Friday Features - April 17, 2015

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Friday Features
April 17, 2015

Students discuss teacher education with state reps

Seven teacher education students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville met with their state representatives on April 14 at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Dr. Lindsay Hollingsworth, the students’ advisor and assistant professor of education at UW-Platteville, recommended the students for the experience. Dr. John Nkemnji, professor and coordinator of the Media Lab in the School of Education at UW-Platteville, accompanied the students.

State Rep. Travis Tranel met with Kristi Leitch, a sophomore English education major, and Jesse Heer, a junior social studies education major, both from Platteville.  

State Rep. Edward Brooks met with Stephanie Whitney, a junior elementary education major from Rock Springs, Wis., and Dr. Karen Stinson, director of education at UW-Platteville. They discussed the new major with an emphasis in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics education as well as the need for highly educated teachers for rural schools. Rose Smyrski, senior special assistant to the chancellor at UW-Platteville, Leitch and Heer also met with Rep. Brooks for photos and a discussion of secondary education majors. 

State Rep. David Consadine and staff met with Sara Peterson, a senior elementary education major from Mazomanie, Wis., and Jessica Whalen, a senior elementary education major from Baraboo, Wis.  

State Rep. Terry Katsma met with Ashlyn Simonson, a senior elementary education major from Adell, Wis., and Courtney Jaskowiak, a senior elementary education major from Spring Grove, Ill. Jaskowiak also discussed the Tri-State Initiative and the opportunities it provided for her and her classmates from Illinois and Iowa.
“The day at the Capitol was a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn about how educational policies are created and implemented and a chance to meet with their own state legislator,” said Stinson. “The representatives had the opportunity to learn more about the programs, students and UW-Platteville, including the many field experiences students have in the local classrooms.” 

Pictured in top photo from left to right are Dr. John Nkemnji, Sara Peterson, Ashlyn Simonson, Stephanie Whitney, Jessica Whalen, Courtney Jaskowiak, Kristi Leitch and Jesse Heer. Pictured in bottom photo from left to right are Jesse Heer, Kristi Leitch, Rep. Edward Brooks and Stephanie Whitney.

Relay for Life to be hosted on campus

The American Cancer Society will be holding its 18th annual Relay for Life event beginning Friday, April 24 at 6 p.m. and ending Saturday, April 25 at 7 a.m. in the Williams Fieldhouse.

There will be free food all night, live entertainment, performances from campus groups, a basket raffle, a photo booth and a chance to honor and remember those touched by cancer.

Those interested can register for the event before or at the event; however, it is not mandatory to register to attend.

For more information, visit or contact Kelsey Tempas at

Students and faculty attend education conference

Seven students and two faculty members from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s School of Education recently attended the Student Development Conference: Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Future Teachers at UW-La Crosse. Approximately 250 people, including high school students who were considering going to college to become teachers, attended.

The conference was a UW System-wide event.

Students who attended – all education majors – included Marisa Aderman, Sierrah Bond, Lauren Cyr, Molly Mayer, Zach Sorn, Melomi Waller and Nang Yang. Faculty members included Dr. John Nkemnji, professor and coordinator of the Media Lab in the School of Education; and Dr. Rea Kirk, professor in the School of Education.

According to Kirk, the conference was designed to inspire students, help them gain knowledge and skills to become stellar teachers and develop leadership potential, especially in areas of diversity. 

Keynote speakers included Jeff Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher of the Year, and Dr. Jermain M. Davis, professor of communication studies at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., and author of numerous inspirational books.

Workshops included lessons designed to motivate, engage and challenge new teachers as well as information on the following topics: Act 31; the need for representation in literature across content areas; materials/ideas for middle/high school teachers; one recent graduate's experiences; understanding college admissions' decisions; the power of authentic learning; enhancing teacher instructions and student assessments through technology; film screening and discussion; teaching with passion; relationships; how student organizations can support and retain students; preparing for college success; pre-college programs to prepare for a teaching major in college; educating mindfully on diversity; Hmong philosophy in education; and understanding personalized learning.

Waller, from Potosi, Wis., who is currently student teaching, volunteered to speak to the audience about her passion for becoming a teacher, illustrating her narrative with an anecdote about a child she taught to read.


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