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Lynda Fernholz



Prof. Lynda Fernholz, Ph.D., joined the UW-Stevens Point School of Education faculty in fall 2016. Prior to becoming the Assistant Dean-Head of the School of Education in January 2019, she taught Methods and Materials for Teaching Reading I (EDUC 302), Methods and Materials for Teaching Language Arts (EDUC 310) and was part of the Elementary Methods Block faculty. She served as the Reading Coordinator for School of Education graduate add-on licenses. Fernholz also served as faculty co-adviser for the Aspiring Educators student organization 2017-2021 and participated on the executive committee for the 2017 and 2018 Wisconsin State Reading Association (WSRA) Conventions.

Currently, Fernholz is an active member of Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas nonprofit organization and serves as an adviser for Project Alianza. She is involved in a variety of Nicaraguan Literacy Projects and is an active philanthropist for charitable organizations that promote sustainable literacy practices for children worldwide. Her research interests include both sustainable literacy education and creating global experiences for pre-service teachers that will help meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners in today’s classrooms.

Consequently, in a globalizing world of limited resources and unlimited ingenuity, teachers today play a vital role in preparing children to meet the sustainability challenges of the future.  It is this knowledge fuels Fernholz’s passion for transforming perspectives about best pedagogies for teaching reading to all children worldwide. Her numerous trips to rural Nicaragua have inspired her current research in transforming perspectives of teachers through study aboard opportunities. Under her leadership, the UW-Stevens Point School of Education is now collaborating with the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partnership (W/NP) toward supporting ongoing efforts in teacher training, increasing the supplies of new books and school supplies while providing increased global experiences for educators that ultimately serve as bridges to global awareness.

Fernholz earned her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy in 2014 from Cardinal Stritch University and her master’s degree in reading education and bachelor’s degree in education from Viterbo University. Her previous experience includes teaching at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI as a Literacy Professor and as a sixth-grade teacher for the West Salem School District.

Research and Interests

Teaching Experience

  • Assistant Dean-Head of the School of Education, UW-Stevens Point (2019-present)
  • Professor, School of Education, UW-Stevens Point (2016-present)
  • Professor, School of Education, Viterbo University (2008-2016)
  • Adjunct Instructor, School of Education, Viterbo University (2006-2008)
  • Classroom Teacher, West Salem Middle School (1992-2008)

Research Interests

  • Transformative Learning for Sustainability and Equity in Education for Rural Communities
  • Equitable Teaching & Learning for Diverse Learners and Students Living in Poverty
  • Using PDS Relationships to Enact Equitable Internship Experiences
  • International Study Abroad Opportunities for Pre-Service and In-service Teachers



  • WATCE Executive Committee Member (2020-present)
  • UW Deans and Directors (2019-present)
  • UW Institutional Review Board Committee (2019-2022)
  • CPS Deans Cabinet (2019-present)
  • SOE Harju Center for Equity in Education Committee (2019-present)
  • SOE Conduct Committee (2019-present)
  • SOE Undergraduate and Graduate Leadership Team (2019-present)
  • SOE Scholarship Committee (2016-present)
  • UW Institutional Review Board Committee (2019-2022)
  • SOE Foundations of Reading Workshop Instructor (2018-2020)
  • SOE Aspiring Educators – Faculty Co-Adviser (2017-2021)
  • SOE Personnel Committee (2019-2022)


  • Midwest Wisconsin Reading Council (2008-present)
  • Portage County Literacy Council (2020-present)
  • Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners Member (2016-present)

Professional Memberships

  • American Association Colleges of Teacher Education (2014-present)
  • Wisconsin Association Colleges of Teacher Education (2020-present)
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association (1998-present)
  • Literacy Research Association (LRA) (2009-present)
  • International Society of Scholarly Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) (2009-present)
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (2015-present)
  • Professional Schools of Development Association (PDS) (2013-present)
  • Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) (2008-present)

Presentations and Publications


  • Chelberg, K., Fernholz, L., Luke, L., Perock, C., Strike, K., & Zientek, A. (2020).
    Wisconsin Educator Rising Curriculum. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
  • Fernholz, L. (2014). Theory into Practice: Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Effective Literacy Instruction Using New Literacies and Technologies. Cardinal Stritch University, 2014, 265 pages; 3642749 (peer-reviewed).


  • Fernholz, L., Boernke, M. (2022). Full Steam Ahead – Girls in STEM Summer Program. Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, Denver CO. (peer-reviewed).
  • Fernholz, L. (2020).  A Collaborative, Inclusive and Sustainable Model for Clinical Preparation and Shared Responsibility. American Association Colleges of Teacher Education Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA (peer-reviewed).
  • Fernholz, L., Bueno, S. A., & Roth, K. (Ed.) (2020, February). Alternative Certification Reimagined. American Association Colleges of Teacher Education Annual Meeting, Atlanta GA. (peer-reviewed).

Fun Facts

Last book you read?

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Best advice you ever received?

Leaders show up and give 100 percent every day because if you are not present you take away from the efforts of others who want to be successful. Show up and participant because it is the right thing to do. Pay attention to the good stuff.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A famous writer of young adult novels

Favorite Quote?

Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. Service is love made visible – Martin Luther King

One thing about your school that you are most proud of?

School of Education faculty and staff will always put our students first because we will care for them for a lifetime. We are proud to be the virtual host of the annual Wisconsin Educators Rising Conference for high school students all around the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, we continue to plan for our Harju Center for Equity in Education, our efforts to level the playing field of all Wisconsin students especially those living in rural districts.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Teaching children how to read is the most important skill we can provide to a child. Preparing pre-service teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to implement research-based best practices in their practicums, student teaching, and in their future classroom fills my bucket!

A piece of advice for students in your school?

Teaching is love made visible. There is nothing more rewarding than being engaged in the lives of other people because it is good work, hard work, noble work.



Lynda Fernholz
Assistant Dean - School of Education
Professor - Literacy
Faculty Co-Adviser - Aspiring Educators
Faculty Adviser - Student Chapter Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas

472 College of Professional Studies


Ph.D. in Language and Literacy
Cardinal Stritch University, 2014

M.A. in Reading
Viterbo Univeristy

B.S. in English
Viterbo University


EDUC 302 - Methods & Materials for Teaching Reading I
EDUC 309 - Methods & Materials for Teaching Reading II
EDUC 310 - Methods & Materials for Teaching Language Arts
EDUC 340/540 - Transforming Perspectives Through Study Abroad
EDUC 386 - Content Literacy in the Secondary School
EDUC 398 - Student Teaching
EDUC 715 – Application and Analysis of Reading Instruction
EDUC 740 – Improvement in Reading
EDUC 747 – Supported Literacy