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Welcome Dr. Elizabeth Whalen


The Education Department extends a warm welcome to new faculty member, Dr. Elizabeth Whalen!

In 2011, Dr. Whalen received the Medtronic Minnesota Science Teacher of the Year award and served as the 2013 Siemen’s STEM Institute Fellow representing Minnesota at the Discovery Education Center in Maryland.  Her experiences in the classroom and being a Siemen’s Fellow helped to foster her passion for bringing STEM to K-12 classrooms. Her dissertation research explored teachers’ beliefs about STEM integration and how these beliefs influence teachers’ practices and student achievement in the classroom.

Recently as of this August 2017, Dr. Whalen co-authored an article titled The Evolution of Teacher Conceptions of STEM Education Throughout an Intensive Professional Development Experience. (Link opens abstract)

Dr. Whalen’s current research has focused on exploring the attitudes and beliefs teachers hold about cultural diversity and teaching culturally diverse students. Past and current projects include designing and teaching graduate-level coursework intended to help teachers develop culturally relevant pedagogy for their classrooms, working with in-service science teachers to develop and implement integrated STEM curricula, leading STEM integration professional development for in-service science teachers, and working with administration and teachers to develop STEM programming in their schools.

She graduated with a major in biology and a minor in psychology from Augustana College and received her teaching certification from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She taught for 10 years: 2 in Kotzebue, AK; 1 in Lincoln, NE; and 8 in Litchfield, MN.

Dr. Whalen continued her education earning her M.Ed. from Saint Mary’s University in the Twin Cities and completed her PhD in Spring 2017 at the University of Minnesota in the Curriculum and Instruction in STEM Education PhD program.

Welcome Dr. Whalen to our department and St. Catherine University!

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