Between holding two positions at a Duluth college and being a mother, Amy Bergstrom, master of education program director and assistant professor at the College of St. Scholastica, is able to find time for many different hobbies.
Bergstrom grew up in Carlton, Minn., just outside of Duluth. She attended college at University of Minnesota Duluth, where she majored in Teaching English Language Arts for grades six through 12. After graduating, she became a teacher at the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School in Cloquet, Minn. There, Bergstrom taught English Language Arts to grades seven through 12.
“I knew I wanted to move into teaching in higher education, so I went for my master’s degree in education” Bergstrom said. Bergstrom earned her master’s degree from Harvard University.
“That was truly a transformational experience,” she said reflecting on her time spent at Harvard University.
Bergstrom explained that she worked as an instructor in the Department of Education at University of Minnesota Duluth, and eventually became the program director of an American Indian Teacher Education program. She is proud of that work and the outreach that was done to deliver educational programs to many tribal communities.
“We feel so blessed to have Amy working in our department. She has introduced many wonderful ideas, and she takes advantage of new technology, which is really what we were looking for in the hiring process.” --Cherry Takkunen
Bergstrom attained her doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.
“After I got my doctorate, I was interested in a change. I noticed the position opening at CSS working with graduate level students and it piqued my interest and offered me the opportunity to work with graduate level students which was something I had wanted to do for some time, so I applied, and here I am,” Bergstrom said. Chery Takkunen, the chair of graduate programs in the School of Education at the College of St. Scholastica, is Bergstrom’s current supervisor.
“We feel so blessed to have Amy working in our department,” Takkunen said. “She has introduced many wonderful ideas, and she takes advantage of new technology, which is really what we were looking for in the hiring process.”
Takkunen explained that during the hiring process, the committee asked the applicants to teach a class via Wimba, a type of webinar software. The applicants were also asked to create a video on YouTube.
“Amy did a great job with the software. She used the technology so well,” said Takkunen. “We knew she was the perfect fit for the job.”
Takkunen went on to say that with Bergstrom’s experience in teaching and in administration, and with her connections with school districts, she is a great asset to the Education Department.
Besides working in school settings, Dr. Bergstrom has numerous publications relating to American Indian education, including “Language Revitalization at White Earth Tribal and Community College”, which she wrote in 2006.
In addition, she has also received a number of awards and grants during her professional career in education, including a Youth Non-Fiction Book Award from the American Education Publishers Association for her publication “The Seventh Generation: Native Youth Speak About Finding the Good Path”. Her research interests include retention in higher education, higher education policy, American Indian education, and transformational pedagogy.
In her spare time, Dr. Bergstrom enjoys studying Ojibwe history, culture and language. In addition, she finds the time to play with her 3-year-old son, read and write, improve her digital photography skills, and enjoys movies and music.
Even with a hectic schedule, Bergstrom is able to balance her family and personal life.