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UWFox Alum Offers Special Presentation on ‘Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century’

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The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley is hosting a special presentation on Thursday, May 19, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Perry Hall.  Dr. Douglas Walrath, a former UWFox student, is presenting, “Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century: From Rural Idaho to Remote Alaska.”

Walrath is a national board certified teacher in Career and Technical Education. Through his presentation he will share elements of his research through the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education into the role software simulations serve in student learning.

The audience will see firsthand how theoretical cognition elements were applied in a $170,000 heavy equipment simulator center at the Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center in Nome, Alaska.

“I want to share the excitement I have of a Technology Education team-teaching approach so dynamic and unique in its approach that NASA sent a videography crew from Houston, TX to capture the essence of an integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in rural Idaho,” Walrath said.

Walrath served in the U.S. Army in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during the Persian Gulf War, After the war, he attended the UWFox from 1992-1993 and went on to earn a B.S. in Technology Education from the UW-Stout. Walrath completed his M.S. in Industrial Technology and Education from the College of Engineering at Utah State University and received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Utah State University. 

Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Walrath authored or co-authored eight publications on teaching methodology.  Dedicated to personal and professional development throughout his career, he has made presentations in Australia, Brazil and across the U.S.

From 1996 to 2005, he taught at Wood River Middle School in Hailey, Idaho.  During that time he was recognized numerous times by the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) for teaching excellence and served on the ITEA Board of Directors from 2004-06.

In 2003, Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne awarded Dr. Walrath the Governor’s Industry Award for Notable Teaching in Science.  He was also selected as a NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate (ASCAN) in 2003.  He continues to be active in the Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers program as an advocate of NASA’s mission with education.

In 2009, Dr. Walrath accepted a position as Director of the Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center (NACTEC) in Nome, Alaska.  A regional vocational training center, NACTEC was designed to provide rural Alaskan students with the necessary resources to successfully transition from life in “Bush” villages to post-secondary education, training, and workforce programs.  

At the 2011 UWFox commencement ceremony being held at 7:00 p.m. on May 20, the UW-Fox Valley Foundation will present Walrath with one of its two awards as an “Outstanding Alumni.” 

For more information about Walrath’s presentation, contact Lisa Weiner, executive director of the UW-Fox Valley Foundation, 832-2849, email lisa.weiner@uwc.edu, or visit www.uwfox.uwc.edu.


Posted 5/13/2011