UMD Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Share Finnish Heritage at FinnFest 2008
The University of Minnesota Duluth is participating in FinnFest 2008 in a big way! The five-day festival, July 23-27, will be held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), situated on Lake Superior in downtown Duluth. Over a dozen UMD faculty, staff, and alumni are part of an array of scholars, presenters, and performers at the festival.
FinnFest events include a contemporary fashion show, a scenic train ride, a concert by the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Osmo Vänskä, a golf scramble, a midnight 5K run, and a high profile visit by the president of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen. Add to that a rock concert, numerous area tours, nightly dances, Finnish cuisine, close to 300 lectures and concerts, and a women’s panel featuring national leaders. Tickets for major events are now available at the UMD Kirby Information Desk.
“Sharing the Spirit of Finland” is the title of this year’s FinnFest, with programs focusing around four major themes: Finnish culture; the music of Finland; the contributions of women of Finnish heritage, and the Finnish-Anishinaabe connection. The title underscores a deep commitment to involving the entire community – not just people of Finnish descent.
UMD Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Showcased at FinnFest 2008
WE KNOW WE HAVE MISSED PEOPLE! If you are a UMD faculty member, staff member, student or alumna/us presenting at FinnFest, we want to feature you on this page. Contact Cheryl Reitan, email@example.com so you can be added.
Elaine Ahlgren is a 36-year member and current president
of the Aallottaren Tupa in Duluth. She is a UMD grad and is involved in
the Minnesota Finnish-American Historical Society Duluth Chapter, Sampo
Association, and the Järvenpää Singers.
Fri, July 25, 2:30 pm, "Ladies of Kaleva: A Second Century of Activity" with Elaine Ahlgren
Gooseberry Falls Room 1
Arnold R. Alanen, who attended UMD, teaches landscape
history and historic preservation in the Department of Landscape Architecture
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Alanen has written extensively
about the Finns, mining towns, and agricultural settlements of northeastern
Minn. His recent book, Morgan Park: Duluth, U.S. Steel, and the Forging
of a Company Town, features the famous Duluth community that once
Thur, July 24, 11 am – 1 pm, “History of the Finns in Minnesota & Duluth” with Arnold Alanen
Fri, July 25, 1:30 pm, “Finnish Immigrant Architecture” with Arnold Alanen
Meeting Room 202
Gladys (Mayry) Aukee watched her mother, Impi, pack
boxes of food for her family living on the shores of Kyrösjärvi,
Finland. Finland's war with Russia was an emotional concern, not only
for the welfare of family members, but because of the death of an uncle,
a soldier on the eastern front. Gladys, a Suomi College and UMD graduate
with a BS and MA in speech pathology, taught for many years.
Fri, July 25, 4:30 pm, "Finnish Relief Efforts from the U.S." with moderator Gladys Aukee
Gooseberry Falls Room 1
Ken Gilbertson is a professor of outdoor and environmental education at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has worked with the Finnish Forest and Park Service (Metsähallitus) over the past 15 years. During Fall 2008, Ken spent three months studying sustainability of nature tourism in Finnish parks. Ken has been teaching outdoor education at UMD for 30 years. He is working with Finnish universities and (Metsähallitus) to develop a sustainability education program for nature-based tourists.
Michael Linn is professor of linguistics at the University
of Minnesota Duluth. Mike has a special interest in the language of Finnish
immigrants and how it changes over time because of his family. His immigrant
Finnish grandfather worked in the underground mines in Idaho and Montana
and Mike worked as a lumberjack with Finns in Montana. Since 1980, Mike
has been studying the language of Northern Minn. with a special interest
in the English of the Finns. He has done research at Joensuu University,
taught at Tampere University, and been a Fulbright Lecturer at Petrozavodsk
Sat, July 26, 11 am, "Evolution of Finnish and English in Northern Minnesota" with Pekka Hirvonen and Mike Linn
Lake Superior Ballroom L
UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin is featured on a panel
of women leaders along with the President of Finland Tarja Halonen, former
Ambassador to Finland Marilyn Ware; FinnFest USA President and Finnish
Studies Researcher K. Marianne Wargelin; Lake Superior College Dean Hanna
Erpestad; and three-time Minnesota Legislator Arlene Lehto. This panel
will consider the influence of Finland as they explore women’s leadership
styles, women mentors and role models, challenges and opportunities for
women leaders, the nature and importance of female relationships, and
the roles women play in Finland and the USA. .
Sat, 10 am, “Panel of Women Leaders”
Jerry Niemi, a UMD professor, will be leading a bird
watching tour in the Western Lake Superior area. Jerry is a native Duluthian
who attended Duluth Central High School, received his bachelor's and master's
degrees from UMD, and his Ph.D. from Florida State University. He was
a Fulbright scholar at the University of Helsinki in 1981. He has hosted
six Finnish ornithologists at UMD and has visited Finland for research
on birds and forests. Jerry has worked at UMD for over 20 years directing
research, teaching ornithology and conservation biology. He has written
over 200 articles, received more than $18 million in research funding
and was named Outstanding Scientist in the Great Lakes for 2006-2007 by
the International Joint Commission.
Sun, July 27, 7-9 am, Birding with a Finn" with Ornithologist Jerry Niemi
Minnesota Point, Free. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for all details
Beatrice Ojakangas grew up on a farm near Floodwood,
Minn., and graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her first
cookbook, The Finnish Cookbook (researched when she lived in
Finland), was published in 1964 and is still in print. After writing The
Great Scandinavian Baking Book, Beatrice received a James Beard Foundation
Award, the highest industry honor awarded to a culinary professional.
