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Wayne State College Honors Four Retiring Faculty Members

Published: 5-27-2011 8:45 am

Wayne State recognized four faculty members retiring at the conclusion of this academic year at the May 7 graduation ceremony. Dr. Jean Blomenkamp, professor of education, Dr. Jack Imdieke, professor of business, Dr. Jean Karlen, professor of sociology, and Ms. Janet Schmitz, associate professor of French, have a combined total of 128 years of teaching at Wayne State.

Dr. Jean Blomenkamp came to Wayne State in 1986. She taught in the School of Education and Counseling. She served as department chair for the Educational Foundations and Leadership Department for six years and as interim co-dean during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years. Blomenkamp completed her bachelor and master of science degrees and an administration endorsement at Wayne State College. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was the elementary principal/teacher in the Stanton Community Schools for 13 years and began her educational career at Bryan Elementary-Millard Public Schools where she taught for four years.

Dr. Jack Imdieke, a professor in the Computer Technology and Information Systems (CTIS) Department, has spent 43 years as an educator: six years at the secondary level and 37 years at the collegiate level, with the last 31 years at Wayne State College. He has served on myriad college and departmental committees, has been a grant recipient, has presented at local, regional and national conferences, and has held membership in several professional organizations. He served as the local advisor for Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a business fraternity, for 19 years and was twice recognized as the Nebraska State PBL Advisor of the Year. Imdieke was instrumental in the creation of the computer information systems major and its evolution into the CTIS Department that houses computer science and computer information systems majors.
Dr. Jean C. Karlen joined the faculty at Wayne State College in 1976. She earned all of her degrees in sociology (bachelor's, 1969; master's, 1976; and Ph.D., 1981) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Karlen served as division head of Social Sciences from 1989 to 2001 and Service-Learning campus coordinator from 1999 to 2010.  She has been WSC chapter advisor for the social sciences honor society of Pi Gamma Mu since 1978 and is currently past president of the International Board of Trustees. Karlen has received many awards and honors in her career. In 2003, she received the Nebraska State College System George T. Rebensdorf Teaching Excellence Award. She received the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education Voyager Award in 2006 for outstanding commitment to furthering service-learning and the Midwest Sociological Society Board of Directors Distinguished Service Award in 2000. Karlen's career demonstrates a commitment to education, rural communities, women's issues, and her students, many of whom have gone on to complete master and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields.

Ms. Janet M. Schmitz, associate professor of French, came to Wayne in 1971, and has taught all the courses in French and English literature. She holds a B.A. with honors from Avila University, Kansas City, Mo., and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, earning her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with further graduate study at Wisconsin, Universite Laval, Quebec, UNL, and the Sorbonne and the University of Avignon, France. Before coming to WSC, she taught at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She was the advisor of the WSC French Club and Alpha Mu Gamma language honorary and a longtime member and past president of the American Association of Teachers of French. She served as chair of the WSC Faculty Senate, coordinator of the annual Modern Language Day, led numerous WSC study tours to France, and sponsored teaching abroad programs. Her teaching awards include the Burlington-Northern Foundation Achievement Award, places in five NEH Summer Seminars for College Teachers, four Nebraska International Languages Association Awards, Nebraska French Teacher of the Year in 2003, and the 2010 Balsley-Whitmore Award.

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