Former Souhegan educator a Fulbright Scholar

Rebecca Martusewicz, a professor of social foun­dations of education in the teacher education department at Eastern Michigan University, was designated a Fulbright Scholar for the 2015 fall semester.

She is conducting re­search and teaching at the University of Tampere, about 110 miles north of Finland’s capital, Hel­sinki.

Between August 2006 and January 2008, Mar­tusewicz was a visiting instructor and consul­tant at Souhegan High School in Amherst, with a focus on educating for sustainability. Along with science teacher Me­lissa Chapman, English teacher Ken Boisselel and social studies teacher Gary Schnakenberg, she developed and co-taught a senior seminar called food systems and sustain­ability, in which students explored social, economic and environmental ef­fects of the contemporary globalized food system, as well as Amherst’s agricul­tural history.

Martusewicz is a schol­ar in a field called EcoJus­tice Education, which ex­amines the common roots of ecological problems and social problems such as sexism, racism and eco­nomic marginalization. These issues are often seen as separate, Mar­tusewicz said, but both come from the same ori­gins in the range of chang­es that accompanied in­dustrialization in Europe and North America.

Martusewicz said Fin­land "represents a really interesting opportunity for understanding these processes. At the end of the second World War, Finland was still mostly rural and agricultural, to a far greater degree than the U.S. So many of the changes that oc­curred in the U.S. over a century and a half were compressed into 30 or so years.

"This change from a ru­ral/agricultural to an ur­ban/industrial society was very rapid – by 1970, the percentages of the popu­lation that were urban versus rural had entirely flipped around. Compul­sory education played a main role in bringing these changes about. … This is what I want to research, and try to uncover some of the effects on Finnish soci­ety and Finland’s environ­ment," she said.

Martusewicz is married to Schnakenberg, a mem­ber of the Souhegan facul­ty from its opening in 1992 through 2011 and Milford High School social stud­ies teacher from 1985-92. In 2013, he was awarded a Ph.D. in geography from Michigan State Univer­sity, where he works as an instructor and is the undergraduate adviser in the geography depart­ment.