NSR concludes its 2015-2016 publication schedule. A Keynote Address and Reflections- by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR editors Bryce Gadke and Sara Tomlinson. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

NSR concludes its 2015-2016 publication schedule. A Keynote Address and Reflections – by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR editors Bryce Gadke and Sara Tomlinson. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

2016 spring coverage BMed

[The North Star Reports  global areas of coverage, 253 original articles, student written and edited,  in less than three years.]

Reflections on Farcebook after the keynote speech. The North Star Reports and the spirit of gratitude and service. “Everywhere i go, my elders travel by my side. i stayed up all night fussing over a keynote address for the Lake Superior Writing Summit. it is a great honor to be invited, and wonderful to share the excellent work of hundreds of The North Star Reports’ student writers and editors. as i fussed, it occurred to me that our main mission statement, “Those of us fortunate enough to receive an education, and to travel, have an ethical obligation to serve others” is tied to the lessons taught by my paternal grandmother. sold as a child bride, she worked since youth as a farm laborer, endured a lifetime of humiliation, toil and poverty — yet the thing she regretted the most, the thing that made her the saddest, is that she was not allowed to go to school and died in her 90s illiterate. ironically, or maybe not, she raised a family of scholars and teachers, and would spend weekend afternoons watching us read — always with that look of sadness and wonderment. a door left closed to her that she opened for her children and grandchildren. i think of this often, and share this story with my students, because on a day to day basis, there are plenty of things to complain about, to worry about. it is useful to remind one selves of how fortunate we are, to be grateful, and to remember the obligation to serve that comes with this good fortune. though gone for decades, not a day goes by that i do not think of these elders, my paternal and maternal grandparents, and the lessons they left for us, and how much more i have to do to honor them. when our elders travel with us, we are never alone.” Professor Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., publisher and editor in chief, The North Star Reports

North Star Reports Keynote 2016 Script plus FB 2.0 Professor Liang


[From Lake Superior Summit on the Teaching of Writing and English as a Second Language 2016 Keynote Address. Photo courtesy of Professor Jamie White-Farnham.]

One of the most interesting takeaways I got from the entire speech occurred before the speech was actually presented. Professor Zelman (currently my professor for first year composition) said, “Hello Bryce, I’m glad you could come to the keynote speech. This is a great opportunity to see what English professors do regularly outside the classroom.” My first reaction to his comment was confusion because I was unaware of what the entire day entailed as a summit for writing was just getting underway. Secondly, I asked myself is Professor Liang giving a speech to a room full of English teachers and professors? After the speech I collected documents from the table at the entrance and read what some of the other speeches would be on the rest of the day and realized that having the speech for NSR as the keynote was fitting. During the speech I also realized a form of translation (how we discussed in class and you touched on in your speech) that was not evident to me when discussing in class. I take for granted my participation in NSR comments and annotating news articles because that has been steady for me not only this semester, but also first semester. Now I can fully realize the grander themes at play when I am commenting and annotating, also hopefully writing for, in the near future. I think that the general interest in the topic was high in the audience. Teachers and professors from around the area may develop more of an interest in the future for participation, which seemed evident by the intrigue level as I looked around the room during the speech and during the question portion at the end. Not only does going further in-depth on the everyday occurrences of NSR help by providing a general understanding for those that are unaware; it provides perspective for those involved in the process and allows development of a deeper understanding and appreciation in one’s own work and the always present hard work that you put forth for not only your students, but also students in the surrounding area. The students you don’t have that participate in one way or another is a number that I surely assume will grow in the near future. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the NSR team.

Bryce Gadke, social media editor, The North Star Reports


While listening to Professor Liang tell others about our organization, he offered us all an insight into why he is inspired to devote his time and energy to this cause. As many of us know, time is something we do not have very much of. Each day is slowly chipped away by both commitments and things we enjoy doing. If we are lucky enough, those two things overlap and we enjoy the majority of where our time goes. Listening to Professor Liang was a great reminder of why those of us involved in the North Star Reports do what we do. We want to create an inclusive learning environment while always keeping diversity in mind. His speech brought those values back to the forefront, and renewed my drive to be a positive influence for our readers.

Sara Tomlinson, social media editor, The North Star Reports

keynote 2

[Photo courtesy of editor Gadke] For more information on the Lake Superior Writing Summit, see https://www.facebook.com/groups/1038859289462215/

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (http://theMiddleGroundJournal.org).

For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu


Filed under North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang

17 responses to “NSR concludes its 2015-2016 publication schedule. A Keynote Address and Reflections- by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR editors Bryce Gadke and Sara Tomlinson. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

  1. Gina Palmi

    This was a great ending article to the semester. It makes the course come full circle and leaves you feeling accomplished. I know most of us complain about going to school and having to study, but we need to remember how fortunate we really are. Having the chance to go to school is a blessing and a privilege many people don’t get to experience.

