Humans of BVU: Dr. Calle Friesen


Staff Writer

Dee Friesen | Staff Writer

Name: Dr. Calle Friesen
Title: Assistant Professor of Education and Literature
Years at BVU: 3
Hometown: Toronto, Canada

If you aren’t a student in one of her classes, you might know her as “the one with magical hair”. Yes, I am talking about Dr. Calle Friesen. Although we all admire the beauty of her silver hair, it is not the only aspect that makes Friesen unique and interesting.

Friesen was born in Toronto, Canada. While living in New Zealand and Australia, she earned diplomas in Biblical Studies/Youth Ministries. Upon returning to Canada she worked for 15 years as an interior designer. Friesen decided to pursue education further in her late 30s. She was married with children when she moved to Storm Lake from Manitoba, Canada and decided to go back to college. She is a BVU graduate of the school of education, earning her masters and doctoral degrees from Drake University. It has been a long process of learning and teaching and even more learning to get where she is today. On April 28, 2015 Professor Friesen successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and earned the title of Dr. Calle Friesen. So, if you happen to see her on campus be sure to congratulate her for this huge accomplishment!

Professors aren’t always plotting against you with what homework they will assign or what will be on the surprise pop quiz that day. They also have hobbies! Friesen enjoys a number of creative activities such as quilting, painting, and crafting. She also enjoys several outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and even skiing on the Colorado slopes. She also enjoys running and has completed two Chicago Marathons! Friesen loves to travel and shared with me a story about her 25th anniversary adventure. Friesen and her husband started their 25 day journey in Bangor, Maine and made their way down the east coast to Keywest, Florida eating at every Diner, Drive-In, and Dive featured on Food Network.

I asked Dr. Friesen if she had any advise for us students. She said, “Absolutely show up to class. No matter what, show up. If you feel green, show up. If you’re tired, show up. If you didn’t do the reading and you don’t have the assignment done, show up anyway,” Friesen said. “And the truth is, even if you’re not prepared for class, you are better off physically being present and listening and contributing when you can.”

The second piece of advise from Friesen is to find a person that you can trust to share your thoughts with. “Everybody needs one person on campus that is their safety net. And that doesn’t mean that person can fix your problems but one person on campus that you trust with your truth, whatever your truth is,” said Friesen.

Finally, I asked Friesen to share any last thoughts and encouragement for us. She said:

“You can do anything. I’m proof you can do anything. There will be times when it’s hard. Like I said, we don’t give away degrees. You have to earn them. And things that are worth having are worth working for. So what I would say to anybody who is in the midst of their work: sometimes you get blinded by the work and forget the goal. ‘Why was I doing this anyway?’ Look at it like that old joke, ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ One bite at a time. A degree is the same way and getting through finals is the same way. Honor yourself and the skills that you’ve developed so far. In the end it will be worth it. Take it one bite at a time and keep your eye on the bigger goal.”

She finished with these very encouraging words:

“Believe in yourself always. Don’t give up. There will be times when nobody else believes in you, but your vote still counts.”

Photos courtesy of Calle Friesen
Graphic by Justice Gage