UW-Superior recognized as one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Education

The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s online elementary education bachelor’s program has been recognized by BestColleges.com as one of the best in the nation.

“We are proud to once again receive this recognition for our online elementary education program,” said Karen Heikel, Executive Director of Alternative Delivery and Outreach at UW-Superior. “This reinforces the high academic standards and exceptional value this program provides.”

With more than 100 years of experience in training teachers, UW-Superior is the only institution of higher learning in the Twin Ports to receive this accolade. The Teacher Education Program offers an elementary education major that prepares students to obtain certification to teach either pre-kindergarten through sixth grade (PK-6) or first through eighth grade (1-8).

BestColleges.com used statistical data and a few consistently applied guiding principles to reach its conclusions. Its 2017 rankings reflect the most recent data compiled from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics, with the goal to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. Institutions were ranked on academic quality, affordability and online programming.

UW-Superior’s Jim Dan Hill Library opens complete Fraser Shipyards collection for research

More than 9,000 technical drawings for over 200 different ships are now available for research in the Fraser Shipyards Collection in the Special Collections of the Jim Dan Hill Library at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

A searchable online index for these drawings is available here. Processing and indexing of the Fraser Shipyards drawings was made possible by a National Maritime Heritage Grant from the National Park Service.

The Fraser Shipyards Collection, donated to UW-Superior in 2013, contains over 2,500 large format technical drawings, as well as over 6,700 technical drawings digitized from 35mm slides. The drawings were used at Fraser Shipyards in Superior between the 1950s and the 1980s, though some drawings date back to the 1890s. Projects at Fraser included repairs to propellers and hull plating, conversions to self-unloaders, lengthening of vessels and repowering from coal to oil or diesel. Many drawings also relate to the building and launch of vessels. These include lines, general arrangements, profiles, propulsion systems and details of piping and minor fittings.

Many of the drawings in the Fraser Shipyards Collection are not available elsewhere. The new online index will allow researchers to access information about drawings for many famous Great Lakes vessels, including the five ships of the Fraser Class, the 16 Maritimer vessels, the Edmund Fitzgerald and the William A. Irvin. The collection also includes drawings for lesser-known vessels, like the supply boat Ojibway, the tug Frances A. Small, the research vessel Silas Bent, and the tanker Cross Keys.

Fraser Shipyards has been active in Superior for over 125 years. Beginning as a shipbuilding company, they launched many of the famous whaleback steamers before the beginning of the 20th century. Fraser has contracted for repairs on hundreds of vessels, and has more recently branched out to projects including Lake Assault Boats, machining and welding work and vessel engine repair.

In addition to thousands of technical drawings, the Fraser Shipyards Collection contains project files, correspondence, photographs and heritage catalogs. This collection will be of interest to model builders, maritime history researchers, maritime archeologists and naval architects and engineers working on similar vessels. A guide to the complete collection can be found online here.

Researchers may access the collection in a number of ways. To schedule a visit to the Special Collections to view materials, please contact the archivist Shana Aue at (715) 394-8359 or email archives@uwsuper.edu. Within limitations, records and drawings can also be scanned and delivered electronically for a fee.

UW-Superior student Brittany Laehn awarded scholarship to study abroad

University of Wisconsin-Superior junior Brittany Laehn is one of approximately 1,200 American undergraduate students from 354 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for students to study or intern abroad during the summer 2017 term.

“I was super happy and relieved,” said Laehn. “I didn’t expect to get it.”

A biology major from Gilmanton, Wis., Laehn will study abroad in Costa Rica as part of a customized health sciences internship while gaining the Spanish fluency needed to help as a future physician.

“I’m looking forward to expanding my fluency in Spanish,” she said. “I have a Spanish minor and I’ve taken a lot of credits here at UW-Superior. I think I’ll improve a lot while I’m there since I’m staying with a host family who only speaks Spanish.”

The opportunity to visit Costa Rica that was made possible through this scholarship will be a life-changing event for Laehn. She not only has never traveled internationally but has never been on an airplane.

“I love being outdoors and exploring, so I’m really excited about just taking it all in and vising a lot of places,” she said.

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or internships abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies – making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

The late Congressman Gilman, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

The program is administered by the Institute of International Education. The list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and host country, is available on their website: gilmanscholarship.org. According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”

College students to learn about refugee resettlement during Germany trip

By Bob Ashenmacher

Students from three area colleges will get an up-close experience with refugee resettlement and gain a fresh global perspective during a trip to Germany this spring.

Seventeen students from The College of St. Scholastica, the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Minnesota-Duluth will take a two-week trip to Germany later this month. They’ll leave on May 21, and return on June 2.

The trip leader is Connie Gunderson, associate professor of social work at St. Scholastica. She will be assisted by Michelle Robertson, assistant social work professor; Karen Rosenflanz, associate professor of Global Cultural & Language Studies at St. Scholastica; and Lynn Goerdt, associate professor of social work at UWS. Goerdt and other UWS staff members organized the logistics and financial aspects of the trip, including writing and receiving a grant to defer student costs for the program.

“We wanted to focus on a human rights perspective; a European perspective on the refugee situation,” said Gunderson, who lived and taught in Germany for 23 years and has extensive contacts there. “How do we look at the challenges and opportunities facing communities and refugees that are getting to know each other and living with each other?”

The trip is a follow-up to a visit to Duluth last fall from two of Gunderson’s German contacts who are active in building an assistance network for refugees in their community of Schwerin, Germany. They came to learn about social work practices in the United States, and share their own experiences.

The itinerary, developed by Gunderson, will include visits to Berlin and the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin (university), named for a major pioneer of social work in Germany. Other stops will include Bremen and Oldenburg. A trip to Schwerin will feature meetings with the mayor, community members, and refugees.

Gunderson said a recurring theme for the trip will be St. Scholastica’s Benedictine values.

“It’s a wonderful fit of how we practice radical hospitality and a sense of community and respect, a love of learning about cultures and each other,” Gunderson said. “I think it’s so important that the students are getting an international perspective on how people approach refugees, people who are different and who are in need.”

The American students will also have a chance to interact with their German counterparts. A visit to the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven will be a highlight, Gunderson said, helping the students make a connection between refugee resettlement throughout history all the way up to the Syrian refugees of today.

“What we’re wanting to do is also grasp a historical perspective,” Gunderson said.