  2. This was the perfect way to end my semester! I feel as Bryce did, just going through the motions sometimes when it comes to some “tedious” assignments in classes. As I grow and my time in undergrad becomes shorter, I am learning to take each assignment with a grain of salt and to keep in mind the benefits of each moment here in post-secondary education. Thank you!

  3. Jacob Carson

    I often find myself taking what opportunities that I have been given for granted. It is hard to understand how lucky we are to have this opportunity to become college graduates,it is something that some people only dream of. I believe that as I have continued on the path of my higher education I have begun to understand why we do have an obligation to spread our knowledge with the world around us. It is because in doing so, we create a place where ignorance is not accepted, and where learning and truth becomes what matters most. And in times like these, we need a world in which truth matters.

  4. Molly Enich

    Reading the story of Professor Liang’s grandmother was very eye opening to me. At the level of education we are at, it is so hard to picture being illiterate. I take reading for granted everyday, and I sometime’s take my take here at St. Scholastica for granted as well. When classes are tough and they become a great source of stress, it is not always easy to be appreciative of college. However, it is always important to remember how many opportunities we have, resources we have available, and the knowledge we have all acquired.

  5. Jenna Algoo

    Professor Liang: Your comments are always worthwhile to keep close to the heart and the mind, in my opinion. We often do take things for granted, it’s easy to. My grandmother is the same way, she was forced to work as a child and went through a lot of trials and tribulations that no single person should. But she is one of the family’s greatest motivators to get an education.
    Bryce and Sara: It sounds like it was a wonderful event to attend! I’m glad students attended and could voice their opinions on the matter for the rest of us. It’s important to know what events like this could do for students as well as professors/teachers.

  6. Nichole DeBoom

    Hearing stories of Professor Liang’s grandmother was probably one of the most eye opening stories I heard in his class. Those of us who are privileged, often forget how lucky we are, and those who are not, dream of what people like you and me have. I could not imagine living in today’s world illiterate. Bryce and Sara I am happy you guys were able to attend such an event, to speak for your fellow classmates!

  7. Bryce, I completely agree with your reflection on what Professor Liang said about his grandmother. After reading the story he shared, I feel so honored and privileged to participate in the North Star Reports. I now have a new, increased appreciation for the opportunities I have to read, comment, annotate, and write. Thank you to Professor Liang, Bryce, and Sara for sharing this special conclusion. I look forward for what is to come next!

  8. Jena O'Byrne

    I really enjoyed this reflection on NSR and History in general. I was really intrigued with Professor Liang’s families story. I liked he depicted within his own family how the lengths our ancestors/family will go to, in order to ensure a good future for those to come affect future generations. It was also nice to hear from the editors as they reflected on their experience annotating. It is truly an honor to be participating in NSR. As it broadens your perspective about the world and how you personally can connect to history which is quite amazing.

  9. Bryce Gadke

    Like I said in my piece, I always took NSR for granted because it is the only thing that I knew. I am appreciative to be a part of NSR and honored to be featured in this article. Seeing myself in this article makes me want to write more for NSR. I cannot wait to get back home and write some articles in my free time (after a week of resting first). The experience with NSR has helped me realize that the world is so much more connected than I originally thought. I want to get out and explore my surroundings and the rest of the world.

  10. Courtney Banks

    Like everyone else, what a great way to end the semester! I was a huge fan of Professor Liang’s class and would highly recommend his classes to any student. We got to learn so much about ourselves and other cultures and it truly meant a lot to me that we could study our families. The class made me feel appreciated and wanted. This absolutely proves to me that CSS is the place I want to be. Thanks Professor Liang!

  11. Roman Schnobrich

    Professor Liang, the story of your grandmother seems very related to one of your most prominent class lessons– we should strive to positively impact future generations we will never meet or know. By working strenuously throughout her entire life, she shaped a bright future for you, your children, and your children’s children. I do have to wonder, what caused her to become “enlightened” in this sense, especially without an education? So many college graduates move on to become wealthy, “successful” workers for many years, yet mainly only thinking of themselves and their immediate families.

  12. Sandy Davidson-Hunt

    Thanks for sharing everyone! One point that seemed to be a recurring theme through all your pieces was the idea of taking things for granted. Until I actually stop and think about all of the good things going on in my life I never truly realize how blessed to be in the position I am in. To have the opportunity to get a college degree, as well as play a collegiate sport is something many people can only dream of, and yet I often find myself complaining about being worked too hard.

  13. Sara Desrocher

    What a great article. I liked that this entry was very different from most of the articles that I have seen on the site. I liked getting a feel for what it is like to be on the other side of the site, to be writing the articles instead of reading and commenting on them. It is interesting to hear about the impact that the site has on other people.

  14. Andrea Ramler

    Thank you so much for sharing this was great! I loved Professor Liang’s class he was accepting and more then willing to help all of his students in any way he was able. He also was very understanding when it came to things, but communication was always key. I learned not only about myself in many different aspects; but also through the family and world history project more in depth about my family. I would recommend this to anyone in need of a history general. I loved how the class related to the world today as we compared and contrasted different time eras.

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