) 465-2207.

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Visitation, memorial service set for Prof. Emerita Stokes

We recently brought you the sad news that Prof. Emerita Sandra M. Stokes passed away March 26, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. A visitation has been scheduled for 9-11 a.m. Saturday, April 14, with a memorial service to follow at 11 a.m. at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, 347 Libal St., De Pere. Stokes joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in fall 1993 as a specialist in reading and special education. She was promoted to full professor in 2002. Stokes was given emeritus status in January 2010, shortly after her retirement in late 2009. Her academic and community interests included arts and reading programs to promote early learning in children, and the value of neighborhood family resource centers. She was a leader with the Wisconsin State Reading Association and related initiatives of the state Department of Public Instruction. Stokes’ full obituary is now available online, click here.
 

Passing of Prof. Emerita Stokes

The family of Sandra M. Stokes, professor emerita of Education and Women’s Studies, has informed the University that she passed away Monday, March 26, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Arrangements for a memorial service are pending, and will be announced in the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Stokes joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in fall 1993 as a specialist in reading and special education. She was promoted to full professor in 2002. She received her Ph.D. in special education at Kent State University after completing degrees earlier at the University of Bridgeport and Fairfield University, both in Connecticut. Stokes previously taught at Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio. She was given emeritus status in January 2010, shortly after her retirement in late 2009. Her academic and community interests included arts and reading programs to promote early learning in children, and the value of neighborhood family resource centers. She was a leader with the Wisconsin State Reading Association and related initiatives of the state Department of Public Instruction.

Snapshots: Teacher, Class of ’06, brings students back to Studio Arts


Denmark High School art teacher Candice (Kaiser) Boutelle is a relatively new graduate of UW-Green Bay (Class of 2006.) The other day, she brought more than two dozen students with her on a field trip to make art in the Studio Arts Building studios with faculty members Jennifer Mokren and Minkyu Lee. It looks like the group had fun.

Ashmann writes “best seller”

Scott Ashmann, associate professor in the Education Program, recently had an article published in Science Scope, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) journal for middle school science teachers. His article, “A Sun-Earth-Moon Activity to Develop Student Understanding of Lunar Phases and Frames of Reference,” is currently the most popular journal article being downloaded at the NSTA’s online store. In the article, Ashmann describes a set of classroom activities that help students reason their way through the lunar phases by role-playing the relative positions of Earth, Sun, and Moon thereby addressing the common misconception that the phases of the moon are caused by Earth’s shadow.

Oral history a focus at Center for First Nations Studies

(As appeared in the January 2012 Institute for Learning Partnership newsletter)
By Terry Anderson

UW-Green Bay is helping current and future educators learn more about the history, culture, sovereignty and contemporary issues of American Indians, helping them learn so they can also teach.

A Wisconsin law, “Act 31” requires that K-12 students learn about federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands in Wisconsin. To help schools meet these requirements, the Center for First Nations Studies, under the direction of the Education program, was created. Additionally, UW-Green Bay offers students the opportunity to major or minor in First Nations Studies.

Its commitment to First Nations Studies was one of the reasons cited in naming UW-Green Bay’s Education program the top undergraduate program in the state by the UW System Board of Regents.

“We’re the only school in the UW System that requires pre-service teachers to complete a three-credit course in First Nations Studies,” said Prof. Lisa Poupart, who chairs the First Nations program, and co-chairs the First Nations Center with Prof. Tim Kaufman, Education program chair.

Poupart said this may be the only program in the nation that has four tribal Elders, from different regional tribes, who are part of the teaching staff. Each Elder is a scholar with considerable experience, and teaches in the tradition of First Nations oral teaching and learning. Students and practicing teachers gain a deeper knowledge of American Indian history and culture, and in turn are better prepared to teach students.

“It’s integral to the way we prepare successful educators,” said Kaufman. “It gives our pre-service teachers an advantage in more fully understanding this culture and the impact it has on teaching and learning.”

The First Nations Studies program is of interest to both American Indian and non-Indian students who wish to learn more about the traditional cultures and knowledge of indigenous people as well as the changes experienced by American Indian nations as a result of Euro-American contact.

The program offers a major and a minor. The minor strengthens numerous degrees including those in business, history, social work, etc., The degrees prepare students to live and work in an increasingly diverse community and also equip students with skills to work cooperatively and effectively with tribal governments and businesses.

Through the Center for First Nations Studies, UW-Green Bay Education students and faculty offer consultation and services to teachers and school districts regarding curriculum, materials and instructional methodology in American Indian studies.

For example, a recent day found Poupart in Madison, participating in an in-service program for middle school teachers. A few days’ earlier students from UW-Manitowoc visited UW-Green Bay to learn from Elder Shirley Barber.

The Center for First Nations Studies not only serves as an Act 31 resource center for professional and pre-service educators, it also has the mission of helping UW-Green Bay retain American Indian students, said Poupart.

While tribes and bands have their own history and traditions, there is a core set of values that extend across each — respect, reciprocity, responsibility and relationships.

“It seems to me that more people are starting to appreciate the unique approach in using Elders and teaching,” Kaufman said. “The bottom line is these Elders are the highest authority and teachers in regards to knowledge about Native American culture. It’s encouraging that we’re seeing a buy-in to the (First Nations) programs from students to staff to faculty.”

Spending an afternoon with an Elder introduces students to forms of teaching different from a typical lecture hall that may hold 200 students. In fact, non-Indian students are sometimes uneasy in their first encounter with a tribal Elder, Poupart said. They worry they may inadvertently say something politically incorrect. But soon the apprehension evaporates and they can engage in honest education about Wisconsin’s First Nations.

Neither Poupart nor Kaufman is satisfied with the number of University students with American Indian heritage (120), trailing UW-Madison (178) and UW-Milwaukee (141). “We should have a number that reflects the proximity to the American Indian population. Sixty percent of Wisconsin’s American Indian population lies within 100 miles of Green Bay,” Poupart says. Kaufman sees an opportunity for growth.

“I think the work we’re doing through the center will have an impact on increasing the enrollment of Native American students in the University and Education program,” he said.

For more information call 920-465-2185 or visit their website.

Newsletter tells winning story of Center for First Nations Studies


It has been a high-visibility month for First Nations Studies, as well as the program’s partnership with the Professional Program in Education promoting better cultural fluency among future teachers. The January newsletter of the Institute for Learning Partnership zeroes in on the Center for First Nation Studies and the interaction between tribal elders and UW-Green Bay students and faculty. You can download the very informative article and newsletter.