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Dr. Shirley h. brehm endowed scholarship in teacher education

Recipients shall be students enrolled in a teacher preparation program in elementary education with a major and/or minor in science or mathematics education or in secondary education with a major in science or mathematics. Selection will be based on financial need as determined by the federal government according to its policies and procedures and on academic merit. Preference will be given to students who graduated from a high school in a rural district.

About Dr. Shirley H. Brehm

This endowment is a gift from Dr. Shirley Brehm in loving memory of her mother, Margaret Schmidt Brehm. Margaret was born in 1903 in Cadillac, Michigan, one of three children of William and Louise Schmidt. While Margaret did not have the opportunity to pursue a college education as a young woman, she held the highest regard for higher education and at the age of 68 received an undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University. Margaret and her husband, Frank, were married in 1923 and lived in Flint until finally settling in Osceola County, Michigan. Frank worked as a farmer and Margaret taught school. They raised three children – Shirley, Durwood, and Roger. Margaret encouraged her children’s interest in education beyond high school. Dr. Brehm credits her academic and professional career in higher education to her mother, who supported her academically, emotionally, and spiritually. Dr. Shirley Brehm received three degrees from Michigan State University – a bachelors in elementary education in 1948; a masters in teacher education in 1955; and a Ph.D. in curriculum in 1964. Shirley was able to attend MSU as the result of a 4H scholarship and because she worked a variety of jobs to get through school. Later she worked as a teacher, consultant with the Conservation Department, and as a professional Girl Scout. After receiving her masters degree, Dr. Brehm was hired by the College of Education as an instructor in science education and, for about three years, served as the sole female member of the college faculty advisory counsel.

Dr. Brehm served as a professor in the Teacher Education Department from 1955 to 1988 and primarily taught science education to elementary education students. Her career at MSU allowed her the opportunity to travel extensively and she spent considerable time overseas during her tenure as an MSU professor. Her travel included trips to Nicaragua, Okinawa and other locations in Japan and England. The scholarship recognizes the impact Dr. Brehm had on the MSU College of Education and in turn, the force behind her success – her mother – Margaret Schmidt Brehm.