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Remembering Dr. Myron 'Mike' Schneiderwent

Posted on May 12, 2013
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Dr. Myron Mike Schneiderwent spent 35 years teaching in the Distance Learning Center

Dr. Myron 'Mike' Schneiderwent spent 35 years teaching in the Distance Learning Center

Myron Schneiderwent, Professor Emeritus of Physics, taught astronomy and physics through the Distance Learning Center since operations began in 1978.  He retired from the university more than ten years ago but continued to teach with Distance Learning until only weeks before his passing on Friday, May 10, 2013.  Myron, known to all as Mike, spent 35 of his 45 years teaching for the University of Wisconsin-Superior as an online professor for the Distance Learning Program.  He was recently honored with UW-Superior's Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Schneiderwent started his education with the intent on becoming a high school math teacher. He received his Bachelor of Science (Math Major, Physics Minor, General Science Minor, and Teaching Minor in Political Science) from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In addition, he received a Master of Arts in Mathematics and Science Education from Western Michigan, an MSCS in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Mississippi and an Education Doctorate in Physics Education from the University of Northern Colorado.  He attended numerous other schools, including:  University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Michigan, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Colorado, Central Michigan University, University of Minnesota-Duluth and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.  He described his college experience as satisfying but quite difficult. He remembered, fondly, specific faculty at each institution who were his mentors and role models.

Dr. Schneiderwent became interested in the Extended Degree Program, now the Distance Learning Center, before it started.He applied for the Directors position but was happy to receive the teaching position. When recently asked in an interview how much the Distance Learning Center has changed in 35 years he stated, "We started out as a normal correspondence program.There were no computers then so everything was handled by mail and the telephone." The challenges he faced were designing a lab experience outside of a lab. It was done with take home labs and computer simulations.

Mike's advice to new instructors of Distance Learning was to over prepare your courses and to have them ready weeks before the students get to see them.  His advice to students--there is a great deal of reading to do.  The Module Reviews are important as are the course objectives.  He recommended 40 hours of study before taking each test.  He described his students as hard-working, capable students in an asynchronous manner.  When asked about Distance Learning faculty and staff, he described them as a "super professional competent machine."

Betty Lou Mannigel Imler, a 2012 UW-Superior Graduate and student of Dr. Schneiderwent (Astronomy 100 in 2007) had this to say after learning of his passing, "As a non-traditional Distance Learning, older student, the mere mention of Astronomy made me nervous, but, after the first phone contact with Dr. Schneiderwent I was hooked.   Over a period of time I grew to admire and have deep respect not only for his knowledge, but his passion of the stars.  There were many nights we would contact each other about the beautiful constellations that were in view and discussed, with excitement, the upcoming constellations of the winter sky.  Dr. Schneiderwent suggested I subscribe to "Night Sky", an email about the stars,planets and constellations.  Six years later I still enjoy reading the monthly newsletter and I do so with him in mind. Every time I look up at the stars I will continue to think of him and the appreciation he taught me to have for our beautiful solar system. Thank you, Dr. Schneiderwent for the memories."

Dr. Randy Gabrys Alexson, Professor in the Natural Science Department added, "Mike was my colleague, mentor and dear friend for more than 25 years. He epitomized the phrase "gentleman and scholar." He cared for his students so much and he generously shared his knowledge, expertise and time. The university was enriched through his
dedication and will be diminished by his loss."

Earlier this term, contributors from the Distance Learning Center staff created the Mike Schneiderwent Scholarship Fund in the UW-Superior Foundation to honor Mike. The fund will now be a memorial to Mike, and will help support future Distance Learning students.

Myron "Mike" Schneiderwent passed away Friday, May 10, 2013 due to complications from congestive heart disease. His wife was by his side.  All who knew him are with heavy heart as the semester comes to an end.  He will be remembered fondly by students, co-workers, and friends.

News Contact: Amanda Palmer | aplame11{atuws}
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