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Stubrud Receives Award for New Initiative

By Kirsten Nordstrom
University Communications

Genella StubrudMARCH 2, 2009--A University of Wisconsin-River Falls faculty member has received a 2009 Forward Under 40 Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WWA) for efforts at strengthening the number of new graduates with diverse backgrounds who pursue teaching science technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Genella M. Stubrud, assistant professor and director of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and diversity initiatives received the award which honors Wisconsin college graduates who have had a positive influence on education beyond the classroom to help people.

According to Stubrud, “I always try to be the best I can be, but I was not always that. This award says to me that you can be who you are, and you can learn from the bad and the good. An award like this is recognition that you've made the right choice in your career.”

Stubrud received her undergraduate degree from UW-Madison, a master's degree from Lewis and Clark in Portland, Oregon, and her Ph.D. from UW-Madison. Currently Stubrud is in the planning stages of the WiTeach Leadership Program: Holistic Relational Approach, which “is really a collaborative effort across campus,” Stubrud said.

The objectives of the WiTeach program are based on the needs of both Minnesota and Wisconsin teachers for STEM-focused K-12 teachers, diverse teachers and teachers who commit to working in high-need urban and rural schools. Stubrud is also looking at how relationships positively or negatively influence academic, professional and personal development among young people.

The ultimate goal of the initiative is to increase the graduates from UWRF in these areas by 75 percent through recruiting techniques, fundraising and building relationships with students as well as diversity initiatives to increase the amount of minority and female teachers with STEM curriculum foci.

Overall this initiative is a national priority among schools across the country, says Stubrud, as the number of college graduates becoming math and science teachers for K-12 continues to decline. Fundraising money for scholarships is a major piece of the initiative, says Stubrud, because it would prevent students from having unmanageable debt after college.

The WWA created the Forward Under 40 Award in 2007 to honor and recognize outstanding graduates under the age of 40 who are making an impact on the world by living the Wisconsin Idea. The Wisconsin Idea is the principle that education should influence and improve people's lives beyond the university classroom.

Throughout her career, Stubrud has won numerous teaching awards and has been recognized through her achievements at others school where she has worked. “This award is humbling, very humbling,” she said. “An award like this is recognition that you've made the right choice in your career.” Stubrud will present the initiative and UWRF WiTeach program in Reno and Chicago this spring,


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