Magdalena Galloway

Magdalena Galloway
Major/Job Title:
Waterloo, IA, USA and Poznan, Poland

Magdalena Galloway

How many years have you been working at UNI?

Briefly describe your educational background.
My educational background is in pedagogy, technology, teaching, training, and instructional design. I earned my master's degree from UNI in Communication and Training Technology. I also have a master's degree in Pedagogy with Media in Education specialization from my Polish Alma Mater, the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan, Poland. 

Briefly describe your career background.
My background is in technology integration and use of educational media. 

My MA degree in Pedagogy with a Media in Education specialization prepared me to teach as a computer and media integration specialist. I also had an opportunity to have a practicum in radio and newspaper. Before teaching at UNI, I briefly worked as a digital artist in a photo-imaging company. 

While at UNI, I taught various courses related to instructional technology in face-to-face and distance education settings. I taught Educational Media, Understanding Visual Literacy, Digital Imaging and Creating Technology Enhanced Learning Environments. Currently, I am working with pre-service teachers in the Educational Technology & Design course. 

Why did you choose this career path?
My career choice was effortless. I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher! The only change was the grade level. It was changing with my understanding of the world around me. My first students were my dolls and teddy bears. At first, I wanted to be a kindergarten, then an elementary teacher. Under the spell of my inspiring Polish Language Arts teachers in high school, I wanted to join their ranks. When a student at the university, I discovered a wonderful group of people interested in the educational use of media and decided to follow that path. 

What brought you to UNI?
My Polish Professor Stan Dylak met Sharon Smaldino, a UNI professor from the College of Education, at an International Conference. They dreamt up an international exchange program in which students from both universities had first-hand experience visiting schools and comparing the educational systems. I was one of them. The program also expanded to visiting schools in the Netherlands and was highly successful. Then the University of Northern Iowa went a step further, offering a one-semester scholarship, room and board, for two grad students from Poland. I was one of the lucky two!

During that semester, I also fell in love with a brilliant and handsome grad student. We survived a long-distance relationship after I went back to Poland to finish my studies. I decided to follow my heart and came back to Iowa. I enrolled as a grad student at UNI, then was hired as an adjunct, temporary, and term instructor. Twenty-plus years later, my romance with UNI and my now husband continues! 

What's your favorite part about UNI?
I love the size of a campus that allows students to get everywhere without using their cars. I love the green spaces with purple and yellow lawn chairs that invite you to study or slow down for a minute and enjoy the moment. 

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest professional accomplishment is seeing my former students teaching my children and being really good at it! 

If involved in research, what is your area(s) of interest, and what drove your interest in this area?
Confronting the post-pandemic normal in teacher education; Preparing Pre-service Teachers to Integrate Computer Science into the K-8 Classroom Environment; Creating an Inclusive Classroom through UDL; Visual Literacy in Designing Instructions. It is driven by the constantly changing field of instructional technology and an evolution of media and tech tools.

What does being student-focused mean to you?
Student-focused to me means to engage students in problems that are relevant and meaningful to their lives. To seek out students' perspectives and challenge them to open their minds and investigate the world from diverse perspectives. To help individuals find relevant connections between their everyday life and their education. 

We talk about helping students realize or even exceed their expectations and potential. What does it mean to you to be part of that process and see the outcome?
Whenever I see a student realizing or exceeding their expectations, I am reminded that I chose the right career path. We are in a "pay it forward" business. I hope happy and accomplished graduates from the teacher preparation program will pay it forward by nurturing their students to become the best versions of themselves. 

What do you hope students learn from you?
I aim to bring a positive attitude, excitement, relevant and current knowledge, respect and high expectations to the classroom. I want my students to take pride in their future profession, take ownership of their learning. Teaching is a life-long learning profession.

What advice do you have for prospective/current students to make the most of their time at UNI?
Be a part of the community! Participate in campus events, volunteer, try new things, join student organizations, meet international students, take advantage of the study abroad programs. This is your prime time opportunity to explore and grow!