Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dear Dr. Raphael Onyeaghala,

This year, I realized that not many people within the Education Department know who I am or probably even care to.  I have worked at SMSU for nearly two decades but yet remain somewhat of a mystery to my colleagues.  Some of this is because of my private nature but certainly it is also because people are happily contained to their own areas, myself included.  People believe they know others and like to pride themselves on being a "community of educators" but the fact is that we really know very little about the person behind the "professor" title.  In this report, I want to provide you a glimpse into who I really am.  

So, who is Dr. Tanya Yerigan?  I am a mother, wife, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, educator, business owner, researcher, and author.  Simply put, I am a Minnesota farm girl with a love for education, business, and behavioral science.  In fact, I have served these fields in multiple capacities for nearly 25 years.  I will spare you the boring details since you can read them throughout this report.  Most importantly, I have a passion for helping others become their absolute best!  I have worked with individuals and groups right here in Marshall and around the globe to do just that.   

I am probably one of the most diverse faculty members you have under your supervision.  I believe learning (and teaching) do not take place in a silo of one discipline.  Further, I believe that it does not simply take place through the lens of SMSU, the local area, or even the state of Minnesota.  I believe the best teaching and learning takes place by building networks of scholars from everywhere and from multiple disciplines.  This layer-building of one's intelligence and knowledge-base, to me, is the very best gift we can give our SMSU students and academia in general.

One of my absolute favorite quotes is..."For unto whom much is given, much is required."  I have been blessed with many opportunities in my life both personally and professionally.  I profoundly believe the knowledge taken from our experiences is meant to be shared.  It is through this sharing that we will advance the best within individuals and, inevitably, society as a whole.  Along the way, if we are able to create communities of practice, increase productivity, encourage best practice, and elevate professionalism, we've created some bonuses. 

My first love has always been education.  I believe education can take place in any setting and any capacity.  It just so happens that I have been lucky enough to make a living teaching for the past 17 years here as a Mustang.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve SMSU and its students.  This year has been a great one filled with many endeavors and accomplishments.  It is with excitement, pride, and a sense of fulfillment that I submit to you my 4-Year Report (2011-2015).  During these years, I have been able to strive for and accomplish many great things for myself, the students, SMSU, and the community (local, national, and international). 

I do not say it lightheartedly when I say it is an honor and a privilege to be part of this great institution.  Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve in the capacity as professor for the SMSU Education Department and specifically the Learning Communities.  At your convenience, I look forward to the opportunity to discuss this report.  

Respectfully Submitted,


Tanya McCoss-Yerigan, Ph.D. 
Professor of Education
Dr. Tanya McCoss-Yerigan
4-Year Report