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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.
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
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.
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.
Thur, July 24, 9 am, "Nature and Parks in Finland" with Ken Gilbertson
Meeting Room 203
Fri, July 25, 12:30 pm, “Themes/Obsessions in Finnish-American Poetry” with moderator Jim Johnson, Meeting Room 203
Fri, July 25, 1:30 – 3:30 pm, “Poetry Writing” with Jim Johnson, Paulucci Hall
On Thur, July 24, 3:30 – 5:30 pm, and Fri, July 25, 3:30 - 5 pm, both in the French River Room, Jim and his family perform a kantele and poetry performance, “Remembering Finn Hall.”
Sat, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, He will read his poetry at the banquet, “Celebrating 25 years of FinnFest”
Lake Superior Ballroom J&K
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, 10 am, "Naturally Finnish/Luonnollisesti Suomalainen” artist showcase.
Lake Superior Ballroom O
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. .
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.
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.
Thur, 1 pm, “Was North America Once Part of Finland?” with Richard Ojakangas
Gooseberry Falls Room 3
Fri, July 25, 1:30 pm, "The Rocks of Finland: Vanha, Varied and Valuable!" with Richard Ojakangas
Gooseberry Falls Room 3
Thur, July 24, 3 pm, "Davidson Windmill" with Jim Pellman
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.
Thur, July 24, 10 am, "Race to the Finnish Line" with Arnie Ranta
Meeting Room 204-205
Thur, July 24, 12 pm, "UMD Women's Hockey Team and its Finnish Connection" with Ira "Mimmu" Salmela
Gooseberry Falls Room 2
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.
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.
FinnFest 2008 Organizers with UMD Connections
Jeanne Doty, FinnFest 2008 Co-Chair. UMD Music Department Head, performer
in Third Generation, UMD Alumna
FinnFest 2008 Coordinators
with UMD Connections
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,
firstname.lastname@example.org so you can be added.
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