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Faculty & Staff

Ms. Mary Brueske

Program Manager

Ms. Mary Brueske is the program manager of the DLiTE K-8 Program and the FasTrack Secondary Initiative. Ms. Brueske's experience with the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system (MnSCU) expands over 17 years and includes community college, technical college, and state university settings.  Mary joined Bemidji State University in 2003. Along with the admissions and program details, Mary currently designs and generates the marketing materials for the DLiTE and FasTrack programs and serves as the website editor.  Ms. Brueske's previous accomplishments include design consulting with new home construction and Real Estate.

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Dr. Barbara Bridges

Professor

Dr. Bridges earned her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota.  She designed the DLiTE and FasTrack programs and served as past-director of both programs.  Barbara also collaborates as a designer, developer and coordinator for ArtsNet Minnesota -an interdisciplinary website for the Walker Art Center, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum, and The Minnesota Museum of American Art.  Dr. Bridges was awarded Minnesota Art Higher Educator of the Year in 1998 and 2008, and Art Educator of the Year in 2008 by the Art Educators of Minnesota.  Barbara's relationship with teachers, students and schools began in Maine where she started teaching art in 1976. She has worked with teachers, artists and students since that time in Maine, Mexico, the Caribbean, and in Minnesota.  Dr. Bridges is also a sculptor who uses themes of rootlessness, lack of identity, solitude and social fragmentation to create historiographic, record keeping, community building artworks.

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Lisa Schmitz

Assistant Professor

Lisa is an assistant professor for the DLiTE Program.  She received her Masters Degree from St. Mary's University.  Lisa brings experience as an Elementary Teacher, Student Advocate, Teacher of the Year, and Committee Chair.  Personal accomplishments include finishing the Twin Cities Marathon, conducting Planned Parenting Seminars, and training teachers in Math Their Way.

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Kris Nei  

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor Kris Nei was born and grew up in Bemidji, Minnesota.  She graduated from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in History in 1980.  In 1995 she earned her Master's Degree in K-12 Curriculum and Instruction through the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She has 32 years of classroom teaching experience in grades 2-6 in both Minnesota and Montana.  Professor Nei has been an educational consultant for Pearson Educational Services and Learning Bridges, and has taught Continuing Education courses at the graduate level through Learning Bridges as an Adjunct Professor for California State University - Bakersfield.  For the past four years she has been an Adjunct Professor of Education in the 2+2 Distance Learning Program at Southwest Minnesota State University and has delivered instruction utilizing both Interactive TV and D2L online.  Professor Nei also is an avid student of travel, history, and culture who likes to cook, weave, scuba dive, and has been known to skydive on occasion.

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