WSU, Navy Honor High-Flying Sailor/Teacher
Leslie Hall, WSU College of Education, email@example.com, 509-358-7546;
Julie Titone, Director of Communications WSU College of Education, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-335-6850
SPOKANE, Wash.—There are achievement awards, like those the U.S. Navy and Washington State University bestow. Then there are life rewards, the kind that can’t be framed and put on the wall. Nick Lundberg has experienced both.
In the reward category, he counts the reaction of Sheridan Elementary sixth-graders, who were wowed when he showed up last Veterans Day in uniform. Lundberg was both their student teacher—he’s about to receive a master in teaching degree from WSU Spokane—and a Naval aircrewman in the active reserves.
“It opened a whole new world for them,” Lundberg said of the various ways he shared his military experiences with kids in teacher Christine Lounsbury’s class this year. “I thought it might be just a few of the boys who were interested, but everybody was interested.”
Under the award category, Lundberg will receive a 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, which is given to WSU graduates who exemplify exceptional leadership and service to the Spokane campus and the community.
He was also Reserve Sailor of the Year in 2009 for his air unit, Patrol Squadron Six-Nine based at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., and earned the title Reserve Sailor of the Year for Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group and is competing for Navy Reserve Forces Sailor of the Year.
The Chancellor’s Award is well-deserved, said Clinical Associate Professor Leslie Hall in the WSU College of Education. She coordinates the master in teaching program, which is designed for people who earned a bachelor’s degree in another subject—in Lundberg’s case, social science.
Hall is impressed that Lundberg juggled such a demanding program along with the required student teaching, his Naval Reserve obligations, and family life (he’s the father of a boy and girl, ages 6 and 4).
“Nick’s calm demeanor has made him a stalwart of the program,” she said. “He thinks through both large and small issues, often asking the right questions to help his peers see how issues can be overcome or added pressures can be dealt with.”
Lundberg will have to pick up his Chancellor’s Award after the May 7 commencement ceremonies, because his reserve duties will keep him from accepting it then.
Like many master in teaching students, Lundberg, 29, is launching a new career. His first was in the Navy, on active duty, from 1999-2008. His work on P-3 Orion surveillance planes took him all over Asia and the Middle East.
After becoming a reservist, he worked in financial services, but that career path didn’t excite him. The prospect of teaching did. Plus, he had a role model in his former squadron commander: Rear Admiral Douglas Asbjornsen, a reservist whose civilian job title is superintendent of the Reardan-Edwall School District.