Big Boreas Booya!

This afternoon was the Big Boreas Booya! I have been working on the Boreas Leadership Certificate for the past few years and today was the start of their 2016-2017 events.

What is a booya you ask? Well “the name comes from an upper-Midwest tradition of community stews. “Booya” refers to both the stew and the event. As the days shorten into fall, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan you’ll start seeing signs advertising booyas. Sometimes the smell of savory stew wafts across a fire department or church parking lot. At Boreas, we’ve started our own annual booya tradition, where we cook and serve booya right on campus. We keep the idea going through the year with our weekly booyas, where we do the community, but not the stew, part of booyas. Boreas was intentional about choosing booyas as the organizing idea for our community- and network-building events” (

So today started off with a panel discussion and then group discussion on “What kind of leadership does it take to make progress on environment and sustainability challenges?” and then ended up with the eating of the booya – which was wonderful! Great food, great discussion, and great music from the Broken Heartland String Band.

Environmental innovators panel 4 – 5:15 p.m.
Valery Forbes – Dean of the College of Biological Sciences
Eric Schwartz – Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Scott Lanyon ­– Dean of the Graduate School

Virtual Reality

I tried the new Virtual Reality lab in the library today. It was amazing. I figured it would be like some hokey video game, but it was so lifelike. In one game/simulation or whatever they are called, I was in the mountains and looking over the edge of a cliff and was told to walk off. Even though I knew I was in the library and that there was ground below me, I just could not walk over the cliff. Apparently very few people walk over the cliff. The human sense of self preservation is apparently very strong, even in the VR world. Besides the mountains with the cliff, I was also able to see the rover on Mars, visit an English country church, walk the mountains of Nepal, and visit a few other ones.

The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes

Take a Selfie with Sherlock! Just one item at a new exhibit that I was able to visit this past Wednesday August 17 at the University of Minnesota’s Anderson Library “The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes,” which tells visitors that “Not everyone is perfect, including the world’s most famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. This exhibition highlights some of Mr. Holmes’ mishaps, described by Dr. Watson and others, through art, artifacts, parodies, pastiches, and other “unofficial” adventures from the Sherlock Holmes Collections” (


Its always wonderful to receive a new diploma in the mail, but I am sad to say the quality (paper and ink) of the physical diploma has come down over the years.

LT Media Lab News

I learned today that the LT Media Lab had posted “Congrats to LT’s newest M.Ed. graduates!” back on May 15, which you can view here: The department does a great LT M.Ed. showcase. I am even in a few of the photos posted, which is always fun to see. All photos and images listed below are courtesy of The LT Media Lab

Master of Education…degree #15

I received an email today saying that “You have been approved for the conferment of a Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota,” that the degree will be posted to my transcript with the following conferment date of 05/31/16, and that I should receive the diploma in the mail in 6-8 weeks! Awesome!


A few years ago, I completed a Online Distance Learning Postbaccalaureate Graduate Certificate from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) Learning Technologies Department so that I could have some methods and theory in online teaching (as I have been teaching online for years and years) and over the years I slowly worked towards the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Learning Technologies with a LT Focus Area: Online Distance Learning and for my final project I created a educational video game called “Harvey the Husky.”

So now the official degree count is… 15 degrees!!! Sweet 15! I know, I know, just a bit strange, but you must admit very cool. My motto besides the one I “borrowed” from Bill Holm’s: “She ran out of shelf space, again…” is “Some girls collect shoes or husbands, I collect degrees.”

When I got my MLIS, way back in 2001, my Grandma Kay gave me a graduation card and some money and said to me in front of my cousins “See, every time you get a degree you get money!” Haha. Grandam was very funny. Other times when she would give out birthday money she would say “Now don’t buy any booze or cigarettes with it!”


[Update: A friend said that I needed to comment on how I worked full-time while I was pursuing these degrees otherwise people will think that all I did was go to school. I wish! I have worked part-time since high school and then a few part-time jobs, then part-time jobs and unpaid internships, and eventually the part-time library jobs gave way to full-time library jobs. Starting in 2004 and going for the next ten years I worked full-time and part-time (2 jobs) while going to school part-time. Also for 4 years during that ten year time span I worked a second part-time job (so 3 jobs while taking classes). I was also very fortunate that many of my employers were colleges and universities that offered employees classes at reduced prices (for example the University of Minnesota through the Regents Scholarship pays for 75% of employee classes, but they also tax you for it). I am a life long learner and I love to learn, however I also need to work to support myself, pay my bills and student loans (yes I do have some of those), and have a full life. I know (and I am sure you do to) many people that spend lots of money on cars, fishing and hunting gear/trips, boats and things like that. They have their hobbies, I have mine.]


15. M.Ed. 2016 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Learning Technologies) (Focus Area: Online Distance Learning)
14. Postbaccalaureate Graduate Certificate 2012 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Online Distance Learning Postbaccalaureate Graduate Certificate)
13. Certificate 2010 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Applied Business Certificate Undergraduate)
12. M.A. 2009 University of St. Thomas (Art History)
11. B.S. 2008 Minnesota School of Business (Business Administration)
10. A.S. 2005 Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Cartography)
9. A.A.S. 2005 Minnesota School of Business (Business Administration)
8. Certificate 2005 Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Cartography)
7. Diploma 2005 Minnesota School of Business (Business Administrative Assistant)
6. Diploma 2005 Minnesota School of Business (Office Assistant)
5. M.L.I.S. 2001 Dominican University (Library and Information Science)
4. B.A. 1999 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Art History)
3. M.S. 1998 University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (Anthropology)
2. B.A. 1994 St. Cloud State University (Anthropology and History)
1. A.A. 1992 Anoka-Ramsey Community College

EQS 2016

Today was the EQS (Enhancing Quality Staff) Symposium for the U’s library staff. Yes, the let us out of the libraries once a year. They have all sorts of different talks and activities you can attend and I always signup for fun activities vs. dull ones that relate to work. So this year I attended: “How to Get the Book Published” by Phuoc Tran who autographed her book for me! Next up was “What makes an award winning picture book? What makes a book a Caldecott Winner?” by Lisa Von Drasek, which was hysterically funny. Then after lunch (the same exact foods they fed us last year) I attended “Automotive Wellness Training” by Dan Nelson. Next I was suppose to attend “Bees, Bugs and Other Beasts: Gems of the Natural Resources Library’s Rare Book Collection,” but while waiting to go and visit the library learned that it was about a 15 minute walk, uphill, and there were stairs and that would have been really, really bad as sitting all day on bad chairs has messed up my back, so it was off to a talk on “A Primer for Law Enforcement and Government Officials” which was interesting and scary and the last talk of the day was on “Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century” by Tim Johnson & Cheryll Fong, which was really good, as the UMN has one of the largest Sherlock Holmes collections in the world. So a fun day.

Boreas Booya

On Thursday, March 24th, I attended the Boreas Booya, which was hosted by Kristi Kremers and they had a special guest: Darrell Johnson, who talked about working in corporate America and the State of Minnesota. It was a really good talk and its was great to hear that most people working for the government are there because they care about the mission and that they believe in the work that they do.

Here is the blurb about the talk: “Darrell Johnson is the Chief Information Officer for the State of Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency and the Board of Water and Soil Resources. A former business executive, Darrell has navigated the corporate world and now finds himself in-between the intersection of state policy and environmental science. What does it take to be effective in multiple realms, and from an outsider’s perspective, translate science into policy, and policy into effective systems?”