Jenny Holte is a Distinguished Service Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of St Thomas. She also serves as the School of Engineering’s Community College and Transfer Coordinator.
Jenny has been advocating for English language learners for two decades. When her children started elementary school in 2001, she began volunteering to meet weekly with English as a Second Language (ESL) students for reading, conversation, and tutoring. In 2008, Jenny developed a 14-week afterschool ESL enrichment class that combined art projects with read-aloud stories. From 2010 to 2012, she also made weekly home visits to read with two young students from Mexico. Interactions with the family led to her interest in Adult ESL instruction and Literacy Minnesota.
After completing Literacy Minnesota's training in 2011, Jenny spent the next couple years teaching weekly advanced ESL classes at Open Door Learning Center-Northside. Since then she’s found many opportunities to engage with Literacy Minnesota: mentoring writers for the 2014 ‘Routes’ publication; kicking-off a new math fundamentals class for a mixed population of ESL and GED students in 2014; coordinating an intercultural exchange between ESL students and engineering students in 2017; and teaching a weekly ESL writing workshop, 2015-2018.
Working with students from many different backgrounds and ages has been a real privilege for Jenny. She sees the impact that Literacy Minnesota is making in people’s lives, and that motivates her to continue to find ways to be involved. She is honored to serve on the board of directors.