She has written over 25 cookbooks and writes a regular magazine column.
Fri, July 25, 2:30 pm, "Fusion, Confusion and Finnish Food" with Beatrice Ojakangas
Meeting Room 203
Sat, July 26, 9 am, "Viili-Real Finnish Culture" with Beatrice Ojakangas
Gooseberry Falls Room 2
Alexis Pogorelskin, Professor of History at the University
of Minnesota Duluth, is published widely in Russian intellectual history,
especially on the topic of political opposition to Stalin. She is the
editor of the NEP Journal, Soviet History 1921-1928, and was
guest editor of the Journal of Finnish Studies volume devoted
to Karalian Fever. The film Pogorelskin is producing, Show Me the
Way to Go Home, is a documentary that presents a full accounting
and historical background of the recruitment and experiences of those
in the Finnish-American community who went to Soviet Karelia in the 1930s.
Sat, July 26, 1 pm, "Karelian Fever" with Richard Hudelson and Alexis Pogorelskin
Gooseberry Falls Room 2
Sun, July 27, 11 am, “A Documentary on Karelian Fever: A Work in Progress” with Alexis Pogorelskin
Meeting Room 202
Larry Saukko is the dean of Salolampi, the Finnish Language
Village, where he has been on staff for 32 years. He is also the dean
of Waldsee, the German Language Village for Village Weekend Programs.
Saukko graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in foreign language
education, specializing in German and French. He has worked on a master's
degree in curriculum development. He taught high school German and English,
taught Finnish in community education and community college programs,
and served as business administrator of Concordia College's Institute
of German Studies.
Thur, July 24, 2 pm, "Survival Finnish" Meeting Room 202
Sat, July 26, 3 pm, "Survival Finnish", Gooseberry Falls Room 1
Margaret Olson Webster is a graduate of University of
Minnesota Duluth and has taught high school, college art and home economics
for nearly three decades. Several of her books on Finnish culture have
been nominated for book awards and her plays have been performed widely.
She received the Hubert Humphrey award for her work in community art and
recently published Life Times Six, intimate glimpses into the joys
and struggles of six generations of Northland immigrants.
Thur, July 24, 4 pm, "History as Inspiration: a Writers' Panel" with moderator Beth Virtanen
Gooseberry Falls Room 2
Fri, July 25, 11:30 am, "Kalevala Today" with Margaret Olson Webster
Meeting Room 202
Webster also performs, Heroes in Action, a humorous and action-packed play which imparts the meaning of the Kalevala in today’s terms.
Wed, July 23, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, Heroes in Action, Lake Superior Ballroom L
Sat, July 26, 8 pm, Heroes in Action, Lake Superior Ballroom L
FinnFest 2008 Organizers with UMD Connections
Jeanne Doty, FinnFest 2008 Co-Chair. UMD Music Department Head, performer
in Third Generation, UMD Alumna
Diane Fay Skomars, FinnFest 2008 Co-Chair, UMD Office of Development, UMD Alumna
Beatrice Ojakangas, FinnFest 2008 Honorary Co-Chair, UMD Alumna
Loretta Suliin Busch, FinnFest Music Chair, performer in the Järvenpää Choir, UMD Alumna
Olli Rahkola, Fund Raising Chair, UMD Alumnus
Eira Bridges, Food Committee Chair, Former UMD Registrar Staff
Patty Salo Downs, FinnFest Ceremonies Chair, UMD Alumna
Susan Maki, FinnFest Tours and Transportation Chair, UMD Alumna
George Himango, Finnish Anishinaabe Connection Chair, UMD Alumnus
Verna Richardson, FinnFest Registration Chair, UMD Kirby Student Center
Ira Salmela, FinnFest Publicity Chair, UMD Public Relations Assistant
FinnFest 2008 Coordinators
with UMD Connections
Alison Aune, FinnFest Artistic Projects Coordinator, UMD Faculty
Sheila Autio, FinnFest FinnFest Souvenir Program Book Coordinator, UMD Staff
Christine Ebert, FinnFest DECC Liaison Assistant, UMD Staff
Lisa Fitzpatrick, UMD Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab
Brett Groehler, FinnFest Photographer, UMD Photographer
Kit Hautamaki, FinnFest DECC Chair, UMD Staff
Geri Kangas, FinnFest Fashion Show Coordinator, Former UMD Staff
Marion Syrjämäki-Kuchta, FinnFest Blue and White Flower Project assistant, UMD Staff
Patricia Maus, FinnFest UMD Library Display Coordinator, UMD Library Staff
Ken Moran, Official FinnFest Photographer, Former UMD Photographer
Dave Myers, FinnFest Web site Consultant, UMD Student
Kathy Neff, FinnFest Minnesota Orchestra Coordinator, UMD Staff
Cheryl Reitan, FinnFest FinnFest Souvenir Program Editor/Designer, UMD Staff
Neale Roth, FinnFest Film Coordinator, Former UMD Staff
Angel and Andy Sauer, FinnFest Design Team, Deginers of the FinnFest 2008, UMD Alumni
Don Schraufnagel, FinnFest Sound Consultant, UMD Staff
WE KNOW WE HAVE MISSED PEOPLE! If you are
a UMD faculty member, staff member, student or alumna/us presenting at
FinnFest, we want to feature you on this page. Contact Cheryl Reitan,
email@example.com so you can be added.
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