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Science education champion to be remembered Friday

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Susan Goetz on Friday, March 21.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Susan Goetz on Friday, March 21.
St. Catherine University photo.

Professor Emerita Susan Goetz died Tuesday, March 18.

A professor of education, Dr. Goetz joined the St. Catherine University faculty in 1999 and was the first director of the department’s online master’s degree program. She later served as director for undergraduate and graduate education licensure programs.

Dr. Goetz’s research interests centered around learning styles and gender as they relate to science education, teaching methodologies and the impact of technology on learning. A Fulbright Scholar, she presented at national and international conferences including the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, the National Science Teachers Association and the Oxford (England) Round Table.

Her book, Science for Girls: Successful Strategies for the Classroom, was published by Scarecrow Press in 2007, and offered teachers and parents ideas to bridge gaps in science achievement for girls.

Dr. Goetz was also one of the original faculty members of the University’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) planning group. The interdisciplinary team created a model of STEM elementary education that has been recognized nationally for its scope and innovation.

She served on numerous University committees, advisory boards and task groups, including the University’s Educational Policies Committee (chair), the Internationalization Council and Global Studies Advisory Group.

A 3M Mentoring Project science mentor, Dr. Goetz led students on Global Search for Justice trips to Namibia and South Africa, as well as study abroad trips to England.

Off campus, she served a one-year term as president of the Minnesota chapter of the Fulbright Scholarship program and was elected to a two-year term on the executive committee of the Minnesota Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE).

Before joining St. Kate's, Dr. Goetz was on faculty at Hamline University and the University of St. Thomas. In addition, she was an elementary school principal for five years and taught at the elementary and secondary levels for 14 years.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University (ethology/biology), and both a master’s (environmental science) and a doctorate (educational foundations, policy and administration) from the University of Michigan.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Friday, March 21 at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of Victory Chapel on St. Catherine University’s St. Paul campus, 2004 Randolph Avenue. The St. Catherine community is welcome to attend.

March 19, 2014 by Julie Michener

See also: Faculty, STEM