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Collab Lab 44: Working with community partners

Thursday December 9, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

How can we work with community partners not just to give our students a richer set of experiences, but to help further partners’ goals?

Sustainable engagement with community partners requires not just that students benefit from that engagement, but that working with teachers and students aligns with and allows partners to meet their own goals.  Join us for a conversation focused on what both schools and partners need, and the much richer set of opportunities that emerge when goals are aligned. This is your chance to connect with K-12 colleagues from across the area, as well as community partners from higher ed, industry, and non-profits to share ideas and explore options where collaborative efforts could help move things along.

Featured Participants

Bev Bryant— Park Naturalist, Wehr Nature Center

Bev has been an interpretative naturalist at Milwaukee County Park’s Wehr Nature Center for thirty years. In that role she has developed inquiry based field experiences for students of all ages and has lead environmental education professional development for teachers. She is passionate about project based learning and how it helps to create engaged citizens.

Catrina Crane— Director of Workforce & Business Solutions, Menomonee Valley Partners

Catrina Crane serves as a trusted extension of every business in the Valley as she aids in delivering solutions to matters affecting the Valley business community. From public safety to workforce, she aids in fostering and building strong relationships to needed resources on behalf of the district. Catrina also coordinates opportunities for engagement, networking, and community impact for Valley businesses such as the Menomonee Valley Business Association, Youth Programs, and Valley Circles.

Elizabeth Taylor— Director of STEM, MSOE

Liz leads the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs for students in grades K-12. She advocates for the alignment of programming efforts with the needs of the community and ensuring program options are available to students of all backgrounds. Her primary interest in her role is in connecting internal and external community members to create one-of-kind STEM experiences that inspire, expose, and sustain interest in STEM among students, parents and educators.

Liz holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and is pursuing an M.S. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from UW-Milwaukee. Prior to joining MSOE, she led a successful career in industry and served as a senior engineer leading global project teams, new product development and intellectual property training for Eaton’s industrial controls division.

Graciela Hernandez— Senior Universal Banker with Summit Credit Union

Grace is a Graduate of UW-Milwaukee with a bachelors in Urban Studies. She has been an active community member in Milwaukee since her teenage years. She has volunteered in many nonprofit agencies and has been an active community member working with Milwaukee Police, Alderman office, local churches and many more business/nonprofit agencies, who require a community member.

Grace is currently a board member with the West Allis Business Improvement District, Member of the Plastic Free Milwaukee, president of St. Michael’s / St. Rose congregation, and a Harbor District advisory Member. Grace is also active in a Navy mom’s group, Crochet groups, parent groups at Bruce Guadalupe School and Nathan Hale High School.

Natalia Hernandez— Outreach Specialist, The Harbor District

Natalia’s role is to inform and engage nearby residents, community members, and other stakeholders in the development of the Harbor District as well as developing and managing events and programming. Natalia has led the public input process for the section of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk that will run from E. Greenfield Avenue to S. Kinnickinnic Ave. She works with various community groups to activate the Harbor District’s first waterfront park, Harbor View Plaza and spearheads planning for Harbor Fest. In her spare time, Natalia serves on the Advisory Board for a Milwaukee-based organization called The Kellogg PEAK Initiative. She also helps run her parent’s grocery store/carry-out restaurant located on 14th and Greenfield in Milwaukee’s South Side. She is a strong advocate for community inclusion and believes in the amazing outcome that will come out of the revitalization of Milwaukee’s Harbor.


5:30 – 6:00 Grab something to eat and drink, say hello

6:00 – 6:30 Introductions

6:30- 8:30 Let’s work through some ideas

Food and beverage will be provided. There is no charge for participation but space is limited!

We are following MSOE’s Covid-19 protocols for this event– masks are required for all attendees regardless of vaccination status.

Pre-Lab Session

4:30 to 5:30 — Learn Deep Fellows Program — Looking towards year 2.

We’re in the midst of planning for the second year of our Fellows Program. We plan to open the application process in January, so this is a chance to hear a bit about the program, potential projects for next year, and how the program will evolve as we add a second cohort of teachers, this year to include both elementary and high schools. Northwestern Mutual’s Hi-Tech program, which has provided seed funding for much of our work to date will be on hand to share the value they see in the program.


Thursday December 9, 2021
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Learn Deep


WE Energies STEM Center at MSOE
1444 North Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202 United States
+ Google Map
(414) 277-7238
View Venue Website

2023-24 Collab Labs

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