The next phase of the Education Village project is officially underway, with a ceremonial groundbreaking taking place at the end of April 2018. The two-year project will create a spectrum of learning environments to prepare education majors for real-world educational settings, ranging from traditional classrooms with blackboards to advanced, technology-enabled active-learning classrooms, STEM labs, maker spaces, and special-education classrooms.
The 100,000-square-foot mini-campus will also include lab spaces designed with observation areas and accommodations for WSU students and faculty to interact with preschool to high school-aged students and their teachers, along with specialized areas for assistive/adaptive learning. In all, there will be 18 dedicated learning spaces serving students and faculty in STEM, communications, health, art, music, social studies, language, international education, physical education, and special education programs.
To watch the progress of Education Village, check out the live construction video feed at wsu.mn/Ed-Construction.
Dr. Donna J. Helble, the late professor emerita who passed away in March 2017, leaves behind a lasting legacy at Winona State. She lived her life as a champion and advocate for education, spending more than 16 years as an elementary teacher in Winona and 24 years in higher education as a professor of education. As a Trustee on the WSU Foundation Board and co-chair of the WSU Foundation Education Village Task Force, she was a tireless advocate for the project.
To honor the late Dr. Helble, WSU recently announced that the former Wabasha Hall, named for the city street on which it resides, will be newly named Dr. Donna J. Helble Hall.
Her legacy will also be cemented through the creation of the Dr. Donna J. Helble Education Village Endowment, made possible by a legacy estate gift of nearly $2.5 million. The endowment will support elementary education (K-8) teacher-training preparation and programming in WSU’s College of Education.
WSU will begin offering a Psychiatric-mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Baccalaureate to Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program. The 73-credit program includes graduate nursing core courses, PMHNP role courses, clinical experiences in one’s community, and a DNP clinical project. Courses are offered with the option of face-to-face classes or primarily online. Upon completion, students will be prepared to take the PMHNP certification exam. WSU continues to offer a PMHNP Graduate Certificate Program for those who already hold an advance practice RN certification.
This fall, WSU expands its Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Leadership & Administration program to offer a new HLA Health & Wellness Management track option, available for current associate degree holders without previous or current professional experience. This new program option joins the original program track, both of which are offered entirely online.
Dr. Julie M. Anderson was announced as the new dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, beginning her post July 1, 2018. Anderson previously served as dean and professor in the School of Nursing at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, her Master of Science in Parent/Child Nursing, and her Ph.D. in Education, Research Methodologies, Educational Foundations and Research from the University of North Dakota-Grand Forks.
WSU Mathematics Professor Barry Peratt has received the 2018 Distinguished Teaching of University Mathematics Award from the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Aside from his interactive teaching approach in the classroom, Peratt has contributed to the field of mathematics teaching by collaborating on writing curriculum modular units for the Monterey Institute for Technology in Education, publishing articles on Topology, presenting at conferences, and working with students on undergraduate research projects.
For the second year in a row, Assistant Professor of Sociology Craig Upright has been voted by Winona State students as the Professor of the Year. “I love teaching because it provides me with the opportunity to work every day with so many thoughtful and engaged young scholars,” said Upright. “I’m so pleased with their efforts to better understand the social world we live in.” Upright has been teaching at WSU since 2011, receiving his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and English literature from St. Olaf College and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.
In April 2018, WSU’s Leadership Education graduate program sent a contingent of two alumni and two students, along with faculty members, to the 2018 Clute International Conference in Washington, D.C. Academic research was presented by alumni Chris Hahn ’17 and Carson Perry ’14, ’17, and students Austin Opfer ’16, ’18 and Jeff Thompson ’16, ’18. Hahn and Perry also served as session chairs, with Hahn serving as keynote speaker as well. The Clute Institute publishes and promotes leading research in multiple disciplines from all over the world; representatives from higher education institutions from over 22 countries attended this year’s conference.
WSU has been selected to join the JED Campus program, allowing the university to expand mental health support on campus. An initiative of The JED Foundation, JED Campus is designed to guide schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, program and policy development with customized support to build upon existing student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts. The four-year strategic partnership kicked off August 1, 2018.
Steven L. Blue, President & CEO of Miller Ingenuity, was named WSU College of Business’ first CEO in Residence. Blue is an internationally-recognized expert on leading change and business transformation, regularly appearing in various media outlets and authoring four highly-acclaimed books. In his role, Blue will conduct workshops, hold monthly office hours with students, and meet regularly with student clubs and faculty members.
In spring 2018, WSU installed three new bike stands on campus, which include repair tools and bike pumps, with the ability to accommodate all kinds of bikes. One stand is located on each of WSU’s Winona campuses: Main Campus (across from the Science Laboratory Center), West Campus, and East Lake Terrace. All three stations are free and available to use by students and community members.
WSU student organization Warriors For The Kids hosted WarriorThon 2018 on campus this past February. The 3rd annual dance marathon event raised over $11,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Gundersen Health Systems. Participants stayed standing for the entire 8-hour event to symbolize the fight against childhood illnesses. Since first holding the event in 2016, the group has raised over $31,000 total for local children and families.
WSU’s 28th annual Dancescape performance was held in February 2018, featuring 14 original dance pieces, most of which were choreographed and performed by WSU students. Additional pieces were created by faculty and guest choreographers, including “Dark Ecology,” by internationally known dance company BodyCartography Project, along with WSU students, during a two-week visit.
Each year, WSU partners with the Winona community around a year-long theme to bring faculty, staff, students and community members to the table. This year’s theme, “Resilience,” centers on the fact that all humans go through stressful and difficult changes as they grow and develop, experiencing setbacks along the way. Being able to rebound and adapt well in the face of adversity is a skill that helps individuals, families, organizations and communities persist and even thrive amidst disruptions and stress. Through the theme of Resilience, WSU hopes to engage the entire community in efforts to explore and incorporate resilience in conversation, curriculum and programs in order to maximize the growth, development and optimal functioning of all.
WSU celebrated with more than 1,000 students as they graduated from the University to take the next steps in their lives and careers.