As the semester comes to a close, the College of St. Scholastica will be bidding farewell to seven retiring professors.
Nursing professor Mary Tanner has taught sophomore, junior, and senior level courses at St. Scholastica for over 40 years after spending time as a registered nurse getting first-hand experience. She has also been a Dignitas instructor since the Dignitas program was brought to CSS.
"My favorite part of teaching is seeing students mature as they move through their education, watching students develop curiosity and take advantage of opportunities that will benefit them immensely in their future careers," said Tanner. "I get to see many of our nursing graduates in the clinical setting, and it is so rewarding to see them perform at such a high level of expertise. Just this morning 3 of them [recent and not-to-recent alumni] were sharing some of their school stories with me at the hospital as we talked about my impending retirement."
Once the semester has reached its end, Tanner plans to relax, create a list of places to travel, and spend time with her five grandchildren. She also plans to volunteer and work extensively on her family genealogy.
"I'm going to miss the conversations and daily interactions with colleagues and students. I'll maintain email contact, of course, but I hope to make frequent visits to campus to stay updated with students and changes to campus," she said.
Once active in the Study Abroad program, Tanner also anticipated missing the opportunity to travel with her students.
"I have been blessed to work among a wonderful group of people over the years, and particularly the sisters of the Monastery," said Tanner. "I hope I have impacted others by contributing to the growth of the Scholastica community, and to model the Benedictine values of this community so past and current students can indeed go out and change the world."
Barbara King started her career at St. Scholastica teaching cultural diversity courses including history, literature, family, and law through the American Indian Studies Department after teaching at UMD for 9 years. She has also taught courses in Women's Studies, Social Work, and Sociology in her 29 years as a member of the CSS community.
"My favorite part of teaching is definitely the students. I've been fortunate to be able to follow many from their freshmen years right to today and it's been fun to watch the changes and challenges they encounter and to see how well they have accomplished their goals," said King. "I also appreciate them because they have kept me listening to more youthful music, even though I've now regressed back to the 60's and 70's stuff, they've helped me with new technology like my cell phone, finding interesting and fun apps and they've even helped me change my phone covers when I couldn't get them off. I probably won't buy any new technology now that I won't have their wisdom and help."
While King is glad to be stepping away from grading papers, 8:00 AM classes, and giving tests, she'll miss being able to attend CSS sporting events once she moves back to Green Bay, Wisconsin to be closer to family. Regardless of her physical distance from CSS, King plans to attend as many sports games as possible to keep herself busy.
"I still plan on showing up in Appleton for the baseball team and St. Norbert's hockey rink will be only a couple of miles away to watch both our men's and women's hockey. I'll have to watch for when the other teams get close to the area," said King. "I'm also co-mother to a puppy, Benji, and am expecting he will keep me busy. Other than that there's Packer training camp coming up in July and some trips with family in August. After that there's football season and sleeping in."
Michael Robinson started teaching at CSS in 1973, and had two sabbaticals during his time as a professor, spending a year at Boston University to earn his MS in computer Science, and becoming a member of the Peace Corp in Turkenistan from September 1998 to January 2001. Robinson is currently a physics professor, but has taught courses in Math, Computer Science, Statistics, Camping, Climbing, and Current Events in the past.
"I started the Computer Science program and designed and implemented computer systems such as those used by the registrar and allumni office," said Robinson. "I started the colleges first computer networks, and I have worked to maintain high standards in the teaching of physics."
Upon his retirement, Robinson plans to move to Colorado with his wife to be closer to his children and grandchildren.
"I will miss talking to students who are excited and interested in learning," said Robinson. "I enjoy teaching physics and helping students understand how the world works. I like it that methods used to teach continue to evolve and improve."
Greg Bown ,Thomas Gaetz and Shirley Slettedahl will also be retiring from CSS at the end of the semester. Al Nephew retired at the end of Fall semester.