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Shawano Resident Kelli Chelberg Wins 2020 Faculty Member of Year Award


Dr. Kelli Chelberg

A long and varied career in education has been recognized with the selection of Dr. Kelli Chelberg as the American Indian College Fund’s Faculty Member of the Year at the College of Menominee Nation. The award was announced in August during a convocation for CMN employees. The online event marked the start of the College’s fall semester and Chelberg’s 17th year of teaching at the Keshena campus.


A Shawano, Wisconsin, resident, she previously taught in O’Fallon, Illinois; Fort Peck (Montana) Reservation, and Shawano schools.


Since 2012, Chelberg has served as CMN’s Field Experience Coordinator for teacher education students completing practicum hours and student teaching in local school districts. Her award citation noted the value of her early career experience as a K-12 teacher in schools having diverse student populations. It was there, the citation continues, “where she learned to value all students and found ways to support their growth to their fullest potential” and gained the widespread teaching experiences that enable her “to connect the classroom to the real-world” for those preparing to become teachers.


Along with institutional development work through College and Education Department committees, Chelbeg has participated in several projects supporting young learners and their families. Her contributions to school readiness, school success, and family engagement have been advanced in the Menominee community by grant-funded initiatives such as CMN’s College 4 Kids literacy program and via materials shared with area daycare, school, and Head Start facilities.


More recently, Chelberg’s grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Education received a $1.4 million five-year award. She currently serves as Director for the resulting Aspiring Native Educators Project which serves students seeking CMN’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and Wisconsin teacher licensure. The project is titled Espaehkawak akekoh Mamacequtwak Kaehkenohamowekowak (Is pay key wuk ah key ko Mama chet taw wuk Kaeh kay no ha mo we ko wuk), which is Menominee for, “They rise up, those Indian Teachers.”


A doctoral graduate of Wisconsin’s Edgewood College (2019), Chelberg focused her graduate studies on mentoring and identifying educational strategies relating to American Indian students and their persistence in postsecondary educational settings. She received her Master of Science in Education from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (1999) and Bachelor of Science in Education from Greenville University, Greenville, Ill. (1994).


Chelberg’s professional writing has appeared in recent peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Education Sciences, Journal for Women and Minorities in Technology, and International Journal of Higher Education. She has held the American Indian College Fund’s Blanchard Faculty Fellowship (2017-2018) and Mellon Faculty Fellowship (2018-19).