Photo by Benjamin Wideman
By Suzanne Weiss/Director of Public Relations
MANITOWOC, Wis. — Sister Michaela Melko was named professor emeritus during Silver Lake College’s Winter Commencement Ceremony on Dec. 17. The honor is given to retired faculty members who have made substantial contributions to Silver Lake College and to their professions. The status allows Sister Melko to retain all the rights of a faculty member.
Sister Michaela retired from full-time teaching in August 2015, after 35 years of dedicated service to Silver Lake College. She continues to volunteer in the School of Education, promoting the mission of Silver Lake College through her participation.
From 2011 until her retirement, Sister Michaela was director of graduate education and director of the master’s program for administrator leadership. From 1992 to 2014, she served as director of graduate studies. From 1974 to 1981, and again from 1987 to 1994, she taught in the science and education departments.
“It is evident Sister Michaela is a faculty role model for teaching excellence and scholarship,” said Nancy Sim, chair of the department of graduate education, who also praised Sister Michaela’s many contributions to the college in the area of active service.
Sister Michaela’s professional involvement at Silver Lake College has included leadership as faculty chair and faculty development committee chair, and memberships in the president’s council and dean’s council. She was a member of the committee that established the first graduate program in education, specifically teacher leadership, and was instrumental in establishing the first learning communities for administrator leadership. She also helped charter Silver Lake College’s Upsilon Mu Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi honor society in education.
While at Silver Lake College, she received: the Outstanding Achievement Award as professor of science; a certificate of recognition from the science committee of the Green Bay Diocese; the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award; and the Sister Anne Kennedy Presidential Award, among other honors.
Sister Michaela entered Holy Family Convent in 1952, was received into the novitiate on June 13, 1956, and professed her first vows on Aug. 15, 1957. Sister Michaela made her final profession on Aug. 15, 1962.
After entering Holy Family Convent and completing two years at Holy Family College with a major in math, Sister Michaela attained a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a major in physics and minors in math and chemistry. In 1968, she earned a Master of Science degree from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., with a major in physics and a minor in chemistry. In 1974, she received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in curriculum and instruction-science education.
Sister Michaela also served at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha for 16 years, first as a physics, chemistry and math teacher, and later as acting principal.